Posted By RichC on July 13, 2006
We’re semi in the market for a new vehicle to replace the family Goobermobile (Chrysler Town & Country Minivan) that we’re donating to a family in need of a car. Although I’m struggling to get a grip on new car prices, I realized that anything replacing my all-wheel drive Limited Edition van is going to cost my kids a couple years of college or require a mortgage bigger than that of our first house! So … as the list begins I might as well start at the top although I did just talk about the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
According to my buddy Dieter Zetsche, head honcho over at DaimlerChrysler, the new BLUETEC 3.2L engine will be put in the E-Class sedan, the R-Class tourer, ML-Class SUV and new GL-Class full size SUV. While I’m interested in all 4, only two of them come close to replacing the cargo and people carrying ability of the minivan — and I really don’t want another van. It looks as if the GL offers the most room and a macho-ness that someone coming from a kid carrying minivan ‘needs’ when dealing with a looming mid-life crisis. With an outstanding towing capability, it also functions as a ‘real’ cargo U-Hauler for moving kids to college and from one apartment to the next. The diesel option, said to be coming sometime in the 2007 model year, looks to be the only option for me and my biodiesel desires. According to Zetsche, the Bluetec-equipped GL-Class will get 26 mpg. Not to bad for such a big vehicle. Who knows where the price will be, but like I said, I’m ‘just looking’ and starting at the top.
My second ‘just looking’ choice is the R-class cross over wagon-ish ‘tourer’ as Mercedes Benz calls it. It to will also get the Bluetec diesel sometime next year and if it is matched to the current 7 speed transmission should even improve on the GL’s 26 mpg boasting. The R class hugs the ground a bit more, offer tremendous amounts of space and comfort and offers a ride close to the S class luxury sedan. (driven a gas version) Its an impressive car and is currently the best vehicle for the money that Mercedes sells in my opinion. It will be worth a close look when the diesel arrives. Again no prices or firm dates.
All in all my search has just begun and there’s nothing like starting at the top and working your way down. (actually I’d like to know if VW is going to bring its smaller diesel Touareg to the US in the Touareg even better, the rumored Acura MDX Honda diesel … although I don’t think I can wait until 2009.) Looking is suppose to be the fun part right?