New Mercedes CLA hybrid: prices, spec and on-sale date for 250 e plug-ins

Mercedes CLA 250 e plug-in on sale now, available in Coupe and Shooting Brake bodystyles

Mercedes CLA 250 e Shooting Brake

Mercedes is set to add plug-in hybrid power to the CLA range, filling a gap in the wider A 250 e model line-up. Both four-door Coupe (pictured below) and five-door Shooting Brake (above) hybrids will be offered, using the same Mercedes EQ Power setup as the A-Class hatchback and saloon, and the B-Class hatchback.

Sales were due to start in April for early summer 2020 deliveries, however the coronavirus pandemic has pushed sales back to July 2020. Prices start at £37,395 for the Coupe in AMG Line Premium guise, topping out at £39,895 for the Shooting Brake in AMG Line Premium trim. The plug-in hybrid CLA 250 e models sit above their conventional petrol and diesel-powered counterparts in the range, but below the sporty Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and CLA 45 models.

The two CLA hybrids slot into an ever-expanding Mercedes plug-in hybrid range, which also includes the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class saloons, as well as the GLC and GLE SUVs.

Mercedes CLA 250 e

Mercedes CLA hybrid performance, range, fuel economy and emissions

The CLA 250 e powertrain consists of a 1.3-litre petrol engine and 101bhp electric motor, which together produce 215bhp and 450Nm of torque. The Coupe can sprint to 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds, with the Shooting Brake estate just a tenth slower, at 6.9 seconds. The Coupe has a top speed of 149mph and the Shooting Brake is slightly slower, at 146mph.

Each can get to around 87mph under electric power alone; the Coupe can manage 37 to 43 miles of driving in this mode, while the Shooting Brake can do 36 to 42 miles. Combined fuel economy of around 177 to 202mpg is claimed, but as ever, this will depend heavily on having fully charged batteries, a light right foot and the right combination of petrol and pure-electric running.

Five levels of regenerative braking an be selected and are controllable using paddles on the steering wheel; other plug-in hybrid features include the ability to pre-warm or cool the cabin before a journey without turning on the engine, as well as a drivetrain that can use sat-nav data to calculate the best use of its electric power when left to its own devices. The usual Comfort, Eco and Sport modes let the driver decide on a setup as required.

Developing a new exhaust system and fuel tank has, Mercedes says, allowed more space below the passenger seats for the hybrid system’s battery, meaning minimal impact on interior space compared to the non-hybrid CLA models. That battery can charge from 10 to 100% from a 7.4kW home wallbox in an hour and 45 minutes, according to Mercedes. The firm also quotes a 24kW DC charging time from 10 to 80% of around 25 minutes.