Mercedes has revealed the Mercedes E300de Saloon – prices start from £47,700, about £2,000 more than its BMW 530e saloon plug-in hybrid alternative. The BMW, though, isn’t available in an estate-car body, something you can have with the E300de for a smidgen under £50,000.
While the principal reason for choosing a E300de will be to lower your running costs compared with a petrol or conventional diesel E-Class, the Mercedes is no slouch in terms of performance. It has a 194hp 2.0-litre diesel engine that combines with a 122hp electric motor to get the car from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph.
However, the clever hybrid tech means that performance comes bundled together with an ability to travel 34 miles on battery power alone, return fuel economy of 166.mpg (realistically, a lot less on long runs) and be free from paying London’s Congestion Charge – a big plus if you commute into the capital. The plug-in part of the deal also means the Merc’s battery can be replenished from 10 to 100 percent in two hours using a 7.4 kW charger. Theoretically, that means short journeys can be completed using battery power alone cutting your running costs from pounds to just pence.
Along with the low running costs, you also get plenty of kit. Entry-level SE versions of the Mercedes E300de come with blind-spot assist, a wide-screen infotainment system surrounded by open-pore wood and aluminium, four USB plugs, illuminated door sills and auto park with front and rear sensors. You also get four-way lumbar support for the heated front seats, 64-colour ambient lighting , 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and keyless-go.
AMG Line models add the sporty kit you would expect of the badge, if not the additional performance. They get unique, twin-spoke alloy wheels (also 18-inches in size), tinted rear windows and a subtle body kit, Artico Dinamica leather upholstery (that’s man made to you and me), plus an AMG steering wheel with touch sensitive buttons.
Spending about £50K on a Mercedes does not immunise you from a visit to the options list, sadly. You can still spend another £2,395 on the Premium Pack, which gets you the Memory Pack – that’ll return the seat, mirrors and steering wheel to your saved setting – wireless phone charging, powerful LED headlights you can use in oncoming traffic and a 360-degree parking camera.
The £4,395 Premium Plus Package adds to all that with a Burmester surround-sound system, handsfree access, powered boot closing and a panoramic sunroof.
If you buy either premium packs, you can also have the Comfort Pack for £1,895 (SE models) or £3,295 (AMG Line). That gets you even more goodies including scented climate control, air suspension and Nappa (that’s the real-deal) leather.
While those upgrades add luxuries, the £595 Night Pack makes your E300de look more distinctive. It includes 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels in high-gloss black and a number of exterior black-glossy highlights.
Finally, you can bolster safety with the Driving Assistance package (£1,695) which means your E300de can essentially do all the driving for you on the motorway – including braking, steering, accelerating and even making evasive manoeuvres around imminent collisions.
If that all sounds like your cup of tea, order books are open now.