Summer of 2014 Drives

Discussion in 'Website news & discussions' started by xcel, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [fimg=left][/fimg]2014 Honda Civic LX (EX shown) - $19,180 to start incl. D&H and a 30/30 mpgUS city/highway rating.

    Hi All:

    I scheduled the first warm weather (I hope) drive of the year in the 2014 Civic EX with the all-new CVT rated at 30/39/33 mpgUS city/highway/combined compared to the 2013 rated at 28/39/32 mpgUS city/highway/combined.

    There is some confusion regarding these EPA ratings as Honda has two different releases and two different numbers attached. ONly one set matched the consumer site. The EPA has not yet published information on the LX/EX sedans and coupes with the CVT either.

    The 2014 LX and HF with the 15 in wheels saw a drop from 1,880 to 1,643 RPM@60 mph compared to the 2013. The 2014 EX has an even lower calculated RPM@60 mph of 1,637.

  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I am trying to get a 2014 328d for Los Angeles on March 12 - 19th as well.


    In relatively lousy consideration it almost provided a 60 at 60 run. In good conditions, it might hit 70 at 50???

  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The BMW is out so I am scheduled to be in a 28/45 mpgUS city/highway rated RWD 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC for the 11th to the 18th of March in LA.

    [​IMG]A smallish midsize with 98 and 13 cu. ft. of passenger and cargo volume respectively makes for a solid E-Class entry.

    [fimg=right][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Feb. 24, 2014

    2015 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC - $52,325 to start incl. D&H and a 28/45 mpgUS city/highway rating with the RWD platform. The 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD) option ($2,500) sees the EPA fall to a still very respectable 27/42 mpgUS city/highway.

    If one were to opt in for the European Delivery Program and pick up the E from the factory in Germany, there is a very significant 7% discount off the retail price which equates to $47,801 USD before any additional options or packages. That is a very serious discount and makes driving your Mercedes form the factory for a week well worth it!

    Here are some of those pricing details.


    Premium 1 Package ($3,870) – It includes an 80GB hard-drive navigation system, 10GB Music Register, Harman Kardon LOGIC7 surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1, Gracenote media database, SiriusXM Radio with 6-month All Access trial, SiriusXM Traffic and Weather with 6 months of service, Enhanced Voice Control, Heated front seats, Power rear-window sunshade, and a Rear view camera.

    Electronic trunk closer ($560)
    KEYLESS-GO ($650)
    Split-folding rear seats ($440)

    Active Ventilated front seats ($450) -- Additional Equipment Required with this selection. You may select one of the following: Black Leather, Silk Beige/Espresso Leather, Grey/Dark Grey Leather, Porcelain/ Black Leather, Chestnut Brown/Black Leather. Chestnut Brown/Black Leather - $1,620 will be your default selection.

    By selecting this option, Premium 1 Package ($3,870) will be selected automatically.

    Panorama roof ($1,090)
    Active multicontour driver seat ($660)
    Rear Seat Entertainment system ($1,910)
    115-volt household-type AC power outlet ($115)


    Drive Kit Plus for iPhone ($599)
    iPad Docking Station ($400)
    Rear-Seat Entertainment System ($1,250)

    And about that beautifully efficient Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC drivetrain?


    The all-aluminum 2.1L I4 turbodiesel engine that powers the E250 BlueTEC produces 195 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque available from just 1,800 RPM. To smooth out the inherent vibration of an in-line four-cylinder engine, two Lanchester balance shafts spin at twice crankshaft speed in sophisticated, low friction roller bearings.

    A two-stage turbocharged produces an almost undetectable turbo lag, fast throttle response, a broad torque curve across the entire engine speed range and noticeably improved performance.

    The engines direct injection system is 28,400 PSI via 4 piezo-electric injectors with multiple injections per combustion event to make it the smoothest turbo diesel available in all of North America.

    All of that engine is mated to a slick shifting standard 7-speed automatic.

    Regarding emissions, DEF into an SCR reduced NOx to almost SULEV status. A standard DOC and DPF are also located within the exhaust stream.

    Quite a few comments were generated when R&T did a 400 mile shootout between it and a Prius in mixed driving. Their mixed driving surely simulated one pedal or the other to the floor at the same time in some instances. See below.

    Alex Nunez: Bigger, faster, plusher, and more efficient...

    America's most fuel-efficient new car isn't a Prius
    Chuck Goolsbee: Diesel=Awesome

    Davey G. Johnson: Making the E250 the base car was a nervy play on Benz's part. I also think it was a smart one. It's a nicer drive than the gas six. The V8 is better, but it's also thirsty and expensive. I think the diesel will make a lot of E buyers very happy. The car feels absolutely appropriate for its mission. Weirdly, though it's a very strong selling point, the mileage is really just icing.

    Michael Karesh: MB's four-cylinder diesel is the best of the current bunch, much torquier than the competing engines from BMW and VW/Audi and more efficient. But both cars in this test got about 40 mpg, and it's pretty easy to manage well over 40 mpg in a Prius. Sounds like someone was trying to keep up with the much quicker Benz.

    Wayne Gerdes: During the 48 Hours of Audi TDI "Crossing the Continent in < 48-hours", the 14 Audi A6 TDI pulled an excellent 43.6 mpg with an actual road speed > 64 mph. The Prius could have topped its fuel economy but not by much. And it did not have a 3.0L V6 TDIs 240 hp and 428 lb-ft torque sub 6-second power on tap, AWD, and is not nearly as fun to drive.

    The 14 328d and 14 Cruze TD can take the Prius to the woodshed on the Interstate but get them around town and the Prius will wipe the floor with them. I suspect the same with the MB E250 BlueTEC?

    I cannot wait to drive this big beautiful and efficient beast (the 14 E250 BlueTEC) for a week in sunny Southern California just three weeks from now. I just hope it is the 2WD variant and not the AWD one.

    Jason Cammisa: Indeed Wayne, the Prius mops the floor with all comers in town, but the diesel had a pretty substantial advantage at US highway speeds (by which I mean 75-80 mph.) Those two particular cars were about even at slower, constant speeds (like 60 mph). And the diesel had a huge advantage during the small portion of the trip where we were hustling up a mountain. (I really tried to even the trip out to not favor either car. This was a "real-world" no-hypermiling kind of challenge. Obviously, as the Prius only saw an average of 40 mpg.)

    ...and I agree with Davey and Michael: that MB 2.1-liter diesel is easily the best on the market right now.

    Michael Karesh: Mountain? What's that? We have nothing fitting that description in civilized areas east of the Mississippi.

    Brendan McAleer: With that self-driving thingy, it's probably the ultimate road-tripper. Cruise through the mountains, then let the car handle the stop and go when you get into town.

    Sebastian Blanco: Sort of an unfair test, since there is simply more energy in a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas. Not saying the E250 Bluetec doesn't deserve kudos, but it really wasn't even a "tie".


    2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC Interior

    Yup, it is a Mercedes-Benz through and through.​

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  4. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Exactly! There's also more $$ in the gallon of diesel fuel.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi RedylC94:

    In terms of resale however, the E250 will probably hold up better than the E350 on up.

    Comparing a Prius to the Mercedes is out there. And how do you get 40 mpg in a Prius no matter where the road leads?

  6. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    In suburban Chicago I'm seeing about 8% more $ for a gallon of diesel.

    I am aware that this is not true in other parts of the country.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I am dropping off the Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC at LAX tomorrow and picking up a 38 mpg highway rated 2014 Nissan Altima with the 2.5L and the CVT.

    Another good one in as many weeks. ;)

  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Today , $.06 difference at the BP I fill at. Good times for diesel lovers.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    After getting out of the MB TD this morning and into the Altima gasser all afternoon, I would take the former for everything but the larger and softer Altima seats and larger center arm rest.

    Today Diesel costs the same as gasoline here in California.

  10. DaveJ

    DaveJ Well-Known Member

    Yesterday in West Central Illinois , Diesel was 42 cents higher than regular gas....3.99 VS: 3.57 per gallon.
  11. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I would hope so, considering the relative prices. You could buy two Altimas and have change left over to match the MB's price.

    A friend whose wife has a number of health issues bought the Altima largely because of those seats.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    Just was not impressed with the Altima as much as I was with the much more expensive MB except for the seats.

    While in the Audi Q5 right now, tomorrow I will be at the 2015 Honda Fit Short Lead outside of San Diego from sun up to sun down. Embargo is not until next week.

    2015 Honda Fit


  13. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Squeee! :D

    I'm thinking (hoping) they hit a home run with this one. The interior materials look improved and matured (less trying-to-hard sci-fi look) from what I've seen. My biggest concern is the cargo space - did they eat into it with the seating? The current one measures 28 inches from seatback to bumper step in the middle.

    Full, detailed (long) walkaround of the Japanese model. I like what I'm seeing overall.
  14. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    After driving a few of the new Civics, I must say I came away impressed. Then I drove the all new Mazda 3 and was blown away, especially how quiet the cabin was. Now you show the Merc and I must admit that I am drooling a bit. The one thing that I have noticed, Mercs and BMWs are not holding their resale like they used to, at least not in this part of the country. Now, that is primarily the gassers as I have not seen many diesels around these parts in a price range I find affordable.

    On a side note, Wayne I truly envy your ability to be able to get behind the wheel of all of these cars and understand the car's purpose in life. You do a great job of comparing apples to apples and not letting car makers like Audi, BMW, and Merc completely overwhelm you when go to "interview" a new car. About the only thing I do not envy is all of the travel time to get these events.
  15. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I would love to be an autojourno...I actually have an interesting link to an auto journalist I need to post somewhere...
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi John:

    Thanks. The 5:00 AM wake up call to get to LA by 02:00 pm, get the 15 A3 2.0 T, top it off, then battle the infamous I405/5 traffic nightmare at Rush in 106 to 82 degree F temps w/out A/C for three hours, get to San Diego to do another top off for the calculations just means I am really really tired right now. :(

    James, the pay sucks.

  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Prius pkg. 5 left yesterday, an Elantra SE with the 6-speed AT is in the drive now. An Audi A7 TDI arrives next week for a Chicago to Cape Cod run, the Sonata Short lead in Montgomery, AL occurs the following week. From there it is on to the Chrysler "What's New" event in Mich. and a visit to the Houston Grand Prix in Houston at the end of the month.

    Beginning in July, a Prius c, an Audi A6 TDI, a Corolla ECO Plus, and an Avalon Hybrid in Southern California... Beginning to get a bit busy.

  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The Avalon goes back to Toyota here in LA on the 30th. I pick up a 14 Mazda Miata with a stick at MKE that night, a 14 Kia Optima Hybrid the following week, and a 2WD 14 RAM 1500 with the 3.0L EcoDiesel for a lengthy drive the week after that.

    A Miata should be interesting?

  19. RoadWarrior222

    RoadWarrior222 rockit serjun

    Well for fuel conscious bugs in the teeth motoring it's gotta be beating the ancient Morgan, and the only slightly less so TVRs etc with their hopped up 60s vintage Buick/Rover V8s.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi RoadWarrior:

    Got out of the Miata. Just the 14 Optima Hybrid starting Wednesday night now. :)


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