Mercedes-Benz ML320 CDI - 2007 Review: There's a fight brewing between environmentally conscious car buyers. In one corner you have hybrid enthusiasts. Clean and electric, they tout their cars' fuel efficiency and technology. They also get nifty stickers that let them drive alone in carpool lanes.
In the opposing corner you have diesel. Once dismissed in the U.S. as too noisy, stinky, sooty and costly, new diesel technology from Europe is once again gaining traction. New diesels have lower emissions than gasoline, and new technology combined with cleaner U.S. diesel fuel is spurring a resurgence of interest in the technology.
For now, diesel passenger cars in the U.S. are almost exclusively European in origin, and one brand that is most strongly associated with the fuel is Mercedes-Benz. We drove a Bluetec E320 not too long ago and were generally impressed with the new-tech solution to the age old problems of diesel soot and odor. Mercedes has also applied an older diesel technology to its M-Class crossovers. Redesigned with sharp new clothes a couple years ago, the ML is already a class leader. With diesel technology under the hood, we wanted to know if it was a technology and environmental leader as well.