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2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC Diesel gets near-Prius fuel economy

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On: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:33AM | By: Teddy Field

2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC Diesel gets near-Prius fuel economy

In Europe, diesels are big business. In America, not so much. Our fuel taxation system is designed to make gasoline the cheaper fuel, exactly the opposite of Europe's fuel/tax situation. Nevertheless, the Germans are dead-set on getting Americans to re-embrace the diesel. To that end, BMW and Audi are launching TDI versions of their most popular models. And now Mercedes is rolling out an oil-burning version of its uber-popular E-Class. But is it just a replacement for the soot-covered 240D?

When Mercedes-Benz builds a car, they get a giant hunk of granite and start whittlin'. The 2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC is as solid as Stone Mountain (in Georgia), and it's powered by Mercedes' rather brilliant 2.1L turbo diesel 4-cyl. Sounding like a performance motor from the 1980s, Merc's oil burner is an all-aluminum DOHC 16v 4-Pot, with direct-injection (common-rail in diesel speak) that sprays fuel at 28,000 psi. It has variable valve timing and a variable-geometry turbo to keep the torque delivery low in the rev band. And there're also two roller bearing-mounted balance shafts to reduce engine vibrations.

What all this means is: 195-hp @ 3,600 rpm, and 369 lb-ft of torque available from just 1,800 rpm. And that's a much larger serving of 'Go' than you would've gotten in MB's last 4-burner E-Class TDI. The 2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC is available with 4MATIC AWD too, making it the first diesel-powered E-Class to come with All-Wheel Drive.

According to the freshly minted EPA figures, the fuel economy for this 2.5 ton midsize luxury sedan is an impressive 28 city/45 hwy/34 combined. Add AWD and the fuel consumption drops only to 27/42/32. Not only are those numbers best-in-class, but the 2WD's highway mpg is just three miles-per-gallon less than you'd get from a Prius. Now Leonardo DiClooney can drive a nice car again.

Besides getting penny pinching mpg, the diesel-powered 2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC is capable of doing other stuff too. Like being a world-class luxury sedan, for example. The face-lifted for 2014 E-Class gets a revised interior, filled with scrumptious materials, impeccable build quality, and an analog clock. Full LED headlamps are now available, along with over 11 semi-autonomous driver assistance options from the brand new S-Class.

From the press release:
What started with PRE-SAFE® and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS® has emerged as a new dimension of driving at Mercedes-Benz, where comfort and safety merge into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this "intelligent drive." A whole host of new or optimized systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in the E-Class, delivering increased comfort and safety, such as the all-new DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist.

The basis for all this is new state-of-the-art sensors and their associated algorithms. Mercedes-Benz has taken a major step forward with the introduction of the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera. Just like the previous Mono Multi-Purpose Camera, it is located on the windshield near the rearview mirror. However, this camera features two "eyes," set at an angle of 45 degrees to produce a three-dimensional view of the area up to 55 yards in front of the vehicle and with an overall range of up to 550 yards. The stereo camera gathers data for processing by various systems using intelligent algorithms. The systems can detect vehicles driving in front, oncoming or crossing, and evaluate this three-dimensional visual information to determine their speed and position. They can also identify pedestrians within a large field of vision.

Along with the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing enhanced versions of the Multi-Mode Radar sensor system. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with Adaptive Brake Assist is standard equipment on both the sedan and wagon. It helps to reduce significantly the risk of a rear-end collision. Also part of standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST®, which now warns of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider range, and provides visual information on attention level and time driven since the last break. The sensitivity of the newgeneration ATTENTION ASSIST® can be adjusted by the driver.

Also available are a number of assistance systems that are either new or now feature significantly enhanced functionality. In overview:
• DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and can semi-autonomously follow in-line traffic.

• For the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS® with Cross-Traffic Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly

• The PRE-SAFE® Brake can now detect pedestrians as well and initiate autonomous braking.

• PRE-SAFE® PLUS can identify an imminent rear-end collision and then prompt the PRE-SAFE® system to trigger occupant protection measures that reduce the forces exerted on passengers. If the vehicle is stationary, it can also prevent secondary accidents in the event of a rear-end collision by applying the brakes

• Active Lane Keeping Assist can now detect when the adjacent lane is not clear, including the presence of oncoming traffic, overtaking vehicles, crash barriers, etc. Under threat of a collision, even if the lane marking is not a solid line, the system can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. This system pairs perfectly with Active Blind Spot Assist.

• Adaptive Highbeam Assist PLUS allows high beam to remain permanently switched on without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams' cone of light.

• Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and perpendicular spaces

The Surround View Camera will cover all four sides of the vehicle and enable a 360-degree view including virtual bird's-eye perspective—a top view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Dynamic guide lines help during parking and maneuvering.

Mercedes has put a lot of future tech into the new E-Class, and the diesel engine in the 2014 Mercedes E250 BlueTEC is probably one of the most advanced TDIs on the market today. So is the E250 TDI just a replacement for their old sooty slow-coach 240D? Not hardly. This is an entirely new kind of efficiency.

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