When it comes to executive cars, Mercedes-Benz has always been at the forefront of luxury and performance. But with the increasing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, the German automaker has stepped up its game by introducing the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid. This hybrid variant of the popular E-Class sedan combines the best of both worlds – luxury and efficiency. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the design, engineering, driving experience, economy, and more, to give you a complete understanding of what the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid has to offer.
Design & Engineering
At first glance, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid exudes elegance and sophistication, typical of a Mercedes-Benz executive car. The exterior design is sleek and aerodynamic, with stylish accents and a commanding presence on the road. The interior is equally impressive, boasting a spacious and luxurious cabin that is designed to provide the utmost comfort and convenience.
Underneath the executive exterior, Mercedes has implemented its advanced engineering prowess. The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is powered by a 2143cc, 4-cylinder diesel engine, which is augmented by a hybrid battery and an electric motor. This combination not only delivers impressive performance but also reduces NOx emissions, making it a genuinely low emission car.
One of the key advantages of the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is that the hybrid system does not encroach into the car’s luggage space. The lithium-ion battery is cleverly placed in the engine compartment, while the electric motor is seamlessly integrated into the 7-speed automatic gearbox. This ensures that the E-Class retains its generous boot space, making it a practical choice for everyday use.
Interior Design and Features
Step inside the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, and you will be greeted by an interior that exudes luxury and refinement. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the cabin, from the high-quality materials to the comfortable seating and intuitive controls.
The interior design is a perfect blend of classic elegance and modern technology. The dashboard features a clean and uncluttered layout, with a central infotainment display that can be controlled using a controller positioned between the front seats. The multimedia system offers a range of functions, including satellite navigation and radio, which can be easily accessed using the conveniently positioned buttons on the dashboard center console.
One unique aspect of the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid’s interior is the placement of certain controls. The gear selector is located on the right-hand side of the steering column, which may take some getting used to for those switching from other brands. Similarly, the combined indicator/wiper stalk is on the left of the steering column, along with a separate cruise control stalk. While these features may seem unconventional at first, regular Mercedes drivers will find them familiar and easy to use.
In terms of technology, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid comes equipped with the latest driver-assistance features, designed to enhance safety and convenience. Options such as Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake, Lane-Tracking Package, and Night View Assist provide an extra layer of protection on the road. These advanced features, however, come at an additional cost.
The Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is built to provide executive-class comfort on long motorway journeys. It excels in this regard, offering a smooth and refined driving experience, even at high speeds. The car feels stable and secure, instilling confidence in the driver.
On motorways, the E-Class hybrid shines, delivering impressive fuel economy of up to 60mpg on some runs. The sailing function, which allows the diesel engine to switch off when coasting, coupled with the electric motor taking over, contributes to these impressive figures. The ECO start/stop function further enhances fuel efficiency by saving fuel when the car is at a standstill.
However, the E-Class is not as agile or responsive on other roads. Its heavy weight and solid engineering make it less nimble in urban areas and on A and B-roads. The transmission, though effective once in motion, can be slow to react from a standstill. While the steering-wheel mounted paddles offer manual control over gear shifts, they don’t add much to the overall driving experience.
The hybrid system in the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid provides a seamless transition between the diesel engine and the electric motor. However, it is not as imperceptible as in a petrol-electric hybrid, such as a Lexus. The car offers two driving modes – Economy and Sport – which adjust the car’s responses for maximum fuel economy or improved responsiveness, respectively. While the Sport mode enhances performance, it does not transform the E 300 into a high-performance AMG model.
One standout feature of the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is its ability to handle winter conditions. Equipped with winter tires, the car performed exceptionally well in snowy conditions, surpassing even some 4x4s on standard tires. This is a testament to the importance of choosing the right tires for specific weather conditions.
Economy and Emissions
The Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid boasts an official combined economy figure of 65.7mpg, with emissions of 109g/km CO2. However, actual fuel economy may vary depending on factors such as driving style and road conditions. In real-world mixed driving, the E 300 achieved an average of 47.9mpg, which is commendable for a car of its size and class.
During our test, we conducted a controlled motorway run at a constant speed of 65-70mph, where the E 300 achieved an impressive 61.4mpg. This demonstrates the car’s capability to deliver excellent fuel economy when driven carefully. The ‘sailing’ function, which allows the car to coast with the diesel engine switched off, contributes to its efficiency on the motorway. The E 300 also features an ECO start/stop function, which further enhances fuel savings when the car is stationary.
It’s important to note that achieving the same levels of economy as the NEDC test, which is conducted under controlled lab conditions, can be challenging in real-life driving. Nevertheless, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid proves that it is capable of delivering good economy and a long driving range between fuel stops.
Price, Equipment, and Model Range
The Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is priced at £39,645, making it a competitive choice in the executive car segment. The base model comes well-equipped, but additional options can quickly drive up the cost. Our test car, with various extras, amounted to a total cost of £53,395.
Optional extras include the luxury Leather package, Driving Assistance Package, Panoramic glass sunroof, Light Package, Memory Package, Night View Assist, and COMAND Online system with Media Interface. While these options enhance the overall driving experience, they come at a significant cost.
In terms of competition, the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics offers similar fuel economy figures of 62.8mpg at a lower price point of £30,435. For those seeking a more affordable option within the Mercedes lineup, the E-Class E220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY provides a respectable 57.7mpg at a starting price of £31,615.
The Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is a testament to the brand’s commitment to luxury, performance, and efficiency. It seamlessly combines the elegance and refinement expected from an executive car with the benefits of hybrid technology. While it may not be the most agile or responsive vehicle in its class, it excels on long motorway journeys, delivering impressive fuel economy and a comfortable driving experience.
One notable aspect of the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is its exceptional performance in winter conditions, thanks to its winter tires. This demonstrates the importance of selecting the right tires for specific weather conditions.
With a starting price of £39,645, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid provides a competitive option in the executive car segment. However, potential buyers should consider the cost of additional options, which can significantly increase the overall price.
Overall, the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid earns a rating of 8 out of 10 from Green-Car-Guide. It offers a compelling blend of luxury, efficiency, and advanced technology, making it a strong contender in its class. So, if you’re in the market for a fuel-efficient executive car that doesn’t compromise on comfort and style, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is definitely worth considering.