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All photos shot by LCT senior editor Tim Crowley at the Redondo Landing Pier, Redondo Beach, Calif.
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — The newest, greenest, punchiest version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class mid-size sedan comes in a clever, if not deceptive, presentation. I got fooled the first time around, which underscores this vehicle’s potential.
[SEE E250 LCT VIDEO HERE]
After driving it shortly after delivery, the engine power and performance made me conclude this sedan “must be a V-6,” as I told a colleague riding with me. I decided to check the monroney [price and spec sheet] given to me by the fleet delivery service. It stated the vehicle as a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet, 3.5-liter V-6 direct fuel injection.
Mercedes-Benz had delivered the wrong vehicle! I e-mailed them asking for the E250, 4-cyclinder, BlueTEC diesel that caught my attention while displayed at a Greater California Livery Association meeting in San Diego in April. A few hours later, I checked the rear of the vehicle, and oops, it really was an E250. Mercedes-Benz had e-mailed back stating I did indeed have the right car, but had been given the wrong monroney. They attached the correct one. I sheepishly replied that the ride, power and comfort tricked me into thinking it was a V-6.
With the E250 BlueTEC diesel sedan, Mercedes-Benz captures the polished designs and lines inside and out which define its latest generation of luxury sedans.
Engine Eggs You On
And that episode reaffirms this vehicle’s premium asset: A 2.1-liter, I-4, bi-turbo diesel engine that delivers 195 hp. and 369 lb.-ft. of torque with a 7-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. That all adds up to a continuous encouraging mechanical smack on the rear end when you push the accelerator for power. The car obeys gracefully with added pep — smack, smack — as it surges forward. The power is especially noticeable going up hills, making you curious, how can four little wiggly cylinders do this?
Mercedes-Benz actually has a mechanical explanation: Bi-turbo, or twin turbos. A bi-turbo engine combines performance with efficiency to a previously unknown extent. It is made possible by a unique combination of innovative high-tech systems such as direct injection, twin turbochargers, air/water inter-cooling and the Controlled Efficiency ECO Start-Stop function. In plain English, this is not an old-school diesel clunker from the 1970s, which to this day makes many drivers, like me, think that diesel vehicles should function like the government: Noisy, dirty and slow.
[SEE LCT E250 PHOTO GALLERY HERE]
Saves On Fuel Costs
Lest you think all this power hits you in the pocket, the E250 BlueTEC gets a combined 32 mpg city/highway, and a stratospheric 42 mpg on the highway. This matters a lot once again now that fuel prices are climbing well north of $4 per gallon. The E250’s “eco mode” lets the motor turn off and restart when at a stoplight, thereby avoiding the snarly idle syndrome. It’s also a benefit when the chauffeur waits patiently in the driveway or curbside for a late client. The eco-mode works in sport mode, too, which gives the E250 extra kick for freeway onramp merges.