With greater public concern about how cars affect the environment, as well as rising fuel prices, many car manufacturers have released certain 'lines' of cars that cater to these concerns. Volkswagen's Bluemotion range, Renault's 'eco²' line and Ford's ECOnetic are all examples of this. Mercedes' own version, dubbed the FE line (which stands for Fuel Efficient), has just added the A-Class to the range, joining the existing C-Class FE model.

The base model in the FE A-Class line is the A160 CDI, which uses a substantial 0.4L less fuel per 100km than the regular A160 CDI. This gain in fuel consumption is achieved through certain modifications to the car, making it lighter and more economical. It also has the added benefit of reducing the level of carbon emissions, down from 128g in the standard model to 119g/km in the FE. Tires with a lower rolling-resistance have been used, as well as thinner glass for the windshield and front/side windows and a smaller fuel tank. The diesel versions also get a lighter gearbox that further helps to reduce weight, reports AutoTelegraaf.

The savings found in the C-Class are similar to that of the A-Class FE line, with fuel consumption in the C200 CDI falling by 0.6L/100km and carbon emissions dropping by 14g/km. In the premium segment, there isn’t much competition coming from Mercedes' usual competitors such as BMW and Audi just yet, and the FE line represents a shift in paradigm where even luxury carmakers recognize the burgeoning growth and interest in more environmentally conscious vehicles.