Twin test: Mercedes E 300 de vs Mercedes E 300 e
Mercedes offers a choice of petrol-electric or diesel-electric power for its E-Class plug-in. We bring them together to see which makes more sense
You know the old ‘apples and oranges’ analogy? Well, it doesn’t apply here. We’re definitely comparing apples with apples or, in fact, Mercedes E-Class with Mercedes E-Class. Both are plug-in hybrids, with a 13.5kWh battery that delivers an electric range of 31 miles. Both have a 2.0-litre engine, nine-speed auto gearbox and rear-wheel drive, and they cost within a few hundred quid of each other. The difference? One is diesel and the other is petrol.
Mercedes is the only manufacturer to offer diesel plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and the benefits are clear. Most petrol PHEVs manage mid-30mpg in real-world use once the battery runs out, but a diesel promises more like 50mpg. Makes sense, right? Especially for high-mileage business users.
But there are various reasons, from air-quality concerns to fear of tax penalties, that you might avoid diesel. Which is why we’ve put these two cars back-to-back: to find out just how a hybrid diesel stacks up next to its petrol-powered twin.
Mercedes E 300 e AMG Line Premium
Pros: Supremely smooth and quiet, with similar fuel economy to rivals
Cons: Both diesel and petrol lose significant boot space to the battery
Mercedes E 300 de AMG Line Premium
Pros: Decent real-world fuel economy and very quiet by diesel standards
Cons: Costlier insurance and depreciation, and uncertainty over future legislation
Read on for our full in-depth comparison of these two plug-in hybrid Mercedes E-Class models...
In This Review
- 1Intro - currently readingMercedes offers a choice of petrol-electric or diesel-electric power for its E-Class plug-in. We bring them together to see which makes more sense
- 2Range, charging & fuel economyThe diesel E 300 de is more economical once battery power runs out, so it's a better choice for those who frequently cover long distances
- 3Running costs & warrantyThere's very little to choose between the petrol and diesel E-Class plug-ins, when you factor in all running costs
- 4Performance & handlingThe petrol E-Class plug-in hybrid is marginally faster and more agile than its diesel counterpart
- 5Space & practicalityWhether you go for petrol or diesel E-Class plug-in hybrid, you have to put up with an awkward box-shaped boot intrusion
- 6Verdict & specificationsIt's a close-run thing, but the petrol-electric E 300 e just shades it in when squared up against the diesel-electric E 300 de