What is it?

Just a few years ago, the notion of placing a four-cylinder engine in a car like the S-class seemed… well, implausible. But with fuel prices having shot up quite dramatically in the meantime and an increasing number of countries looking towards road tax laws tied to CO2 emissions like those in force here in the UK, that’s exactly what Mercedes-Benz has been prompted to do. The result? The most economical S-class ever placed into production: the S250 CDI.

What’s it like?

The new Benz gets all the latest fuel-saving technology, including stop-start, and its turbocharged 2.1-litre diesel engine manages 201bhp and a sturdy 368lb ft of torque; it gives away 53bhp and 89lb ft to the 3.0-litre V6 diesel-powered S350 CDI.

The relatively small engine does a commendable job of hauling the S250 CDI’s considerable 1895kg. Granted, it’s quite leisurely off the line, making it somewhat frustrating around town. But with clever gearing taking full advantage of its strong low end torque, it delivers convincing in-gear performance once you’re wound on some speed on the open road.

Besides an uncharacteristic four-cylinder thrum under hard acceleration, the new engine is also very quiet for a diesel on a constant throttle, providing the sort of relaxed cruising the S-class is renowned for.

The best part, though, is the S250’s economy; theoretically it’s capable of travelling up to 900 miles between refills on its 83-litre tank. On an autobahn run we managed 55mpg over 200 miles, proving that it does live up to its maker’s claim.

Should I buy one?

At the moment there is no plan to bring the S250 CDI to the UK. That’s a pity, because it manages impressive cruising attributes. And with economy to match many small hatchbacks, its running costs can’t be matched by the luxury car competition.

Greg Kable

Mercedes S250 CDI

Price: na; Top speed: 149mph; 0-60mph: 8.2sec; Economy: 49.6mpg (combined); CO2: 149g/km; Kerb weight: 1895kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2143cc, turbodiesel; Power: 201bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 368lb ft at 1600rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
25

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
At the moment there is no plan to bring the S250 CDI to the UK. That’s a pity, because it manages impressive cruising attributes.

It may have impressive cruising attributes but the slow off the line comments suggest this car would be very frustrating in the UK. We are hardly renowned as a country for our free flowing roads.

In my opinion, for the amount of S Classes that are sold in the UK and the type of clientel this is probably a wise move.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

Jaguar XJ recently spotted with a 2.0 litre diesel engine testing too: [link deleted]

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

If someone had told me even as recently as 10 years ago that there existed a 2 tonne car capable of 0-60 in 8 seconds and 150mph flat out, that would return 55mpg on a run, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have believed it possible. Whatever the driving characteristics may be, the bald figures are hugely impressive.

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

I wonder if you can get any more luggage in the engine bay where there used to be a V12!!! LOL

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

This should definitely come to the UK. It won;t be driven by many owner-drivers: it is a perfect car for doing what a great number of S Classes do which is being chauffeur-driven around the financial districts and running people to and from the airport.

And "slow off the line" probably still puts it ahead of 90% of the cars on the UK's roads, the 1.6 and 1.8 hatchbacks. Which is all it needs. People don't like violent acceleration off the line when they are being driven.

This is an amazing technical achievement: roll on the Jag equivalent.

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

Impressive as the figures may be, I dont see the point in it.

If you have the money for the car, you have the money for the fuel. The other diesels were already impressively good, so I don't see the need for such an economy focussed model.

Besides, if I was spending that amount of money on a car, I would definately expect it to have more poke than the hatchback next to me.

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

fhp11 wrote:

Impressive as the figures may be, I dont see the point in it.

If you have the money for the car, you have the money for the fuel. The other diesels were already impressively good, so I don't see the need for such an economy focussed model.

Besides, if I was spending that amount of money on a car, I would definately expect it to have more poke than the hatchback next to me

If your a self employed chaffuer then running costs and residuals on a car like this all add to your bottom line so it will sell well.

Would be a cracking car second hand here in Ireland where annual road tax is based on CO2

The S250 would be €302. The S350 is €630 a year

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

fhp11 wrote:
If you have the money for the car, you have the money for the fuel

Totally agree.

I also don't understand why someone should spend so much for a car "frustrating around town".

fhp11 wrote:
Besides, if I was spending that amount of money on a car, I would definately expect it to have more poke than the hatchback next to me.

Exactly. That's why for me a BMW 330d is better proposition than a 320d. Considering the extras the prices are not so far and the 330d offers another level of performances while returning still great economy in real word driving

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

fhp11 wrote:
If you have the money for the car, you have the money for the fuel. The other diesels were already impressively good, so I don't see the need for such an economy focussed model.

Most S class saloons are bought as company or self employed purchases where running costs are very important. Many private hire drivers currently using smaller cars such as Volvo S80's would love to be able to run an economical S class as it has more prestige for their business travelers but affordable running costs when doing 70k miles per annum.

Re: Mercedes S250 CDI

3 years 26 weeks ago

Jaguar, as usual, have an open goal there, I bet they spoon it, Waddle style.

Bring back steel wheels.

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Our Verdict

The Mercedes S-Class is a fine luxury car and a technological masterstroke. It is calm but rewarding

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