Mercedes E300 BlueTEC Hybrid
Mercedes E-Class Hybrid is the most efficient car in its class, with fuel economy of 67.3mpg
The Mercedes E300 Hybrid is as efficient as a Ford Fiesta or a Fiat 500 diesel, which on its own is worthy of praise. Get behind the wheel though and you'll find there's even more to like about this E-Class, as it drives almost as well as a standard model. We had gripes with the brakes and jerky low-speed manouvres but in every other way this feels just like the impressive E-Class we know so well. With a £40,000 price-tag it certainly won't be a best-seller, but it could help Mercedes steal sales in the crucial fleet market thanks to its low CO2 emissions.
The new Mercedes E300 BlueTEC Hybrid is the most efficient large executive car on the market, and it's also the first to come with a diesel-electric powertrain. But in one of the most competitive segments, cars have to boast more than high economy figures.
This car is essentially a mix of an E250 CDI and an electric motor. That means it gets a 201bhp 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine boosted by a 20kW motor. Together they help this car sprint from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and achieve 67.3mpg. By comparison, the standard Mercedes E250 CDI is 0.2 seconds slower to 62mph and can only manage 53.3mpg.
Crucially, the Hybrid reduces CO2 emissions to a class-leading 109g/km which has money-saving implications for company car drivers. Previously the cleanest E-Class emitted 129g/km.
Those class-leading figures aren't just achieved through the addition of the electric motor, but have been boosted by extras like stop-start and a 'sailing' mode. The latter works at speeds of up to 100mph and keeps the car at a steady speed using the electric motor alone. In the real world it's a seamless process that you'll barely even notice.