Blue is definitely the new green. Volkswagen has Bluemotion, Peugeot has Blue Lion. Now Mercedes-Benz has weighed in with BlueEfficiency.
Mercedes’ environmental moniker gets its first airing on the C-Class in January before rolling out to the A- and B-Class.
Cars deserving of the name meet strict criteria, including containing at least one energy management measure, optimised aero-dynamics and/or stop-start, lightweight construction and low roll resistant tyres. They must have significantly improved fuel economy.
The C180 Kompressor BlueEfficiency replaces the existing model with a price cut of £50 for the saloon and £35 for estate. Fuel consumption is cut by 11% to 44.8mpg; CO2 emissions drop by 18g/km to 149g/km, but power is not sacrificed.
The engine still pumps out 156bhp and 230 Nm of torque and returns similar sprint times (9.5s) to its predecessor, despite a 199cc reduction in displacement.
The high revving needed to get the best out of the
1.6-litre engine impacts on those environmental gains. But it is refined and perky enough for most drivers.
Although it is intended to curry favour with the growing band of buyers tinged with green, Mercedes expects it to account for the same share of C-Class sales as the old car.
Fleets will be attracted by the change in tax bands – down from 21% to 17% – saving up to £30.90 a month.
For private buyers, the C180 BlueEfficiency moves from road fund licence band E to C for a £50 saving.
The 2.2-litre diesel C-Class will become a BlueEfficiency model later in the year, delivering 204bhp/500Nm torque with 138g/km CO2.