Mercedes-Benz drops out of diesel game… for now
You won’t find a single 2017 Mercedes-Benz vehicle fueled by diesel in an American showroom this year, the German luxury brand has confirmed.
At least for now, the chapter is finally closed on Mercedes’ lengthy efforts at seeking EPA certification for its diesel engines. The automaker says it hasn’t made a formal decision yet about its 2018 lineup.
After Volkswagen was caught deliberately cheating on the EPA’s test with its diesels in 2015, the federal agency has started to more aggressively scrutinize certification applications. Before any automaker can sell a car in an American showroom, it needs to receive EPA certification confirming that the vehicle’s emissions system is fully compliant with federal regulations.
The revelation underscores how difficult emissions certification has become for automakers who want to sell a diesel here—but several brands have decided to dip their toes into the market recently.
In the last few years, Mercedes has sold diesel versions of its E-Class sedan and several of its SUVs. A C-Class compact sedan with a 2.1-liter turbodiesel has long been planned, but it won’t be showing up any time soon.
Mercedes does sell its large Sprinter vans with diesel engines, but their hefty size and weight mean that they are tested separately from passenger cars.
A hint at the future?
It does appear that Mercedes is still testing diesel engines in the U.S., however.
Just today, one of The Car Connection’s editors spotted a GLS350d wearing manufacturer plates possibly undergoing high altitude testing near Denver.
While this spot doesn’t necessarily indicate that a 2018 Mercedes-Benz diesel will be sold here, it does suggest that Mercedes may not be out of the diesel segment entirely.