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New Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueTEC diesel can go the distance

July 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Want a vehicle that doesn't break down? Why not buy one that will last you 500,000 miles?

There is the latest version of Mercedes-Benz's E-Class sedan called the BlueTEC. Under the hood is advanced clean diesel technology and a three-liter V-6 that makes tons of torque.

For a luxury ride it really does sip fuel at 22 mpg city and 33 mph on the highway. And there's something else compelling about this car if you like to get your money's worth.

You can drive a diesel for a very long time.

"I have a customer that bought a car when I was working with Stiegler in Encino," said Enrique Rodriguez from Mr. MB Motors. "They had 402,000 or so, and that engine has never been touched."

Rodriguez has been working on Mercedes-Benz cars, including the diesels, for decades. By its very nature, a diesel engine is built to rack up the miles. The internal components are very sturdy, and diesels operate at lower rpm than gas engines.

Sharon Oehler's Mercedes 300d has gone a long way so far and shows no signs of slowing down, even though it'll be 30 years old next year.

"Well it currently has 275, almost ready to roll over to 276,000 miles," said Oehler.

So will she ever part with it?

"Probably, if anything happens, one of the kids will take it," said Oehler.

Experts say the diesel engine could last 300,000 miles, and in some cases 500,000 miles. And the mild California climate means the body won't rust.

But there is one thing that that will keep this car trouble-free for thirty years. Older models like Oehler's are much simpler. Like many new cars, today's BlueTEC diesel is crammed with technology, whether you want it or not.

But the diesel doctor says the engines are still bulletproof.

"Obviously, the more equipment, bigger chances of something going on," said Rodriguez. "But mechanically I don't see no difference whatsoever, no."

Sure it's kind of pricey for a mid-size. But buy this car, and you might not have to go shopping for a new one until the year 2041.

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