The Mercedes Benz E-Class range needs no introduction, however many may not know of one of the most recent new models in the range.
It is a plug in Hybrid version of the new E Class. Late last year Mercedes revised the E Class range with new interiors, revised exterior styling and a host of new tech.
This week I am road testing the E300 de Plug In Hybrid.
So has it street cred?
The new E-Class is a dramatic looking car with sweeping lines and curves that go to create a distinctive and appealing style. Its distinctive lines are contemporary but will not offend die hard E-Class buyers either.
What’s it like inside?
The whole style and design of the interior is really faultless.
The attention to detail is impressive right down to the tactile nature of every switch and lever. There is plenty of oddments space with ample sized door pockets, a good glove box, a centre armrest and rear seat pockets.
The dashboard is a model of clarity, with the new MBUX digital instrument cluster being large and easy to read and personally configurable.
The driving position is excellent and the seats prove very comfortable.
Headroom and legroom in both the front and rear is generous while wide-angle opening on the doors makes access to the cabin very easy. The boot space however is really compromised by the battery, leaving a shelf that will not hold a huge amount. In fact it holds about 160 litre less than the non hybrid car.
Standard equipment is excellent and too detailed to list here but you will not want for anything.
What’s under the bonnet?
The E300 Hybrid is powered by a 2.0 litre four cylinder in-line turbocharged diesel and an electric motor with a large battery pack all of which is mated to a 9-G Tronic gearbox, which has been specially adapted for use in the Hybrid model.
In short then the Hybrid E-Class works. The car is very fuel efficient and offers very low emissions. the switch from electric motor power to diesel engine and back goes virtually unnoticed.
It managed 48 km from a full charge during my road test, but as always you really need to be disciplined and keep charging to get the best from the electric range and frankly I find this tiresome just to get 50km or so of electric range.
The diesel is quiet and efficient and fuel efficient. Road tax is €140.00
What is it like on the road?
Probably the single most impressive aspect of this car is the dynamic way in which it handles.
It handles and corners with aplomb. No matter what the conditions the new E-Class has limpet like grip through the corners inspiring great confidence The precise steering allows the driver to accurately place the car in a bend making it a pleasure to hustle along a twisty country road.
The other area that I was immediately impressed by is the high level of refinement. No matter what the speed, wind, road, and engine noise are almost non-existent.
The new E Class range kicks off at €52,500 for the E 200d. The E300 de plug in hybrid with AMG line trim cost €62,720 and with options it topped €70,000!
I liked the car but honestly it really does not seem worth the premium for this hybrid over and above the excellent diesel or even petrol versions.