In an important step toward flooding our shores with torquey, fuel-efficient engines, Mercedes' BlueTEC SUVs have been granted the first consumer tax credits for diesel vehicles awarded by the EPA/IRS. The Detroit News reports the Mercedes ML 320 BlueTEC, R 320 BlueTEC, and GL 320 BlueTEC, all on sale starting October 1, have achieved 50-state emissions status and are capable of traveling 600 miles on a tank of fuel. The certification finally allows them hallowed status thanks to the Qualified Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit, something that hasn't always been the case. So, how much can you recoup on your investment? That depends: ML 320 BlueTEC buyers get a $900 tax credit, while those opting for an R320 BlueTEC can get $1,550. The GL 320 BlueTEC is the big winner with up to an $1,800 tax credit depending on an individual's tax status. We're glad to see incentives for fuel-efficient vehicles finally extending into the diesel realm. Since the price premium for a diesel is generally less than for a hybrid, credits should make diesels even more competitive; now if we could just do something about the price of diesel fuel. [Detroit News]


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