Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid and E300 Bluetec Hybrid live photosEnlarge Photo
The German automakers are becoming particularly adept at filling niches, and the increasing number of models offered with gasoline, diesel and hybrid alternatives is testament to this.
Only last week we asked you which of the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid or TDI you'd prefer, and this week we're asking the same question of the Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec diesel, and Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid.
The Stuttgart-based carmaker has revealed pricing for its new hybrid, and the luxury sedan should come in at $56,705.
As our sister site MotorAuthority reports, that's $3,600 more than the diesel variant, which loses out 3 mpg in city driving at 24 mpg, but beats the hybrid by 1 mpg on the highway, returning 31 mpg. That's a lot closer than the two Jetta variants are expected to be.
And even if the hybrid costs more than the diesel, it's still competitive in its class. A BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is $5,000 more, and even our current favorite, the 2013 Lexus GS 450h, is $2,000 more expensive than the Mercedes-Benz--though more economical, at 29 mpg city, 34 highway.
A feature we've seen in several other high-end hybrids is that of impressive power figures to go with the improved economy.
For the E400 Hybrid, that means 329 horsepower and 457 pounds-feet of torque from the combined efforts of its 3.5-liter V-6 and electric motor. We're used to seeing high torque figures from diesels, but even the BlueTec can't match the hybrid, at 400 lbs ft, with 210 horsepower from the 3.0-liter, turbodiesel V-6.
So which would you choose, diesel or hybrid? Or would you skip the Benz altogether and pay a little extra for the better MPG of the Lexus GS hybrid?...