Premium Hybrid Car of the Year 2020: Mercedes E-Class

The Mercedes E-Class is the 2020 Premium Hybrid Car of the Year, with the BMW 300e and Mercedes A 250 e commended

Premium hybrid cars tend to feature plug-in technology, and although this equipment often adds to the cost, the higher price tag of a premium machine means it’s not as big a penalty.

The Mercedes E-Class is no stranger to this award, having picked up the gong in this category last year with a two-pronged plug-in offering. Updates to the car for 2020 have only added to its appeal, so with the petrol-powered E 300 e and the turbodiesel E 300 de, the Mercedes E-Class is once again our Premium Hybrid Car of the Year.

We’ve already covered the tweaks this 2020 E-Class received, making it our favourite executive model, while the plug-in powertrains are superbly refined, thanks to the electrical assistance they offer, taking the load off the engines and adding to the relaxed ambience inside the cabin.

The stats are impressive; the E 300 e combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a 13.5kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motor set-up for a total of 316bhp. That’s as much as the Honda Civic Type R that won our Hot Hatchback award.

The E 300 de uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine combined with the same battery and motor set-up for slightly less power, at 302bhp, but the same 700Nm of torque, so both machines are much faster than you might think. However, this class is about efficiency and a little luxury, rather than outright speed. Both models will cover 34 miles on electric power alone and travel at up to 30mph in electric mode, but they work best if they’re left to their own devices, when the electric motor assists the combustion engine to keep things quiet and give an instant boost to the acceleration.

Going by the official figures, the diesel’s claimed 235.4mpg maximum trumps the 176.6mpg the petrol plug-in offers, but both models deliver huge flexibility and good company-car tax breaks, thanks to CO2 emissions that are as low as 33g/km. Remember, as an executive saloon this is a big issue for business users.

The icing on the cake is that, thanks to an on-board 7.2kW charger, both Mercedes models only take an hour and a half to top up using a home wallbox.

Our choice

Mercedes E300 de AMG Line Edition (£47,480)

The diesel PHEV option is still the best choice, offering easy motorway cruising performance, with zero emissions around town. It gets the level of equipment you would expect at this price, too, with twin 12.3-inch screens, the latest connectivity, heated seats, wireless phone charging and lots of safety technology.

Commended

BMW 330e

As well as the saloon BMW’s junior executive plug-in is now available as an estate for the first time, which has boosted its appeal. It combines the 3 Series’ broad mix of abilities with even stronger efficiency for company car buyers. And it’s still great to drive.

Mercedes A 250 e

Yet another plug-in Mercedes featuring in this category shows how strong the German brand is in this area. The car’s all-electric range stands at 42 miles, so if you’re after a premium plug-in hybrid and either want something smaller or can’t stretch to an E-Class, then look no further.

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

Recommended

Next-generation Mercedes E-Class to stick with combustion engines
Mercedes E-Class render
Mercedes E-Class

Next-generation Mercedes E-Class to stick with combustion engines

Mercedes is planning on launching a new E-Class in 2023 and it'll come with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains
21 Jan 2022
Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022
Best hybrid SUVs - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022

From mild to plug-in hybrid, we reveal the best hybrid SUVs you can buy
7 Jan 2022
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
2 Jan 2022
Best plug-in hybrids 2022
Best PHEVs 2021 to 2022
Electric cars

Best plug-in hybrids 2022

The plug-in hybrid market has grown exponentially in recent years. Here are our top 10 electrified favourites
1 Jan 2022

Most Popular

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?
number plates
Tips & advice

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?

Everything you need to know about so-called ‘4D’ number plates, including whether you’re allowed to have them on your car
25 Jan 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
10 Jan 2022
New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time
Lamborghini Countach - front
Lamborghini Countach

New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time

Lamborghini’s reborn Countach pictured on the move ahead of it arriving with customers
25 Jan 2022