Do Mercedes make petrol cars anymore?

MercStraight6

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95% of every modern Mercedes I see has a big 'CDI' badge slapped on the bootlid, and everyone one here seems to have oil burners too.

I don't see the appeal myself. Are they really fantastic engines, or are people just trying to get a Mercedes 'on the cheap'?
 

st4

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The diesels in most modern cars have come on leaps and bounds. I know petrols have made gains in efficiency but diesels have made huge progress in refinement + performance as well as efficiency.

There is something nice about a petrol engine, but a diesel is actually quieter at a cruise (but not moving off and staring up) which suits the needs of most MB drivers more. It gives a nice effortless feel, especially in the smaller engined cars. An E200k or an E220cdi-no contest.
 

Alex M Grieve

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95% of every modern Mercedes I see has a big 'CDI' badge slapped on the bootlid, and everyone one here seems to have oil burners too.

I don't see the appeal myself. Are they really fantastic engines, or are people just trying to get a Mercedes 'on the cheap'?

It is a fair observation. When I did lots of miles in business (34,000 per year, plus a "day job" when I got there), the fuel advantage of diesels was a "no brainer" - especially for long journeys at cruising speed.

Once you get used to the "wall of torque", particularly for hill climbing and overtaking (and low speed flexibility with a manual gearbox), you just grow to assume that all cars are that good, aren't they?

Then more recently, when other OEMs charged a premium for their diesel model, MB charged less for the diesel than the equivalent petrol, without any apparent degradation of the spec.

For company cars, the better residual of the diesel car meant that it was possible to have a C Class 220 CDI of a better spec than the "equivalent petrol", whereas the petrol equivalent for the same monthly rental was a much less powerful petrol car. Based on 0-60 times it looked a fair fight - until you tried driving one on a daily basis.

So, for some time now I would not consider a petrol car. I have a petrol SL (you can't have a diesel SL - yet!) and I love it to pieces. It goes beautifully and is a joy to drive, but it gives 23.5 mpg at best, and my diesel S Class will give over 40 mpg easily, and carry more people and luggage.

So, if you don't see the appeal, try one for a few days. But don't try it unless you are prepared to accept that you will never go back!
 

antijam

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The diesels in most modern cars have come on leaps and bounds. I know petrols have made gains in efficiency but diesels have made huge progress in refinement + performance as well as efficiency.

There is something nice about a petrol engine, but a diesel is actually quieter at a cruise (but not moving off and staring up) which suits the needs of most MB drivers more. It gives a nice effortless feel, especially in the smaller engined cars. An E200k or an E220cdi-no contest.

With you on this st4. My last four 'practical' cars have all been diesels (although not Mercedes) and the progression in usability and refinement over the last fifteen years or so has to have been experienced to be believed.

The huge torque available from modern turbocharged performance diesels, coupled with their very modest revs at motorway speeds makes for efficient and relaxed driving. The downside is that this torque only arrives in a very narrow (compared to a petrol engine) rev band. I'm currently driving a 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel (still not a Merc) coupled to a five speed auto box which I find a really excellent combination.

For fun though my SLK320 is much more rewarding, the torque goes on forever with turbine like delivery - and no nasty turbo-lag either.

Horses for courses. I guess you pays yer money and takes yer choice...
 

*Thumper

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On the cheap ??? ........ are you kidding !!!

If you've never owned one ........ you'll never get it !! .. (and I do mean owned, not driven)
 

Alex M Grieve

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The downside is that this torque only arrives in a very narrow (compared to a petrol engine) rev band. I'm currently driving a 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel (still not a Merc) coupled to a five speed auto box which I find a really excellent combination.

I think you have hit the nail on the head - diesel + automatic gearbox. The narrow torque rev band is very skillfully concealed by the clever gearing - so you never "run out of revs" when you fall off the torque curve, as you might do with a manual gearbox.
 

Alex M Grieve

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On the cheap ??? ........ are you kidding !!!

If you've never owned one ........ you'll never get it !! .. (and I do mean owned, not driven)

I've found quite the opposite. Never in the garage between services, decent service intervals, menu pricing and sensible service costs, and fuel economy is excellent.

Perhaps somewhere between your experience and mine there lies the "average motorist"?
 

st4

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I think you have hit the nail on the head - diesel + automatic gearbox. The narrow torque rev band is very skillfully concealed by the clever gearing - so you never "run out of revs" when you fall off the torque curve, as you might do with a manual gearbox.


Yes, the gearing is longer on a diesel car so the narrow torque band isn't a huge issue as it covers a usable range of speed. This adds to the refinement of the diesel car and its MPG. It also gives the car a "lazier feel" and this is both good and bad and very much a matter of opinion, driving style and the type of vehicle involved.

Be aware, whilst I champion diesel cars, performance wise etc because the gearing is longer and there is more torque doesn't automatically mean the car is faster through the mid range and say 50-70mph because the lesser petrol cars torque is counter acted by shorter gearing. We all know that BHP is a multiple factor of torque x RPM. An E350 will be faster than an E320cdi because it makes more horse power so in "kickdown" where peak power is acheived the E350 will romp ahead.
 

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Not so Cheap

95% of every modern Mercedes I see has a big 'CDI' badge slapped on the bootlid, and everyone one here seems to have oil burners too.

I don't see the appeal myself. Are they really fantastic engines, or are people just trying to get a Mercedes 'on the cheap'?

They are certainly not "on the cheap" when you look for a used one, I have been looking for an 05/55 W220 S320CDi to replace my ageing E320CDi for the last 6 weeks.

I have finally bought a 55 plate S350 (3.7 litre V6 petrol) as all of the available diesels with reasonably low miles (under 60,000) were priced aproximately £3,000 above the petrol variant.
Given my annual mileage of 22,000, the higher cost of diesel and that I intend to keep the car for 3 years, I expect the lower initial cost to more than compensate for the higher fuel consumption which I will no doubt have to endure.

I will certainly miss the tremendous torque and smoothness of the diesel engine, because even though the petrol V6 has 50bhp more than my old diesel and reaches 62mph 1.2 seconds faster, it simply did not feel as fast and willing to go when I took it for a test drive.
 
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MercStraight6

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They are certainly not "on the cheap" when you look for a used one, I have been looking for an 05/55 W220 S320CDi to replace my ageing E320CDi for the last 6 weeks.

I was actually referring more to running costs, compared to a petrol-engined equivalent model.

I've never actually driven a diesel-engined car; I hear that they are powerful at low-revs but run out of puff on the motorway.
 

Alex M Grieve

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I've never actually driven a diesel-engined car; I hear that they are powerful at low-revs but run out of puff on the motorway.

Worth a try then. Cruising at 85 mph, acceleration to 120-130 is effortless and swift. It is also without any increase in noise level or impression of such speed, so you really have to keep an eye on the meters and discipline yourself to keep the speed down.

When you slow back down to 80 mph, it feels like you have stopped.
 

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I've never actually driven a diesel-engined car; I hear that they are powerful at low-revs but run out of puff on the motorway.

Not until you're going well above 100mph. A diesel usually tails off about 4k RPM. In my car this is well above 120mph and not an issue for UK driving. To achieve mximum MPG you do need to really keep a diesel below 2k rpm, but from 2k-4k rpm toque falls off, but the RPM rises so more "power is generated" so no lack of puff

Above 4k the torque falls off much more rapidly than the RPM rises so less power is really made. I find in S mode mine changes up a 4.5k and in C mode 3.8k. The performance is no different in either mode which says it all.

Actually in any turbo charged car peak power is always before the red line so a "short shift" strategy is always better. With an n/a petrol you can take the engine to beyond peak power so when you change up you're engine is closer to peak power.
 

teabag

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I was actually referring more to running costs, compared to a petrol-engined equivalent model.

I've never actually driven a diesel-engined car; I hear that they are powerful at low-revs but run out of puff on the motorway.
Certainly no lack of puff in my experience, do yourself a favour and take a big diesel for a test drive, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

simon_wall69

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The diesels in most modern cars have come on leaps and bounds.

Just a bit. I have an old review of the w123 300d saying about how it was the world's fastest diesel because it can do 100mph! Also, it said that it was 'phenominally economical' with its 35mpg.
 
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I've never understood the overtaking arguement with diesels. I have driven loads (and, as you will see below) owned a 1.9TDi A6 for 6 years. Overtaking took planning and nerves of steel. The trouble is you pull-out "with loads of torque" and the run out of revs, change gear and have to start again, by which time you have significantly shortened the car that was coming the other way.

Quite aside from the tractor sound effects when you start (it doesn;t matter how cool you car looks when it sounds like a tractor) there is the issue of the great clouds of black smut that comes out the back. Even brand new diesels do this. You may not notice it when you are sitting behind the wheel but trust me, I notice it when I'm behind you on my motorbike. You change gear and the road disappears.

As for the comment about diesles sounding better the petrols at crusing speeds, well, I can hardly hear my engine at crusing speeds unless I put my foot down and then it sounds great. It doesn't sound like it was made by Massey Furgeson and it doesn't make the world disappear into a black cloud.

Then there is the MPG argument. Yes you get more milage. You also pay quite a lot more for diesel than petrol (about 15p / gallon on average) and you also need to have them serviced more often (or did, don't know if this is still true) so some of the cost advantages are negated.

There, I expect that's put the feline in the aviary.
 

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I've never understood the overtaking arguement with diesels. I have driven loads (and, as you will see below) owned a 1.9TDi A6 for 6 years. Overtaking took planning and nerves of steel. The trouble is you pull-out "with loads of torque" and the run out of revs, change gear and have to start again, by which time you have significantly shortened the car that was coming the other way.

But the gearing is longer so this isn't strictly true as the speed difference between pulling out and passing the car (50-70mph) is spread over less RPM in a diesel than a petrol as the gearing is taller in a diesel. In gear times (335d vs 335i BMW are very similar). A petrol has shorter gearing so you may need to change gear anyway. With an automatic this isn't a big issue so find the "all or nothing" argument a red herring

Quite aside from the tractor sound effects when you start (it doesn;t matter how cool you car looks when it sounds like a tractor) there is the issue of the great clouds of black smut that comes out the back. Even brand new diesels do this. You may not notice it when you are sitting behind the wheel but trust me, I notice it when I'm behind you on my motorbike. You change gear and the road disappears.

Petrols make that eggy fart smell too. Diesels that produce black smoke are probably chipped to trigger overfuelling. Given thet 40% of cars are diesel these days, the roads still seem clear to me so black smoke isn't an issue either

As for the comment about diesles sounding better the petrols at crusing speeds, well, I can hardly hear my engine at crusing speeds unless I put my foot down and then it sounds great. It doesn't sound like it was made by Massey Furgeson and it doesn't make the world disappear into a black cloud.

Okay accoustically a diesel doesn't sound great but if you measure the dB at 70mph the diesel is quieter, therfore more refined. Not something you may desire in a sporty car, but for a luxo barge that suits the way you actually drive, not the sporty way most people like to think they drive, this is fine.

Then there is the MPG argument. Yes you get more milage. You also pay quite a lot more for diesel than petrol (about 15p / gallon on average) and you also need to have them serviced more often (or did, don't know if this is still true) so some of the cost advantages are negated.

There, I expect that's put the feline in the aviary.

Diesel fuel costs 10% more but the car goes 30% further/tank. Its therefore 20% cheaper to fuel. Servicing intervals are about the same, but I'll agree that with modern high pressure injector systems, high turbo boost that for mega miles of low maintence motoring a petrol may be a better bet.

Also note that diesels make more torque more rapidly, this will cause more strain on the gear box and tyres wear down. + the engine is heavier so more wear at the front and possibly less cornering prowess.
 

antijam

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Some of the limitations of the modern diesel in a sporting environment are highlighted by Clarksons attempt to take the Jag S Type diesel around the Nurburgring in under 10 minutes.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4895205441582450216

His comment at 7min 30 sec into the video really sums up the problem.

(....and Sabine Schmitz has some telling comments on our Jezza's driving ability - she managed to beat his time by 47 seconds! :Oops:)
 

*Thumper

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Driving a Deisel, like a petrol car, will make you look like a cock ........... especially when overtaking !!

When I run out of tourqes .......... The turbo kicks in.

I've been driving Deisels by choice for almost 20 years ....... would'nt touch a petrol again.............. and I have no trouble with power tourqe or revs ........but then again.. I know how to use it !
 


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