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Towing with a 250 Bluetec

 
Old 04-15-2015, 07:39 AM
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Towing with a 250 Bluetec

I'd like hear about your experience. I tried to buy a 350BT but couldn't find the right car (deal). So I bought a 250. I only took a test drive but was very impressed with performance. I haven't taken deliver yet. I may at sometime want to tow a small Travel Trailer, around 4000/5000#. Has anyone done this yet. Thanks,
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:36 PM
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144 lookers and not one that has towed with one of these?
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
144 lookers and not one that has towed with one of these?
The 250 is still relatively new. Seems as if the focus of the 250 is on fuel economy and that is what many of it's buyers are seeking. The '12-'14 350 however, had a larger audience for it's towing capacity and 455lb/ft of torque. I don't tow too often but often enough that I love how effortlessly it pulls a trailer. I could feel a difference w/ the 250 with only 3 passengers and no trailer. The 4 cylinder diesel is here to stay. Later in the year, I'll be upgrading to either a '15 GL350 or '16 GLE300d. If the latter, a Racechip tune would be going on immediately.
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:43 AM
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I am curious also. On occasion I tow a 4200# car and trailer, and at other times trailer a 3200# boat. I used to tow them with a Durango with the 4.7l V8 (230 HP and 290 ft. lbs torque) with 5 speed trans. Worked well on flat land, but getting into the hills pulling the car trailer was not fun. A trip to the Texas hill country a few years ago pushed me to look for something different... a diesel SUV. Also the mileage was very poor, towing about 11.5 mpg, and not much better just driving around town not pulling anything. The vehicle sat in the garage most of the time because of this.

With the 350 BT we towed from FL up into the mountains of TN late last year. Awesome! Averaged over 17 mpg doing 78 mph. The tranny never needed to down shift as opposed to the Durango that started out locked out of 5th gear in the tow and haul mode, then constantly down shifted with any hills.

Looks like the 250 has a little less HP but decent torque. Coupled with the decent MB tranny I expect it would tow OK, but if you are towing a lot it might become an issue.

I don't want to buy another vehicle soon, and I like our 350 BT, but as I told my wife if our 350 BT starts having problems it's gone.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by skw View Post
I could feel a difference w/ the 250 with only 3 passengers and no trailer.
You're joking, right?
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:26 AM
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Not joking. Have you driven both back to back? Not taking anything away from the 250 but it was even said in another thread, if you're just coming in and only drove the 250, it's fine. But if you've been driving the 350 previously, you can tell the difference.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by skw View Post
Not joking. Have you driven both back to back? Not taking anything away from the 250 but it was even said in another thread, if you're just coming in and only drove the 250, it's fine. But if you've been driving the 350 previously, you can tell the difference.
I don't doubt that there's a difference (nearly 90# ft torque) but "I could feel a difference w/ the 250 with only 3 passengers and no trailer."
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
I don't doubt that there's a difference (nearly 90# ft torque) but "I could feel a difference w/ the 250 with only 3 passengers and no trailer."
Highway on ramp merging as well as passing at speed. 250 had to downshift at times the 350 wouldn't. You're comparing a 4 cylinder to a 6 in a vehicle we've been driving for almost 3yrs. So yes, my wife and I both felt a difference with only us in the vehicle, no trailer. That was my experience and mine alone. You may feel different. I'm not talking about numbers on paper but rather real world driving.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:04 PM
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Yes - the 350BT and 250BT "drive" different - but all-in-all with adapting your drive style in 90% of the case both will "perform" equally.. In general the 250BT requires "more spirited" driving, and yes the 250BT will shift differently since it has a different torque/power curve than the 350BT.. but in this case, again, for 90% of the BT drivers all will equal out plus increased fuel economy...adaptation to more-efficent/"smaller" powerplants.. it's the future delivering starting now ..
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by skw View Post
Highway on ramp merging as well as passing at speed. 250 had to downshift at times the 350 wouldn't. You're comparing a 4 cylinder to a 6 in a vehicle we've been driving for almost 3yrs. So yes, my wife and I both felt a difference with only us in the vehicle, no trailer. That was my experience and mine alone. You may feel different. I'm not talking about numbers on paper but rather real world driving.
I rented a 250BT and felt the difference even without passengers. Then added passengers and it was even worse. Once you get used to and enjoy the 350BT, the 250BT's power drop is very noticeable. At least you get even better MPG. The trade off isn't worth it to me personally. However I think most drivers will be blissfully unaware.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fabbrisd1 View Post
Yes - the 350BT and 250BT "drive" different - but all-in-all with adapting your drive style in 90% of the case both will "perform" equally.. In general the 250BT requires "more spirited" driving, and yes the 250BT will shift differently since it has a different torque/power curve than the 350BT.. but in this case, again, for 90% of the BT drivers all will equal out plus increased fuel economy...adaptation to more-efficent/"smaller" powerplants.. it's the future delivering starting now ..
Did anyone else notice that he did not address the main concern of the OP - Towing with the 250BT?
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DUTCH View Post
Did anyone else notice that he did not address the main concern of the OP - Towing with the 250BT?
No one has. All I'm hearing is how much better the 350 is. I get that, but you can't buy a new 3.0 BT.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:54 PM
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what does MB say about towing 5K?
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:26 PM
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Tow "spec" is 6600 lbs - I have two customers who tow 3200+3500lbs, and I have Sprinter 250 customers who load 4K, which is over stated capacity.. that I can answer that factually..

I'm a fan of the 350BT, and if you have need frankly a good reason to move up to GL350, which I love a LOT..
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
No one has. All I'm hearing is how much better the 350 is. I get that, but you can't buy a new 3.0 BT.
Not in the US, anyway. Elsewhere in the world, including Canada, it's still available. More MBUSA "we know what you need better than you do yourself" BS!

Last edited by DUTCH; 04-29-2015 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:40 PM
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Still no replies from a 250 owner. Looks like I might be the first.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:40 PM
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I'll echo the comments of the 4 cyl> 6cyl difference! When I was in Florida this winter, I test drove a 250BT.... didn't even get out of the dealer lot! I had a GLK350 with ample power and smoothness... the 250ML was not going to do it!!! I was looking for a larger vehicle... now have a 2015 350BT. Thank God Canada hasn't cut the 350, although, it seems MB is introducing it's 4 cyl 250 with the new GLE! Glad I purchased the 350BT before its demise! It may be that Europeans like the 250(4cyls) but I believe North America will drop the hype pretty quickly! The new Volvo XC90 is a 4 cyl, super charged & turboed, but still a 4 cyl... and plenty of Volvo fanatics are already complaining... and Volvo's new SPA platform will only accept 4 cyl!!! I tow a I/O SeaRay on occasion. and the 350BT pulls it effortlessly. In fact, just this afternoon, my wife suggested it was hard to realize that we were pulling a trailer! I hope the 250 does you well, as I stated earlier, it didn't get out of the dealer lot with me.... best to you...!
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:11 PM
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I wish you hadn't wasted yours and my time, but I'm looking for people with 250 experience. PLEASE no more 350BT owners telling me how great their cars are.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
I wish you hadn't wasted yours and my time, but I'm looking for people with 250 experience. PLEASE no more 350BT owners telling me how great their cars are.
Perhaps you should read a little closer. He says he did drive an ML250BT, but only for a short distance.

If you'll note my comments in the test track thread, I noted that the ML250BT, in which I was a passenger on the off-road test track, was noisier and had more vibration than my ML350BTC. It also really had to bust its chops to negotiate the obstacles, which may be some of the reason for the extra noise and vibration; but the test driver did say that the ML350BTC is quieter, has less vibration and does not have to bust its chops as hard to negotiate the same test track obstacles. Now that's a very experienced and knowledgeable comparison.

I'm done.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
I wish you hadn't wasted yours and my time, but I'm looking for people with 250 experience. PLEASE no more 350BT owners telling me how great their cars are.
In your earlier post today...
" Still no replies from a 250 owner. Looks like I might be the first."
you seemed to be 'begging' for replies.... I wrote of my experience...! Sorry to waste your time....
Perhaps you should just 'Google' POSITIVE posts for the ML250...
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:41 AM
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Please folks, look at the title. Driving a car and towing with it are different. Nothing that has been said by previous posters is helpful. Please only reply if you own a 250 and have towed with it. By the way, I also drove a used 350 for a short distance (20 minutes) and found the 250 to have better initial throttle response. Thanks,
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gkgeiger View Post
Please folks, look at the title. Driving a car and towing with it are different. Nothing that has been said by previous posters is helpful.
Looks like your best option is to go and do some towing with it yourself, and report back here with your findings.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DUTCH View Post
Looks like your best option is to go and do some towing with it yourself, and report back here with your findings.
Dutch,
I will be doing that soon. I have a new motorcycle trailer ordered but the total weight loaded will be under 2000#. I can't get the idea of buying an Airstream Bambi out of my head. The Bambi's weigh around 4000# ready to travel. I'd hate to buy one and find out that I'm towing with an under powered vehicle. Although I believe it will be fine. We owned class A Motorhomes for several years but sold our last one when we bought the house in FL. My last MH weighed 30,000# but had 1100 LB Ft torque and could tow 5000#up hill with no sweat. So, if someone on here has experience with their 250 it could help me make my decision.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:53 AM
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When we had to choose a new car we ended up buying a E wagon 250cdi 4matic,simply cause this engine fitted perfectly our needs in terms of performance/consumptions/absurd italian taxation system balance,infact it has enough bhp and torque to pull a bike trailer and 4 passengers. We considered the ML too but imho the 350 is better here: the v6 is smoother and the extra power is always present and useful when you need to overtake with such a big suv; the 250 is a good choice if you want to pull a trailer (500 nm are not that bad) but if you want to drive "fast" the 350 is a better choise. My 2 cents
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:51 AM
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The wife and I just bought an ML250....and our manual says it is rated for 7,200lbs towing. I suppose that rating could be accurate with weight distribution and a 30 mile tow on level ground to the local state park on a 45 mph county road.

I own the vehicle and there is no way I would consider pulling anything over 3,500 lbs with this ML.

When my 14' cargo trailer is loaded, it is tipping the scales at about 4,000 lbs. My 2014 Ram EcoDiesel 3.0L V6 Turbo is on the verge of being too little and it has a 9,200lb tow rating. I do not understand why these manufacturers are so generous with their tow ratings. Seems their lawyers would warn them otherwise.

If anyone plans to tow in Colorado, you best take that tow weight rating and divide by 2. And if you are pulling a 6,000 Camper....good luck at getting over Wolf Creek Pass and even better luck to you on the decent. You will burn your brakes up, as there is no way that little 2.1L will do any engine braking for you.

By the way, don't get me wrong....our ML250 is the best vehicle we have ever owned.....love, love it!!!!!

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