Mercedes A-Class hybrid review

The smallest plug-in that Mercedes makes is also one of the most efficient. It's a great, if not overly exciting, company-car choice

£32,925 - £38,020
Plug-in hybrid

Pros

  • Efficient
  • Low company-car tax
  • Class-leading interior

Cons

  • Unrefined drivetrain
  • Occasionally lumpy ride
  • Not the most fun to drive
Car type Electric range Fuel economy CO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid 44 miles 257mpg 32g/km

In common with other premium manufacturers like BMW and Volvo, Mercedes is in the process of rolling out plug-in hybrid versions of almost everything it sells, and the latest to get the PHEV treatment is the big-selling Mercedes A-Class, in both hatchback and saloon form.

It gets the model name A 250 e, in line with larger Mercedes hybrids such as the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. It's also early to the party, with no sign yet of the planned BMW 1 Series plug-in hybrid and the upcoming second-generation Volkswagen Golf GTE and new Audi A3 e-tron also yet to go on sale.

But although it's facing an open goal in terms of direct competition right now, the A 250 e is impressive enough in its own right that we reckon it won't just be bought because it's the only option.

For starters, it boasts everything that makes the regular petrol and diesel A-Class variants so appealing: sharp, modern styling, a luxurious interior and some of the most advanced in-car technology on the market right now. To that combination, the A 250 e adds the promise of ultra-low running costs – particularly for the company-car users who'll account for a lot of its sales.

It uses the same 1.3-litre, 158bhp turbocharged petrol engine as the non-hybrid A 200 model, but here there's a 101bhp electric motor and a 15.6kWh battery in order to ensure significant zero-emissions running capability and a total system output of 215bhp.

Promised efficiency figures look very good on paper: a 44-mile electric range, as well as 32g/km CO2 emissions and 257mpg fuel economy. And for company-car users, the A 250 e is in the very lowest Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band during the 2020/21 financial year.

From a home wallbox supplying electricity at 7.4kW, the A 250 e will recharge from 10 to 100% capacity in an hour and 45 minutes. And if you can locate a public DC charger, you'll be able to top up from 10 to 80% in just 25 minutes.

In the UK, the A 250 e drivetrain is being offered in both hatchback and saloon bodystyles, but only in the relatively expensive and high-spec AMG Line trim level, with a variety of available options packs. Hatchback prices range from just under £33,000 to just under £37,500, while the saloon runs from just over £33,500 to just over £38,000 – in all cases about £1,500 more than the equivalent petrol model. But we think it's a premium worth paying for those ultra-low running costs.

For more on the Mercedes A-Class hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.