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

Mercedes unveils plug-in hybrid CLA 250 e in Coupe and Shooting Brake bodystyles; order books open in April

Mercedes CLA 250 e

Mercedes has added a plug-in hybrid powertrain to its CLA range, filling a gap in the wider A 250 e model line-up. The new models use the same Mercedes EQ Power setup as found in the A-Class hatchback and saloon, consisting of a 1.3-litre petrol engine and 101bhp electric motor, which together produce 215bhp and 450Nm of torque.

UK pricing and exact specifications have yet to be announced; sales start in April and first deliveries will arrive in early summer 2020. A similarly powered Mercedes GLA SUV will also be available.

Claimed performance is impressive: the CLA 250 e 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.

Perhaps most importantly, Mercedes quotes competitive pure-electric ranges for each of its new CLA plug-in hybrids; the Coupe can manage 37 to 43 miles on pure-electric power, 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. Each plug-in hybrid CLA can be configured to run in pure-electric mode or to hold onto its battery charge level until it’s needed.

Mercedes CLA 250 e Shooting Brake

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 15.6kWh 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.