Who doesn’t know Mercedes-Benz? The internationally known German automotive brand has been synonymous with glitz, glamour, and opulence since its introduction to the world at large decades ago.
As a global brand in the car and automotive industry, the German manufacturer’s catalogue of car models ranges from the humble sedan to SUVs to vans, trucks, and its signature luxury lineup of cars. And as part of its globalisation efforts and efforts to stay up to date with trends, the E-class model from Mercedes, in particular, has recently taken steps into electrification.
Dubbed the E300e, this plug-in hybrid variant is intended to offer environmentally conscious customers an alternative electric car equipped with the entire experience of Mercedes’ renowned executive sedan.
Though, does this green update actually offer more than just a hybrid-car layout? Or does it only work to compromise the carefully built reputation that Mercedes has protected thus far? Here’s our review.
Mercedes-Benz E300e Review
As a whole, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class comprises a complex range of models including multiple body aesthetics and performance factors. But the E300e is its one and only hybrid version.
Essentially, the E300e is an electrified version of what would normally be the mid-grade sedan, sitting between the E200 and E350 — the latter of which, was intended to replace the petrol-powered E300 older model.
In the whole scheme of things, the E300e does have its own edge over the E350 (which offers a powerful petrol engine, seat trim with real leather, larger alloy wheels, etc.), while being a tad faster and more complex.
The E-Class line as a whole recently received a much-needed facelift to bring it up-to-date with the contemporary design ethos that Mercedes has been successfully adopting into its modern model cars. It certainly shows as a refinement of an already elegant sedan.
The E300e’s new blacked-out highlights perfectly accentuate the car’s body, and the 10-spoke alloy rims fill the wheel arches with ease while also seamlessly drawing your eyes to notice the car’s low stance and big brakes.
And while the company has been updating its look, you’ll be glad to know that the classic Benz beltline that runs from the front lights to the rear is still present — tying up a well-built package in beautiful form.
Inside, you’ll find luxury-focused touches present throughout the E300e’s interior which could even be comparable to its rivals. Lavish wood trims decorate the entirety of the doors and across the grandiose dashboard, while the flashing screen fittings somehow don’t look too out of place from the overall lux theme of the vehicle. In combination, this set-up offers the E300e a much more stately ambience, matched by the synthetic leather “Artico” seats which feel more like lounge chairs that you can easily sink into.
The E-Class series takes much inspiration from a myriad of sources from all over the world — one of which is a taxicab, as far as interior spaces go.
The rear seat offers enormous space, while the aforementioned luxurious trims are completed by the dazzling milled silver speaker fittings, woodgrain trim, and rear heated seats. Alongside the rear heated seats, other amenities include large bottle holders built into the doors, flip-out holders in the armrest, hardshell pockets on the back of the front seats, as well as dual adjustable air vents with a lock-off.
And the front seat space is also not something to scoff at. Offering generous space, comfortable and ergonomic designs, you’ll feel as comfortable at the helm as you were if you were a passenger sitting behind. But while the space is more than ample, a sedan like this is never going to beat the ease of seating that an SUV affords. Thankfully, there are a few spots that this model Benz shines.
For instance, the four-door keyless entry design is certainly a nice touch. The same goes for the feature to pre-condition the cabin and the way the doors open wide. Up in front, you may customise the digital dash according to your needs. On the flip side, the layout of the E-Class does unfortunately create a slight reduction in boot space in the hybrid version. Because the E300e is a rear-drive sedan, the batteries need to be awkwardly placed under the flooring and on top of the axle. This would make for an odd tiered surface, with a reduction of space from 540 litres in a typical sedan-sized, petrol-run vehicle to a hatchback-sized 370 litres.
Under the hood, the E300e comes equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that is capable of producing 155kW/350Nm force mated to a nine-speed torque converter automatic transmission, powering the rear wheels.
Transmission-wise, you’ll find an electric motor that is more than capable of producing 90kW/440Nm on its own. This would easily allow for a full range of motion in the ‘Electric’ driving mode.
The highlight of the hybrid model though is obviously the fact that the E300e series is able to utilise hybrid assistance to the petrol motor. This would make the E300e the fastest non-AMG-badged E-Class model — with a claimed 0-100 time of just 5.7 seconds. Also, it has a 13.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack, allowing for a claimed electric-only driving range of up to 51km.
On the downside, the battery does tend to be used up rather quickly. Though the Benz offers some interesting driving modes to alleviate this problem.
On paper, the E300e is stated to consume just 2.2L/100km in any given combined driving cycle. This would, of course, include around 13.0kWh/100km of energy consumption by the car’s battery.
That said, this hybrid Benz sports a RON-98 powered fuel tank that is smaller (60L) than its pure combustion brethren. Likewise, the stated 51km consumption doesn’t actually translate all too well in the real world, as it falls more realistically in the late 30 to early 40km range.
As for the charging aspect, the E300e series accepts the European-standard Type 2 charging cable in AC form only. And the battery can be charged at a theoretical max speed of 7.2-7.4kW. That is to say, you may expect a charging time of around four to five hours to get to 80% charge from a 2.4kW wall socket with the included charger.