By Mike Torpey on 2021-10-31 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Mercedes-Benz E 300
de AMG Line Night
SOME combinations can prove pretty compelling when you crave the best of all worlds.
How about sleek looks, premium image, enviable fuel economy, exceptional dynamics and a serious injection of pace?
Not many cars fit that profile, but one of them is definitely the latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class hybrid.
With issues remaining over range anxiety and public charging points - let alone the cost - of full electric cars, going hybrid makes a lot of sense.
And the boys at Benz have produced a cracker in the E 300 plug-in hybrid.
Both petrol and diesel engines, supported by a 13.5 kWh battery, are up for grabs the E 300 e range and our variant was the de AMG Line Night Edition, a low slung saloon with plush cabin that takes on a character of its own after dark.
Its 2.0-litre diesel engine produces 194bhp while the electric motor can add an extra 122bhp and 440Nm of pulling power.
Mercedes is claiming a weighted combined average fuel capability of 235.4 miles per gallon - our own return was 54.5mpg, certainly not to be sniffed at - and the Benz belches a mere 33g/km of emissions.
The upside of that latter stat is that company cars drivers can potentially save big time thanks to a benefit in kind tax rating of just 13 per cent.
Another saving comes in the area of the car's all-electric range of between 32 and 34 miles, while all the E 300 plug-ins can be charged via a 7.4kW home wallbox in under two hours while a standard three-pin socket takes around five hours.
Out on the road the rear-wheel drive saloon provides the comfort and joy you would expect from a Mercedes, feeling both agile and relaxed in equal measure with the acceleration of 0-62 in 5.9 seconds should you need it.
The nine-speed auto gearbox is sweet and there are also steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual shifting.
Four modes of operation comprise Hybrid, electric only E-Mode, engine only E-Save and Charge, which charges the battery, while there are also five different drive modes of Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.
Inside the accommodation is spacious up front and adequate rather than spectacular in rear, while the boot is huge for a saloon.
You can't knock the ambience or quality though and the single high definition screen that stretches across the dashboard to the dials in front of the driver is a triumph. There are also 64 different shades of ambient lighting.
The E 300 e AMG Line Edition Saloon plug-in hybrid starts at Â£46,230 with the de AMG Line Edition priced from Â£47,480. There's also an Estate costing Â£49,480.
Even at entry level you get the likes of the company's MBUX infotainment system with twin 12.3-inch screens, 18-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, reversing camera, LED headlights, Blind Spot Assist; wireless smartphone charging and leather upholstery.
Mercedes-Benz E 300 de AMG Line Night Edition
Mechanical:306bhp, 1,950cc, 4-cyl diesel engine+ 13.5 kWh battery driving rear wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox
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