July 3, 2014
A 73 MPG Luxury Sedan – You’re Kidding, Right?
The following comes to you in partnership with our friends at Top Speed.
No, I’m not kidding! Recently, a Mercedes-Benz E 300 Blue TEC Hybrid traveled 1,223 miles on one tank of fuel. With a 21-gallon fuel cell, a diesel engine and an electric hybrid drive system, the car pulled off the trip with an impressive average of 73.6 miles per gallon.
Impressed yet? That mpg from a luxury sedan should be enough to impress anyone; especially those who are not looking to sacrifice luxury for economy.
When automotive journalist Andrew Frankel reached his destination at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, there was still another 100 miles of fuel left in the tank. This means the car could have actually gone 1,323 miles on a tank.
His journey started in Tangier, Northern Africa, and after passing through two continents, four countries, and three time zones, Frankel parked his Mercedes in the United Kingdom 27 hours later. His quest was to show off the fuel efficiency of the Mercedes. He added the factory optional larger fuel cell to ensure the journey was made without a single fuel stop, which it did.
This vehicle is an E-Class model and one of the most luxurious vehicles on the road today. Combine the luxury with the awesome fuel economy and you have yourself a long-haul ride in comfort. That’s somewhat different than the small compact cars of yesteryear, which only managed to hit mid-20s or mid-30s mpg, not to mention they were uncomfortable and extreme eyesores.
The standard powertrain for the E-Class line is the 2.1-L twin turbo four-cylinder diesel engine or the 3.5-L gasoline-powered V-6 that has a hybrid option available. Other available engine options are the 4.6-L, 5.5-L and 5.5-L AMG biturbo V-8s.
These models start with a price tag of $51,400 for the E 250 Blue TEC sedan and rise to $99,770 for the E 63 AMG S-Model.
The E 300’s diesel engine produces 204 hp, and the electric drive adds another 27 hp. Compared to many other vehicles out today, it may seem like a slouch, but it manages a 7.5 second 0-62 mph time and has a top speed of 150 mph. For added comfort, the E 300 comes standard with automatic climate control and leather upholstered front heated seats.
The problem with the E 300 Blue TEC Hybrid is that it won’t be available in the US. However, UK drivers can enjoy long trips in comfort for about $67,863.
Frankel’s original goal was to see if he could just make it to the UK on one tank of fuel. However, making it all the way to the festival was an added surprise. On his journey, he encountered heavy rains, intense heat, traffic jams and extreme elevation changes, yet still managed impressive fuel mileage.
With all the hype of better fuel mileage and the high cost of operating a vehicle today, maybe American automakers can take a page out of Mercedes-Benz’s play book and offer similar luxury cars with outstanding mileage — so we don’t have to be crammed into a subcompact.
Image Credit: TopSpeed.com