Mercedes-Benz E 300e

AMG Line Night

Edition Premium Plus

Mercedes E 300 de, 2022, front
Mercedes E 300 de, 2022, side
Mercedes E 300 de, 2022, rear
Mercedes E 300 de, 2022, interior

IF any car maker knows the likes and dislikes of its regular buyers it's Mercedes-Benz.

So while the UK Government is trying to persuade everyone that electric cars are the best thing since sliced bread the German car maker knows that not all luxury car buyers want to rely totally on electric.

And so its new E 300e prestige saloon is a kind of halfway house.

It's a plug-in hybrid which pairs a traditional 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a combined power of 320bhp.

And that's enough to ensure that this big saloon is not lacking when it comes to performance.

In fact with a 0-62 miles per hour time of just 5.7 seconds it's no mean mover.

And while you have enough electric power from the 13.5kWh battery to drive the electric motor for up to 35 miles you still have the safety of petrol power to ensure you will never get stranded nor will you suffer from the range anxiety that comes with a full electric car.

In reality most owners will rarely run their Mercedes on pure electric, preferring to let the car do its own thing and work out the best combination of electric and petrol power to ensure generous overall fuel consumption.

If, however, your daily return commute is less than 35 miles you'll rarely use any petrol at all.

Drive in Comfort mode and you'll always start your journey on electric power with the engine only cutting in when additional power is needed.

Switch to Sport, however, and the situation is almost reversed as the engine takes the lead role.

Either way the E 300e is a super smooth, super quiet, refined saloon which offers - as the E-Class has always done - plenty of passenger space and top class comfort.

Where this model falls down a little compared with a purely petrol or diesel version is on both boot space and fuel tank capacity. Both are sacrificed to accommodate the plug-in hybrid system with its large batteries.

On the positive side if you have a home wallbox charger the E 300e can be fully charged in a sensible 1.5 hours.

The E-Class has recently undergone a facelift with a new style "face" and rear to give it a more dynamic look,

Step inside and you'll find a classy interior with full leather upholstery with heated, electrically adjustable seats and a very dramatic dashboard thanks to the use of grey open pore ash wood trim.

There are now two 12.3-inch screens, one immediately in front of the driver and the other in the centre of the dashboard which can be used as a touch screen or operated via a centre console mouse.

The large centre screen ensures that when you are reversing you get excellent rear vision from the boot mounted camera as well as a 360 degree bird-eye view around the car.

Also new is a chunky, sports-style steering wheel with a flat base - to help when getting in and out of the car - which is really nice to handle.

Touch sensitive slide controls on it, however, are not as user friendly while driving as manual buttons are.

Opt for the top-of-the-range AMG Line Night Edition Plus and you get a host of extra comfort and safety features including a large opening glass sunroof and Multibeam LED intelligent headlights to make driving at night much more comfortable.

On the road this car this car is so sophisticated and smooth it's hard to tell when you are driving on electric or petrol power without the occasional glance at the rev counter.

The ride is on the firm side which, while still ensuring comfort, means positive, confidence-inspiring handling

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz E 300e AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus

Price: £55,040

Mechanical: 211bhp, 1,991cc, 4cyl petrol engine combined with 122 bhp electric motor driving front wheels via nine speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:155 mph

0-62mph: 5.7 secs

Combined MPG: 176.6 - 166.2

Insurance Group: 44

C02 emissions: 38g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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