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Diesel Beats Hybrid in Coast-to-Coast Fuel Economy Trial

August 25, 2005

Two Mercedes-Benz ML 320 CDI diesels returned better fuel economy than a Lexus RX 400h hybrid in a coast-to-coast test drive, reports Reuters UK. The German consumer magazine Auto Bild conducted the comparative test drive from New York to San Francisco, about 3,232 miles. The results showed that the ML 320 CDIs returned an average fuel consumption of 31.04 mpg, while the Lexus hybrid SUV averaged 27.69 mpg. The Mercedes diesels fared 10 percent better than the Lexus, though the cross-country trek obviously emphasized highway driving. Yet the testers said the hybrid was only 1.7 percent more efficient around town at 24.56 mpg compared to 24.12 mpg.The diesel is ten times worse than the hybrid with respect to NOx emissions. The Mercedes-Benz coast-to-coast test cars were equipped with diesel particulate traps.
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