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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to say hello. Just picked up my XLE Hybrid in Silver yesterday and was incredibly surprised, and in a good way.

Traded in my 2010 ML350 Bluetec and it was a HORRIBLE diesel vehicle. Unreliable and expensive to fix once the warranty was over. In fact had 3 separate problems with the urea system meant to clean up the exhaust. Honestly I can't believe it took me so long to get rid of it, but I guess it is one of those things that as you replace things you figure that is one thing new on the car and one less that will break again. Anyhow, last weeks failure of the urea system heater was the last straw.

My typical driving is a city cycle with lots of stop and go. I have always got MUCH worse than average mileage in any vehicle I have owned (gas or diesel). In my ML350 I got 13.5L/100km=17.4mpg. I know it is still early and two days of driving (yesterday a couple of hrs of city driving and today a couple of hrs of highway driving), but I am just astounded. In the city yesterday got 7.1L/100km=33mpg and today highway driving brought the average down to 6.5=36mpg. So I figure I must have been getting around 39mpg on the highway portion of my driving. It was also hot and A/C on all the time, with most driving done with driver + 2 passengers, driving faster than hwy speed limit (110-120km/hr) and the car is not even broken in yet. I am completely surprised at how good the fuel economy is in my real world driving!! Great fuel economy + decent power, that is a winning combination.

I also test drove the Prius V. That could have also met my space needs and obviously it can drive at all required speeds and beyond, but how it did that was not pleasant, too gutless and too much engine revving required for my liking.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to many more good driving days with the Rav4 Hybrid!
 

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Welcome, Algonquin! Sorry about your bad experiences with your ML 350 diesel. - ML 350s have a questionable reliability record. My sister has a VW Golf diesel TDi which gets 48 mpg on the highway at 70 mph, has a urea emissions reduction system but is subject to a retrofit when that is devised to meet California emissions standards. A friend has a New Beetle TDi diesel which doesn't have the urea system and gets 52 highway mpg after a few mods. Neither has had any reliability problems with their diesels.


Hope that you enjoy your XLE hybrid!
 

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Many of the german car companies advertise their Urea systems under the common Adblue label, trucking companies tend to just go by DEF = Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Also contained in Urine. Not sure about what goes on chemically, but injecting the Urea into the diesel exhaust supposedly makes it cleaner so that it can meet current stricter emission standards.

I think one of the major problems for those with diesels in cold weather is Adblue/DEF is that it freezes at -11C. There is a heating system to thaw it out, but obviously the heater cannot run when the car is off or the battery would die very quick. That freezing/thawing of the urea over time cannot be good for any system over time. Probably less of an issue for places that don't normally get temps lower than -11C, but in cold weather places I don't think Urea systems are a good idea.
 

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Algonquin, You did not mention the Hybrid's pleasant ride and handling.
 

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Algonquin, You did not mention the Hybrid's pleasant ride and handling.
As I am sure you are aware, many reviews bash the Rav4 hybrids handling (eg. CNN Money recent article "The only thrill in driving Toyota's Rav4 Hybrid is the gas mileage"). I cannot see what all the hate is about.

Agree with you, very pleasant ride and handling, especially compared with what I know well the MB ML350. Rides better in the city (paved roads, potholes, speed bumps) and also on essentially straight highways.
 

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No wonder Japanese car makers are so slow bringing their diesel engine cars in. Didn't know the winter temperatures affected urea.

Good thing my next car is going to be a pure electric vehicle, tempting with Ontario, Canada's $14k (CDN) rebate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No wonder Japanese car makers are so slow bringing their diesel engine cars in. Didn't know the winter temperatures affected urea.

Good thing my next car is going to be a pure electric vehicle, tempting with Ontario, Canada's $14k (CDN) rebate.
Yeah, i wasn't aware the urea froze either, well until a couple of the lines ruptured. Obviously that is a defective design of an emissions system and should not be like that, but that is not worth to fight over. Only the lawyers would win there.

I'm with you that the $14,000 rebate, 4yrs free overnight electricity, $500 for a home charger, $500 for install make for a very rich incentive package. Plus my workplace installed 6 high speed chargers for free charging. I say "free" as you need to pay for parking to get the free electricity, but i pay for parking now and i don't get free gas. I was hoping to keep the ML350 until an affordable electric suv comes out (model y), but it was just too unreliable to keep.
 

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Interesting that DEF (urea fluid) is widely used in European as well as North American diesel vehicles - is required by law for US OTR truck engines, is used in diesel farm tractors, and that it freezes at relatively warm temperatures for much of European and North American climate zones in winter. One must wonder how it can reduce NOx air pollution when it is frozen, at least until it thaws if the vehicle is equipped to thaw it. One also would think that Mercedes would have equipped the ML 350 and their other vehicles with DEF lines which would not burst.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting that DEF (urea fluid) is widely used in European as well as North American diesel vehicles - is required by law for US OTR truck engines, is used in diesel farm tractors, and that it freezes at relatively warm temperatures for much of European and North American climate zones in winter. One must wonder how it can reduce NOx air pollution when it is frozen, at least until it thaws if the vehicle is equipped to thaw it. One also would think that Mercedes would have equipped the ML 350 and their other vehicles with DEF lines which would not burst.
Unfortunately for me owning the ml350 has been an educational experience that i could have done without. One can debate what the emission standards should be, but once they are set into law, not meeting them is breaking the law.

There is no question in my mind that diesel cannot be the future since by definition if urea freezes at -11C it cannot work under those circumstances. And probably only works well under a narrow band of circumstances (ie the EPA test cycle temperature). Whether failure is the result of a defeat device or just bad engineering the end result is the same... Dirty diesel. The gathering storm of lawsuits is beggining against MB and i don't see them winning, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.

Mercedes Owners File New Lawsuit Stating Mercedes BlueTEC Diesels Fail Emissions Tests in Nearly All Real World Conditions
https://www.hbsslaw.com/cases/mercedes-bluetec-emissions/pressrelease/mercedes-bluetec-emissions-mercedes-owners-file-new-lawsuit-stating-mercedes-bluetec-diesels-fail-emissions-tests-in-nearly-all-real-world-conditions
 

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Unfortunately for me owning the ml350 has been an educational experience that i could have done without. One can debate what the emission standards should be, but once they are set into law, not meeting them is breaking the law.

There is no question in my mind that diesel cannot be the future since by definition if urea freezes at -11C it cannot work under those circumstances. And probably only works well under a narrow band of circumstances (ie the EPA test cycle temperature). Whether failure is the result of a defeat device or just bad engineering the end result is the same... Dirty diesel.

Mercedes Owners File New Lawsuit Stating Mercedes BlueTEC Diesels Fail Emissions Tests in Nearly All Real World Conditions
https://www.hbsslaw.com/cases/mercedes-bluetec-emissions/pressrelease/mercedes-bluetec-emissions-mercedes-owners-file-new-lawsuit-stating-mercedes-bluetec-diesels-fail-emissions-tests-in-nearly-all-real-world-conditions

Concerning the final paragraph - it appears that the legal firm which has filed this lawsuit specializes in this sort of action and smells big dollars as its reward. More lawyers' homes will be built on the French Riviera if the lawsuit succeeds, and the press release consists mainly of unsubstantiated allegations. Perhaps the actual document contains substantiated specifics.


About DEF (urea) use - according to one manufacturer no antifreeze agent can be added to the fluid to prevent freezing without ruining the fluid. Appears that the EPA, Euro, and Canadian (if Canada has a testing agency) testing and approval agencies have cut diesel quite a lot of slack especially in cold weather operation in their approval processes. In the commercial realm, commerce in much of the affected areas would be drastically curtailed and dire commodity shortages would result without diesel trucking, as would food production if diesel engines could not be used.
 

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Concerning the finjal paragraph - it appears that the legal firm which has filed this lawsuit specializes in this sort of action and smells big dollars as its reward. More lawyers' homes will be built on the French Riviera if the lawsuit succeeds, and the press release consists mainly of unsubstantiated allegations. Perhaps the actual document contains substantiated specifics.


About DEF (urea) use - according to one manufacturer no antifreeze agent can be added to the fluid to prevent freezing without ruining the fluid. Appears that the EPA, Euro, and Canadian (if Canada has a testing agency) testing and approval agencies have cut diesel quite a lot of slack especially in cold weather operation in their approval processes. In the commercial realm, commerce in much of the affected areas would be drastically curtailed and dire commodity shortages would result without diesel trucking, as would food production if diesel engines could not be used.
Well what i do know is:
-Completely agree the lawyers will be winners in this no matter what.
-There will be more chapters to this diesel emissions saga.
-And with similar space, functionality, and performance my RAV4 hybrid is getting me much much better mileage than my ml350 bluetec. :smile I really doubt there will be another diesel vehicle in my future.
 
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