Mercedes A-Class hybrid review
The smallest plug-in that Mercedes makes, the A 250 e is also one of the most efficient. It's a great, if not overly exciting, company-car choice
- Very efficient
- Low company-car tax
- Class-leading interior
- Unrefined drivetrain
- Occasionally lumpy ride
- Not the most fun to drive
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||43-44 miles||257mpg||22-24g/km|
In common with other premium manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Volvo, Mercedes is in the process of rolling out plug-in hybrid versions of almost everything it sells, including 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 new Audi A3 e-tron also yet to go on sale. Its main rival for the moment, then, is the second-generation Volkswagen Golf GTE.
But the A 250 e is impressive enough in its own right that we reckon it won't just be bought because it's one of the only options. For starters, it boasts everything that makes the petrol and diesel A-Class so appealing: sharp, modern styling, a luxurious interior and some of the most advanced in-car technology on the market. To that combination, the A 250 e adds the promise of ultra-low running costs – particularly for the company-car users.
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 22-24g/km CO2 emissions and 257mpg fuel economy. And for company-car users, the A 250 e is about as cheap as it gets (short of a pure-electric car) 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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe smallest plug-in that Mercedes makes, the A 250 e is also one of the most efficient. It's a great, if not overly exciting, company-car choice
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe claimed figures don’t quite bear up in real life, but the Mercedes A-Class hybrid is still very efficient
- 3Running costsPricey servicing detracts from the Mercedes A-Class hybrid's otherwise-frugal nature, which includes very cheap company-car tax
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe Mercedes A-Class hybrid is more than fast enough, but an unrefined drivetrain and unexciting handling let it down
- 5Interior & comfortAny niggles elsewhere are put to rest once you climb inside the Mercedes A-Class – it has one of the best interiors of any small car
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Mercedes A-Class hybrid sacrifices some boot space to batteries, but it’s still a fairly practical hatchback
- 7Reliability & safetyA stellar safety rating should bring peace of mind for Mercedes A-Class hybrid buyers, as should decent owner feedback