In parts of the country where there is a lot of snowfall in the winter four wheel drive cars are quite popular and these days there are quite a few choices in the market. Choosing one can be a challenge if you don’t already have strong preferences in the arena. But what if you need a full size car that features a great AWD system and is also quite fuel efficient? Here we’ll look at a model that has just those characteristics and may fit your needs.

Mercedes has been in the AWD space for some time now although most of the time the only cars that have featured their all wheel drive system -known as 4Matic- were the E class cars like the E320 and E430. That has changed with the introduction of a number of SUVs that use the 4Matic drive system and the spread of this feature to other sedans in the Mercedes line up.

Mercedes has also been growing their diesel vehicle portfolio. The company has a long history of diesel powered vehicles in the United States but now that diesel technology has advanced in refinement the range of applications a diesel engine can be used in has increased.

Introducing the S350 BlueTec With 4Matic AWD

The S350 BlueTec 4Matic is just one such example of the refinement of diesel technology. There are some people who lament the added emissions systems like the urea injection you will find on Mercedes BlueTec models but the efficiency of modern Mercedes diesels is quite impressive regardless.

The S350 BlueTec features the German company’s 3.0L diesel power plant that produces 240 HP and an impressive 455 lb-ft of torque. As you may know turbocharged diesel engines are known for their high torque output and this engine is no exception. Of course one of the other important performance numbers is the expected MPG rate for city and highway driving.

The S350 diesel is rated at 21 MPG for the city and 31 MPG for the highway. It is unclear how accurate this is since EPA estimates can be quite inaccurate and many diesel vehicle owners exceed the EPA figures by a fairly large margin. It would not be surprising if you were to achieve as high as 40 MPG in perfect highway conditions in this car.

Advantages of the 4Matic Traction System

Beyond the efficiency of the car you should also keep in mind that this is an AWD model so the car will be able to get as much of the 455 lb-ft of torque it produces to the ground as possible. Modern all wheel drive systems monitor the situation of all the wheels and attempt to quickly transfer the most power to the wheels that have the most traction. Some are better than others at accomplishing this goal but given that the 4Matic system is quite proven there is little reason to worry about it’s performance in slick conditions.

Finding Other AWD Cars

Hopefully this information has helped you decide whether the Mercedes S class is a good 4WD car for your needs or if you should look into other models from automakers like Audi and BMW. If you would like to keep your car expenses low you can also check out the Subaru line up although most Subarus are much smaller AWD cars and a Japanese make that would be more comparable to Mercedes is a brand like Acura or Infiniti.

Mercedes S350 BlueTec Test Drive