Print 37 comment(s) - last by Xplorer4x4.. on Jul 24 at 10:47 PM

it will gain a combined fuel economy of 53.3 MPG from 51.4 MPG

Mercedes is updating its E-class line-up with a new nine-speed automatic.

Last weekend, Mercedes-Benz’s German language website configurator revealed that the nine-speed automatic -- known as 9G-Tronic -- will now be standard on the rear-wheel-drive E350 BlueTec. It will replace the seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox, which will now be standard equipment on the E220 BlueEfficiency Edition.

While bringing the 9G-Tronic along won't change the E350 BlueTec’s ability to hit 0-62 MPH in 6.6 seconds, it will gain a combined fuel economy [European rating] of 53.3 MPG (from 51.4 MPG with the 7G-Tronic). This is due to a boost in city MPG from 40.9 to 44.1. 

The 9G-Tronic also brings reduced average CO2 emissions from 144g/km to 138g/km.

Back in May, Mercedes said it was aiming for 45 MPG highway on the new 2014 E250 Bluetec 4Matic diesel sedan. Its 2.1-liter, 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine uses twin sequential turbochargers for 195 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Source: Autocar

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By inperfectdarkness on 7/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: Kudos!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2013 12:58:08 PM , Rating: 3
I think they look good but they're to expensive to fix once the warranty is gone.

RE: Kudos!
By Pneumothorax on 7/22/2013 1:38:30 PM , Rating: 1
Considering that many German cars from the early 2000's 6 speed trannys are now starting to fail, many of the used car buyers of these cars are getting serious sticker shock when they find out the ZF 6 speeds are basically non-serviceable by the vast majority of transmission shops and are basically left with buying a reman from a ZF approved source. The price >$5000. After labor costs, it's easily more than $7000 by the time you're done. This 9 speed tranny will be even worse...

RE: Kudos!
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 1:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Secret tip. Change the tranny fluid once a year. I do this in all my auto trans cars. Never had a tranny failure no matter the mileage. Yes, I know most maintenance schedules don't call for that.

RE: Kudos!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2013 2:12:53 PM , Rating: 3
Maintain a vehicle? Blasphemy I say! It should run forever on the same oils that came from the factory!

RE: Kudos!
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 3:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
It should run forever on the same oils that came from the factory!
LOL! I wonder how many people actually believe this though.

RE: Kudos!
By Complinitor on 7/22/2013 4:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
My father-in-law, for one. His Dodge Ram went 106K without a trans or oil change. What a mess that was...

RE: Kudos!
By SAN-Man on 7/23/2013 9:07:01 AM , Rating: 2
I saw the inside of a Toyota Camry rental (4 banger) after 40K miles with no oil change - it was not pretty.

RE: Kudos!
By Samus on 7/23/2013 1:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
That is exactly right. I've commented here a dozen times on this, having built transmissions for a good part of my career. Change the fluid, and install an additional transmission cooler. If the industry didn't lie to consumers with the rubbish about "filled for life" transmissions and "synthetic fluid that lasts 100k" then the transmission rebuilt business would plummet, cars would run longer, and people wouldn't buy new cars as often.

There is a manufactured lifespan for various components of cars. Engine failures are unacceptable (and can get manufactures in trouble with the EPA when they pollute more as a result) so transmissions were designed to be the weak link of the drivetrain. Consumers are used too and almost expect their transmissions to fail these days.

And just when slushbox torque-converter transmissions started becoming reliable in the 80's and 90's, the industry moved to DCT's and CVT's. The icing on the cake is most dealers charge $500+ to flush the exotic fluids in these transmissions so nobody does it.

But if you have a torque converter transmission, changing the fluid is <$100 (you don't even have to completely flush it, and replacing the filter (if there is one) is only necessary every other flush in reality. Some transmissions are cooled through the radiator coolant! Transmission fluid's ideal operating temperature is around 150-160F, coolant is always 180F+, so this is inherently a bad implementation from manufactures BUT ITS CHEAP.

Adding a cooler will extend your fluid life as heat is the obvious cause of fluid breakdown. Vehicles with tow packages always have less consumer complaints in regard to transmission problems because tow packages often bundle a larger transmission cooler. A dual-layer aluminum cooler and a few feet of hose is $100 and can double the life of your fluid. Synthetic fluids last longer, but they still break down.

What I find annoying is the industry has taken it to a new extreme in making standard (manual) transmissions more unreliable as well. But instead of fluid breaking down (which is very unusual in manual transmissions because they generate very little heat compared to automatics) they designed the internal components to fail. Dual-mass flywheels, the dumbest invention in automotive history (other than maybe wasted spark ignitions) are a completely unnecessary, expensive, heavy, and guaranteed failure point of any manual transmission. The flywheel almost always fails before the clutch friction material.

The obvious ridiculousness of DMF's is their selling point is to reduce NVH and improve shifting quality with smooth clutch engagement. They do this...a little. Over 90% of the clutch engagement is dampened by the springs in the clutch disc, so the ~10% increase in smoothness to replace a $400+ flywheel (traditionally flywheels don't need replacing so there is additional LABOR as well when doing a clutch) is just a scam on customers. DMF's also weigh 2-3 TIMES more than a cromoly or steel flywheel so this is additional drag on the engine, wear on the bearings and a leading cause for crank-walk. If you've had a DMF in a non-diesel Volkswagen or BMW, you know all this too well if your leaking oil from the rear main seal.

Transmission are the weak point of vehicles, they always have been, and they don't have to be. But this is the business.

RE: Kudos!
By Pneumothorax on 7/23/2013 9:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
I wish it would only cost $100 to change the tranny fluid/filter on these cars lol... Not sure about MB prices, but BMW wants about $500-600 for a change. You ask why?! Even at internet discounted prices, the fluid alone is >$200 shipped and the filter is about $230...

RE: Kudos!
By Samus on 7/23/2013 3:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Go to a transmission shop or lube shop that has a T-tech machine. It uses your transmission pump to pump new fluid in and old fluid out. It is over 95% effective at removing old fluid and requires nothing other than detaching the transmission cooler hose clamps. Most of the time you don't even need to go under the car.

RE: Kudos!
By Mitch101 on 7/22/2013 3:38:42 PM , Rating: 3
Im going assume neither of you have owned a Chrysler.

RE: Kudos!
By btc909 on 7/23/2013 3:14:11 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I do. Have to wait a good several seconds AFTER you put the car into gear before you start moving. Also like to bang gears when it is below 60F outside until the trans heats up.

RE: Kudos!
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2013 9:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
My parents have. They've been pretty much flawless. Because my dad maintains the vehicles so well.

RE: Kudos!
By Mitch101 on 7/23/2013 2:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
Let me warn you ahead of time. While I loved my Chrysler car very much I attempted to have everything regularly on it serviced in an effort to make it last forever. I treated it as if I was going to drive it for 20 years and be in commercials where the car lasted like one of those Mercedes a million miles. After all whats $20.00 here and there instead of a car payment. I even paid to have the timing belt replaced at 100K as per the service manual despite the dealership recommending its not necessary. However nothing in the world of preventative maintenance could prevent transmissions from going. It did last well beyond the average person who experienced a failed transmission but inevitably it will fail. Engine by Mitsubishi still going strong but transmission #3 was close at hand and everything around the engine began failing. Never a drop of oil hit the ground. Oil never ran old or over 3k miles. Trans fluid replaced every 25-30k miles. I did get maybe 6 years of no car payments out of her she paid me back to a degree. I won but wonder how well I could have really done without replacing the transmission twice.

I ultimately had to unload the car because mechanics were making things worse charging me a small fortune to have the same problems in some cases before I left the parking lot. I blame giving her up on the mechanics who just couldn't fix her properly and with work I needed the reliability she once had. I could keep mechanics trying and be unemployed in the process so I had to give her up. I should have put her in the garage and done the work myself. I never beat on her and most of her commute was highway. I miss that car to this day but whenever you buy a Chrysler make sure the transmission is from someone like Mitsubishi.

RE: Kudos!
By Ammohunt on 7/22/2013 3:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
Who changes their own fluids nowadays? I do on my older vehicles but the new ones i have done at the dealership.

RE: Kudos!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2013 4:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
Who changes their own fluids nowadays?

*raises hand*

But yeah I know, totally in the minority here. Plus Subbies are fairly easy to work on. I wouldn't touch a German vehicle as they're specifically designed to force you into the dealership for what should be the most simplest of tasks.

RE: Kudos!
By BZDTemp on 7/22/2013 5:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
Could be worse.

While I know a German car where one has to remove the air box to change one of the head light bulbs there is a French car where replacing a head light bulb requires you to take off the left front wheel and more to get at it!

RE: Kudos!
By T2k on 7/22/2013 5:54:11 PM , Rating: 1
Amen to that, there's nothing worse than deliberate French BS especially in their cars.

RE: Kudos!
By piomaj on 7/23/2013 9:25:19 AM , Rating: 2
Which car? I had Renault Megane MK II and in fact to replace a head light you had to do it through the bumper but you didn't have to take off the wheel, you just needed to turn the wheel to one side. I did it myself once and my hand and arms were all dirty afterwards.

RE: Kudos!
By Xplorer4x4 on 7/24/2013 10:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't touch a German vehicle as they're specifically designed to force you into the dealership for what should be the most simplest of tasks.

I thought this increasingly applied to more and more vehicles.

RE: Kudos!
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 11:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
Who changes their own fluids nowadays? I do on my older vehicles but the new ones i have done at the dealership.
I don't. I take them to the dealer to have it done although I do occasionally change the oil.

RE: Kudos!
By Apone on 7/23/2013 1:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
Change the tranny fluid once a year.

You know what, that's actually not a bad idea and it's a relatively cheap service to get done as a transmission fluid replacement for my Civic or Accord would only run about $100 each. Thanx!

@ FITCamaro - LOL!

RE: Kudos!
By superflex on 7/23/2013 10:16:35 AM , Rating: 1
News Flash,
The 5 speed tranny on the Audi auto quattros from 2000 to 2005 are sealed. There's no way to change the fluid, Copernicus.
Dont know if this applies to the 6, 7 and 8 speed autos post 2005.
Spuke must be speaking about the shitstain auto tranny's BWM puts in their cars.

RE: Kudos!
By RenM on 7/22/2013 2:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Mercedes develops their own transmissions. Only Audi and BMW use ZF transmissions.

RE: Kudos!
By inperfectdarkness on 7/24/2013 3:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
If you can afford a luxury car, you can afford the maintenance on a luxury transmission. You think routine maintenance on a 458 should cost the same as it does on a Taurus? ROFL!

I'm also not 100% certain that such "failures" as you claim aren't the symptoms of the growing pains of new technology. Semi's have WAY more speeds than this, and their transmissions last quite a long time. Plus, how many miles are we talking about on these transmissions? If we're talking about 150k miles...imho, that's not too shabby for a transmission.


what MB uses ZF again?

RE: Kudos!
By dgingerich on 7/22/2013 5:09:35 PM , Rating: 1
You think they look good? I think they're ugly. I hate MB full line of styling. BMW's 300 series looks a heck of a lot better. Even my old 91 Pontiac 6000 looked better than this thing.

There are a few examples of cars that look good: my 2005 Monte Carlo, any year Corvette, recent Mustangs and Camaros. I'd prefer any of those over a MB, based on just styling.

However, ugly as these are, they're very reliable. They make really good cars, mechanically. I'd buy one just for that, even if they're ugly.

RE: Kudos!
By Sivar on 7/22/2013 7:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Reliable? Mercedes?
A little homework is in order. While Mercedes has improved from their 2006 and earlier lows, they are overall the most problematic brand besides Range Rover, though I suspect that's because Range Rover owners actually take their vehicles off road.

The best defense I've heard for Mercedes' terrible reliability is that, being luxury cars, they have more equipment that can fail. Fair enough, but Lexus is top-rated and has just as many toys.

If you want reliable, get a Lexus/Toyota, Acura/Honda, Subaru, some Fords, or (interestingly) Porche.
(I know, there are exceptions, and there are specific models of other makers that have good records, with the possible exception of Chrysler).

RE: Kudos!
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 11:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think they all look great!! Seriously aggressive styling. The E class being my favorite. Although, I wouldn't own one cause I like a lot sport in cars and even the AMG's aren't enough for me. If I were choosing a luxury, sports sedan, it would be a Panamera Turbo or CTS-V. The CTS-V being a lot more attainable.

RE: Kudos!
By pandemonium on 7/23/2013 2:00:41 AM , Rating: 1
Voted down because I'm a douche and I didn't like what this guy had to say. /rollseyes

The more speeds can help with mileage, but it can also make the transmission that much more complicated and more prone to have problems. Let's wait to see how many issues pop up from owners in a few years before we decide if this was the right move or not.

Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By jgutteri on 7/23/2013 5:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
This article by James May comes immediately to mind - comparing the race to add more razor blades to the race to add more gears, without actually adding anything to the quality of either.

Interested in your thoughts.

RE: Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By SAN-Man on 7/23/2013 7:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
With the new transmission the car is approaching 45 MPG in the city - I'd say it's having some benefit.

RE: Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By PaFromFL on 7/23/2013 9:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's ironic that the number of gears is increasing at the same time more engines are turbocharged and exhibit broad torque curves starting at relatively low rpms.

RE: Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By rountad on 7/23/2013 10:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
Disappointing is my comment.

I know that he knows his stuff, but he didn't exhibit it in that article. Amusing, but light on substance and a little misleading.

He didn't talk about overdrive gears or the effect that rpm will have. This ignores at least one of the main reasons for the increasing number of gears. NVH might be another, depending on application, and he chose to ignore that, too.

RE: Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/23/2013 10:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
The 9 gears are necessary to keep the engine revs low. The higher you rev the engine relative to the speed you are going, the more gas you burn.

That said, I am not so keen on 9-speed slushbox transmissions. They are way too complex, inefficient and expensive as hell to service.

If MB wants to do 9 speeds, they would have been way better off with a dual (wet) clutch tranny similar to those used by Volkswagen, BMW and Porsche as well as most exotic supercars. This way you can get your 9 speeds and get excellent shifting performance without the vampiric losses from the torque converter and hydraulic pumps.

RE: Are 9 Gears Really Necessary?
By mike8675309 on 7/23/2013 11:28:57 AM , Rating: 2
The 9 gears are necessary to keep the engine at its most efficient rpm for the given task at any particular time. Not necessarily low rpm. And with direct injection and today's control systems, your fuel usage is directly related to calculated demands and has only a passing relation to engine rpm as one more variable that goes into the calculation. If this is a European only vehicle, I would be surprised if stratified charge is not part of the efficiency attempts in the control system.

Complexity perhaps, but inefficient I highly doubt. With a claimed 16% efficiency gain over a equivalent 6 speed auto I would at least call it sufficiently efficient for the application.

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/23/2013 4:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you are speaking in respect to having the extra gear ratios I would agree - 9 gears is more efficient than 6 for keeping an engine within its most efficient rpm range for the load it is under. BUT the actual mechanical operation of any hydraulic automatic transmission is horribly inefficient. The parasitic losses from driving the hydraulics and the slippage of the torque converter are horrible. Lockup converters help, but you still get major frictional losses and heat from the large number of clutches and bands needed to control the sun, ring and planet gears in planetary gear transmissions.

Think about it for a minute. A 4-speed (3 plus overdrive & reverse) automatic transmission has a total of 2 bands and 4 clutches. For purpose of figuring losses, think of a band as another clutch. Each clutch in the driveline introduces frictional power losses. So 6 clutches in total for a simple 4 speed tranny.

Now just imagine the complexity and inefficiency of 9 speeds. Add another band and clutch for each new planetary gearset.

If car makers really need to go turn to stratospheric numbers of speeds, they really should think about moving away from the common slushbox that has been around since the 1950s. There are better ways of incorporating high numbers of gears without incurring all the parasitic and frictional losses.

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