Mercedes Believes Americans Still Prefer Diesels image

Mercedes-Benz thinks that US customers still want a small, affordable, luxury utility vehicle with a diesel engine and relies on the 2013 GLK250 BlueTec crossover which recently went on sale.

The 2013 GLK250 BlueTec crossover is a small vehicle with a 2.1-liter 4-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine, with 200 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The base price tag is $39,495 and the four-wheel drive diesel costs with $500 less compared with the GLK350 equipped with four-wheel drive.

“I think people are ready for diesels because they offer fuel economy and value,” said Bart Herring, product management general manager for Mercedes-Benz USA.

Mercedes sold its first diesel four-cylinder engine in the US in the mid-1980s, and according to herring it is 25% to 30% more fuel efficient compared with a gasoline one. The GLK250 reaches 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on highway compared with 19 mpg and 25 mpg for the gas-powered GLK350. The new E-Class sedan, which will reach the market this fall, will have under its hood the smaller 4-cyclinder to replace the 3-liter V6 diesel.

“No other automaker has embraced diesels the way we have,” Herring said.

Last year almost 6% of all Mercedes vehicles sold in the US were diesels, and the automaker sold almost 30,000 GLK units in the region, an increase of 21% from 2011.

Source: Detroit Free Press