The Mercedes Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is the latest model from Mercedes to receive the green treatment from its engineers.
Car Reviewed – Mercedes Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
Based on the not-exactly-new E Class Saloon, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid features so much important technology that it is a key new addition to the Mercedes’ range.
In fact, to demonstrate Mercedes’ ability and commitment to greener motoring, the company recently ran a demonstration to showcase the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid’s abilities.
This being a huge automotive manufacturer, the demonstration was suitably impressive.
Mercedes took one of the E-Hybrids to the UK’s most southerly airport, Newquay, and filled the tank to the brim. Once full of diesel, the tank was sealed and the task started.
To showcase the performance aspect, it was to do a standing-start acceleration run to see how quickly it could go. For reference, it got from 0-62mph in just over seven seconds and got up to 136mph before the end of the runway was nigh and the brakes had to be applied.
Phase two of the test was to drive from the UK’s southernmost airport to the most northern on mainland UK – Wick in Scotland. All this with the tank sealed remember. It made the 830 mile journey with ease, travelling in real-world British traffic with all the poor weather and traffic jams this country has to offer and then had the same test at Wick as it was subjected to in Newquay – a standing start acceleration run.
At the end of all this normal driving and hard acceleration, the tank was unsealed and the results analysed. The E Class, a large executive saloon of course with all the trappings, luxury and weight associated with such a vehicle, made the journey averaging an impressive 67.3mpg and a theoretical range of more than 1,100 miles. And that is factoring in the acceleration runs at either end of the journey, something that would have hit the average fuel economy figure hard.
That test was given to us as an example of how well the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid could perform in normal driving conditions. And perhaps the biggest compliment that I can pay the E-Hybrid is that it felt just like a normal E-Class.
The power delivery is smooth with plenty of torque – a healthy figure of 369 lb ft – from the four cylinder diesel engine. The electric motor part of the hybrid badge is actually housed within the automatic gearbox. This is so that the engine can be disengaged from the clutch completely for periods to run the car purely on electric power – the secret behind its impressive fuel economy figures. The main thing is that you can’t feel any changeover though between diesel and electrical power – it’s completely seamless.
As for the rest of the driving experience, it is typically ‘Big Mercedes’ in attitude. It is extremely comfortable and rides over rough roads with ease. Yet the E Class is surprisingly agile when you push along. I’m not describing it lithe, far from it, but it disguises its weight well and won’t make you sea sick along a classic British B-road.
The rest of the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is standard E-Class. There is plenty of space, both up front and in the back, and the amount of gadgets will cover the bases of all but the fussiest of customers.
With prices starting at just under £40,000, standard kit is good though not extravagant, but the basics are covered with alloy wheels, leather trim and a number of electrical toys including windows, mirrors climate control and parking assist. There is, as always, an extensive options list too. The version I tested for example cost just over £56,000 after all the extras had been totted up.
The main ‘extra’ though is obviously the hybrid system itself and it is one of the best Mercedes Benz offer.
The one thing certain is that this technology will filter down to smaller cars too and, although the components behind the hybrid system are not ground-breaking, the fact that they are being developed and used in more and more cars is the all-important fact. I am sure that now Mercedes has engineered it into the E Class, it will look to develop the hybrid system into smaller and more affordable models since the E-Class Hybrid test has been so successful.
Mercedes Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid Specifications:
Price: £39,645 (Saloon), £41,435 (Estate)
Engine: 2.1 litre diesel with electric motor
Torque: 368 lb.ft
Economy: 67 mpg (Combined)
Emissions: 109 g/km
Top Speed: 150mph
0-62 time: 7.5 seconds
Read More Mercedes-Benz News and Reviews at Drive.co.uk/MERCEDES-BENZ
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