A 21st Century 240D

The Mercedes-Benz ML is the latest victim of powertrain downsizing, but this time, it’s the diesel version that’s getting its cylinder count trimmed.

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Curbside Classic: 1977 Mercedes 240D Diesel (W123)

There’s a powerful sense of urgency in getting this Curbside Classic written. It’s to document the remarkable horde of old Mercedes W123 diesels hereabouts, most of them proudly sporting a biodiesel sticker. But the biodiesel fad was already waning substantially when I shot this car a year ago. And since the $1/gallon federal subsidy for biodiesel disappeared with the new year, biodiesel itself is at risk of becoming a CC (canola classic?). Congress is currently considering a renewal, but regardless, Mercedes W123s will still be around. In fact they may well be the last internal combustion engine cars running long after Peak Oil is a distant warm and fuzzy memory. Without being uncharitable, these cars are the automotive cockroaches: they’ll eat the grease out of your dirty frying pan, and you can’t hardly kill them.

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  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.