Car News:  Oversteer

I'm Really Tempted to Buy a Used Mercedes S 350 Diesel

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$12,143
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$10,998
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$15,975
RELATED READING
See all Mercedes-Benz S+350 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Tyler Hoover June 2018

Recently, I was doing my nightly ritual of browsing cars for sale on Autotrader before going to bed. This ritual has resulted in plenty of impulse buys -- like my most recent Tesla Model S -- but now I find myself longing for the original luxury S: a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but with a dinosaur of an engine under the hood.

After over a decade of rolling coal and dealing with the various quirks of the 20 oil-burners I owned during that time, I thought I had finally outgrown my Mercedes diesel fixation. I felt the old diesels were too primitive and needy compared to modern cars, but with modern emissions restrictions on diesels, there wasn't any benefit to owning a newer diesel. Unfortunately for my poor impulse control, I think I've found an exception with the S 350 BlueTec.

Only available for a few years, I see the 2012-2013 S 350 BlueTec as an apology. First, they were making up for the fact that a diesel had not been offered in the S-Class lineup for the U.S. market in almost 20 years, and I imagine they were hoping for some pent-up demand. Also, I think the S 350 was brought over so everyone would forget about the disastrous S 400 hybrid, which tended to stall randomly and has been reported to give a nightmare out-of-warranty experience.

I had always dismissed the S 350 because it was expensive, but depreciation has finally put these cars into the low-$20,000 range -- and I can't think of a much better car for the money. The car that particularly piques my interest is a well-equipped 2012 model offered by a dealer out of Texas for $21,986. While it does have higher mileage, the optional 19-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system make up for it -- as well as the black/black color combo. Of course, it has the normal S-Class niceties as well, like Distronic cruise control and 4-setting massaging seats.

So why buy a diesel over the standard gasoline V8 S 550? The only downside between the two is acceleration -- but it's not as dramatic a difference compared to the horribly slow diesels of the past. The S 550 grunts its way to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, while the normally aspirated V6 diesel in the S 350 manages 6.9 seconds. I imagine the difference off the line isn't much, as the diesel boasts an impressive 455 lb-ft of torque. Still, the reward for the sacrifice in acceleration is fuel economy, as according to EPA estimates, the S350 gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway. With its large fuel tank, the total range is over 700 miles -- way farther than anyone's bladder can last.

After my recent range-anxiety-addled trip in my 250-mile-max-range Tesla, having a big, comfortable sedan with enough range to cross half the continent on a few tanks sounds pretty good. For now, I've managed to resist the temptation to buy -- but really, an empty bank account is making it much easier to do this. Unfortunately, I can't buy them all...

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
The Early Chrysler LX Cars Aren't Aging Well
Video | Here's Why the BMW i3 Isn't Worth $50,000
Here Are the Cheapest Electric Cars For Sale on Autotrader

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$12,143
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$10,998
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$15,975
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
I'm Really Tempted to Buy a Used Mercedes S 350 Diesel - Autotrader