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.
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.
- 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.
- 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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