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Mercedes E300 diesel hybrid
0-60 in around 7 seconds, 65mpg, 12% company car tax, and because it’s a hybrid it’s got a 100% first year capital allowance. Sounds impossible but here it is

 

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid

Mercedes car review: DAVID WILKINS

What is it?

THE E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is the latest addition to Mercedes E-Class range. Under the bonnet, in place of the big six-cylinder engine the “300” badge might suggest, it gets the 2.15-litre four-cylinder diesel already seen in the E 220 and E 250 CDI models.

But that’s not all.

Mercedes E300 diesel hybrid
The hybrid is quicker than the diesel on which it’s based, about the only difference

The diesel engine is combined with an electric motor incorporated into the seven-speed automatic gearbox. That produces a hybrid drivetrain that turns out a maximum of 590 Nm of torque, which means the E 300 BlueTEC is not just an economy special – it’s a bit of a performance car as well, including company car tax, where it weighs in with a lowly 12% tax banding.

  • A 40% tax payer would pay £158 a month in company car tax

For the rest, the Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is pretty much the same E-Class recipe as before, with all the pros and cons – mainly pros – that make the E-Class such a successful business car.

Mercedes E300 diesel hybrid
As a business car the E300 hybrid gives nothing away to any other big Mercedes

 

What’s hot?

  • The Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid offers an extremely favourable performance/economy trade-off
  • The extra power provided by the electric motor adds to the amazing shove-down-the-road of the already very torquey diesel engine to produce a 0-62 mph acceleration time of just 7.5 seconds.
  • At the same time, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid achieves 65.7 mpg and 109 g/km – although some company car drivers may balk at the idea of opting for the unfashionably small 16-inch wheel option required to get below 110 g/km.
    Mercedes E300 diesel hybrid
    All the hybrid technology fits under the bonnet so there’s no sacrifice of luggage or passenger space
  • Still, the company car tax banding on the Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is unbelievably low: 12% in 2012/13; 13% the following tax year
  • And if your small business buys its cars, then think of the accelerated cash flow you’d get if you bought the Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid with its 100% first year capital allowance
  • Mercedes has managed to squeeze the entire hybrid system of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID – with its additional weight penalty of 60 kg – under the bonnet, so the traditionally generous luggage and passenger space of the E-Class is unaffected.
  • Unlike, say, the Toyota Prius, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid doesn’t feel very “hybridy” to drive. Apart from the extra performance, it feels almost exactly the same to drive as any other four-cylinder diesel Merc.

 

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