Mercedes-Benz is the one producer at present investing in diesel plug-in hybrid, providing its de powertrain within the C, E and GLE.
The two.0-litre diesel engine, additionally discovered within the C 220 d, is mated to an electrical motor contained in the nine-speed automated transmission.
A 13.5kWh battery pack lives within the boot, offering a variety of as much as 32 miles.
Whereas diesel isn’t precisely everybody’s favorite gasoline in the mean time, it makes the C 300 de a plug-in hybrid that’s usable for high-mileage drivers.
We thought it made plenty of sense within the E 300 de that we ran on long-term check, averaging greater than 60mpg over a six-month interval.
Within the lighter, smaller C-Class, the powertrain guarantees even higher effectivity and efficiency.
The engine serves up a mixed 306PS, giving a 0-60mph time of lower than six seconds. Extra spectacular is the torque, 700Nm – the identical as you’ll get from the V8 in an AMG-powered C 63 S.
It means the C 300 de is ready to dispatch some severe mid-range grunt, which ought to put a smile on the face of anybody behind the wheel.
Larger smiles will come from the benefit-in-kind tax invoice. With CO2 emissions from 38g/km, a driver might pay as little as £114 per 30 days.
Fleet managers must be equally happy. Official gasoline consumption is rated at some 200mpg, however even in real-world use the automotive ought to be capable of handle 60-80mpg and canopy at the least 25 miles on a cost.
In the course of the week we spent with the automotive, we managed 61.4mpg over 600 miles – with greater than a 3rd on electrical. Even with a depleted battery, it managed greater than 50mpg on a visit from Coventry to Peterborough.
Petrol plug-in hybrids merely can’t match this efficiency.
The C 300 de prices from £43,000 – making it round £3,750 greater than the equal BMW 330e. Operating prices, on paper, favour the BMW at 48 pence per mile (ppm) versus 52ppm, however we’re assured the real-world gasoline financial savings would stability the books for individuals who frequently exceed the electric-only vary.
Boot area suffers because of the C-Class’ platform not being geared-up for electrification. Each the saloon and property function a sizeable lump within the cargo space, shedding round 150 litres of area.
There’s additionally a weight penalty to the tune of 300kg, when put next with a C 220d. Whereas the engine’s huge torque is sufficient to shrug this off when accelerating, stand on the brakes and also you’ll quickly really feel it.
Our AMG Line check mannequin felt agency, with weighty steering, making the drive extra partaking nevertheless it lacks the 330e’s finesse.
Plug-in hybrids are quickly gaining traction as firm automotive drivers search for tax-friendly options to the fashions they know and love. The C 300 de not solely ticks all of the packing containers to maintain a driver completely happy, however can even maintain gasoline prices in examine for a enterprise.
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