“America’s most fuel-efficient new car isn’t a Prius,” according to Road & Track Magazine. It’s the luxurious 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC. The $51,400 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC is a fuel-stingy luxury sedan that is powered by a 2.1-liter twin turbo in-line four cylinder diesel engine that could change the perception of diesels in the U.S. Europeans have known for decades just how fuel-efficient they are. But this test by Road and Track is very interesting.
R&T took both a new 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC and 2014 Toyota Prius for a test run to see how the Mercedes would stack up against the best-selling hybrid model in America from Toyota. What they found out in a real-world test, is that Mercedes-Benz's new E250 Bluetec Sedan earns Toyota Prius-level numbers on the EPA's highway fuel-economy test.
EPA estimates for the Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC are 28/45 city/highway. The 2014 Toyota Prius gets an EPA estimated 51/48 city/highway. But what happens in a real-world test of both models? R&T set up a test to drive a pre-determined course where both cars were driven “reasonably” and they stayed together.
Road & Track drove both cars 390 miles and says, “We mapped a route of backcountry, highway, and in-town roads that both cars could complete on a tank of fuel. There were only two rules for our test drivers: stay together and drive like reasonable human beings.”
After navigating both cars on the 390 mile course, the Mercedes's trip computer showed 534 miles of range remaining, the Prius's indicated range dropped to zero. They went on to say, “We drove another 20 miles before we stopped to refuel. Our hypothesis was correct: The Mercedes used half a pint less fuel in mixed-use, real-world, conservative driving. That's well within the "noise" of measurement error, so in fairness, this is a tie.”
But they declared the Mercedes E250 BlueTEC the winner because of its luxurious ride and driving dynamics. They said the Prius felt like a “mooing four-banger and was a screaming stress case” while the Mercedes easily climbed mountain passes in top gear with the engine almost completely silent. And the Mercedes is 2.7 seconds quicker to 60 mph.
Road and Track found the fuel mileage on the Prius and E250 BlueTEC was “effectively tied, the driving experience was anything but.” If you haven’t driven a new diesel from a number of automakers recently, you’ll be surprised at the power and efficiency of the diesel technology. The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC is both luxurious and fuel-efficient. The diesel engine is alive and well and Americans are finding out what Europeans have known for decades.
Other Mercedes-Benz and diesel stories of interest.