What's the furthest you've ever driven on a single tank of gas? 300 miles? 400? 500 even? With modest fuel tank sizes and so-so economy, most cars sold in the U.S. won't go a great deal further than this.
Some of the special diesel models sold in Europe will though, and a model that's certainly capable of such a feat is the Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid. British publication Autocar has just taken one a full 1,223 miles in one trip, setting off from northern Africa and hitting the U.K. without needing to fill up along the way.
No changes were made to the vehicle to allow it to complete such a feat, though the trip did involve using a model fitted with an optional larger 80-liter (21.1 gallon) fuel tank. At £100 in the U.K. ($170 at current exchange rates) it's something of a bargain as Mercedes options go, given the distances it allows you to travel without needing to visit a gas station.
Journalist Andrew Frankel had to deal with delays exiting Africa, traffic in France, heavy rain, intense heat and more, yet the trip between Tangier and Goodwood—and all 27 hours behind the wheel—went without any real problems. The E300 Bluetec Hybrid is no stripped-out, uncomfortable eco model either—the car's 2.1-liter diesel powerplant develops 201 horsepower and its electric motor another 26 horses, while a 0-62 mph sprint of 7.5 seconds and 150 mph top speed seem perfectly acceptable.
The car's eventual economy of 73.6 mpg (61.2 mpg U.S.) is highly impressive from a car rated in Europe at 57 mpg already—and while Frankel's average speed was below that of typical highway speeds, it does suggest that long, sedate journeys could be accomplished with very little effort and at not much cost. And it makes us wonder what you could really get from the 33 mpg-rated 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec sold here in the U.S...