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The 1998 Mercedes-Benz E300 TurboDiesel

E300 TurboDieselCourtesy of mbusa.com

Mercedes-Benz diesels have always been loved for their durability and economy, but not for their performance. No more. The 1998 E300 TurboDiesel combines E-Class style, comfort, luxury, and handling with great fuel economy while not not sacrificing performance. This is made possible by innovative new diesel engine technology. And for $42,843, the cheapest E-Class available in America, this car can be yours

The Design The 1996 complete make-over of the E-Class turned many heads. With a completely different retro style, slick body, and of course those headlights, it made all of the E-Class's competition look old and dated. The redesign signaled a new direction for Mercedes, one that is more fun, less expensive, and more consumer aware. Road and Track sums it up ,"The car's nose is crisp, fun-looking, and its oval headlamp treatment is irresistibly fetching".

Performance Diesel's have never been known for head snapping performance, but this year's E300 proves high performance can be put in the same sentence as diesel. The turbocharger with intercooling boosts horsepower to 174 @ 5000 rpm (up 40 from last year's 144) and torque to an amazing 244 pound-feet at a very usable 1600 rpm. However, this new, powerful diesel still has the best fuel economy of all luxury sedans, or for every car except the econo-box 3-cylinder Chevy Metro. It musters 26 mpg City and 34 mpg Highway. With a 21 gallon fuel tank, this car CAN get 717 miles on ONE tank! The 1998 E-Class features Brake Assist, which shortens emergency stops by applying full pressure where an ordinary driver might hesitate to really step on it.

Handling The E300 TurboDiesel has all the handling characteristics of other E-Class models, which are excellent. The previous generation E-Class had excellent high speed handling, but around town at slow speeds it felt like the steering was lubricated with molasses. In the current E-Class, the steering is a new rack & pinion system with variable power assist, and it provides the E with excellent high speed handling and gives the car a new-found around town crispness. Body roll is controlled and grip is great without sacrificing any comfort. Where the E has always shined is on bad roads, where its bank-vault solid body structure and controlled but compliant suspension handle the potholes with authority.

Comfort German automakers' biggest strength is combining a luxurious ride with good handling characteristics. The E-Class is the prime example of this quality. The E-Class has been praised for its ride by almost every car magazine and rightly so. The seats were described by Car & Driver as, "...the best in the business". The E300 TurboDiesel comes standard with Mercedes' durable MB-Tex, leather is optional. Excellent isolation from wind and road noise make this sedan one of the quitest in the business, even with the diesel engine (formerly notorious for clanking and smoking).

In all, this effient but fast diesel, is the cheapest E-Class available, but doesn't feel cheap or like a diesel. A BenzFreak's Best Buy for Effiency.

Interior of the beautiful E-ClassCourtesy of mbusa.com

Click Here to See How The E-Class Performs in Crash Tests QuickTime Movie

For more info on the E300 TD, please email me at nicmich@flash.net.

For all the specs on the E300 TurboDiesel, click here

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