I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I despise the moment I must stop and fuel up a diesel vehicle. It’s a smelly, messy experience, like having to go to the men’s room in a crowded $2-a-beer-night bar. You don’t want to touch anything, but you have to if you want to get it over with. And in both the gas bar and the booze bar, there’s never any paper towels left to wipe your hands. Gross.
Base price for a 2011 E350 BlueTEC is $62,500 before taxes, freight and delivery charges, which undercuts the gas E350 by four hundred bucks. Our tester also included the $4,900 Premium Package, which adds iPod/USB connect, rear window sunshade, panoramic sunroof, navigation and intelligent key.
|Base price is $62,500, undercutting the Infiniti M Hybrid and Lexus GS 450h. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Auto123.com)
Competitors that tout fuel-efficient powertrains are currently limited to hybrid vehicles, such as the $67,300 Infiniti M35 Hybrid and the soon-to-be-redesigned, $71,750 Lexus GS 450h.
The E350 BlueTEC is smooth, comfortable, refined and comes with that all-important luxury-brand crest on the hood. It’s also very efficient, and its 1,000-plus-km range means I can spread out my dreaded stops for fuel. When you have a good turbodiesel in your product line-up, do you really need hybrids? It’s arguable.