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

New Car Awards 2020: the winners
New Car Awards 2020

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

Against all odds, the car industry has produced some great new cars in 2020. These are the very best...
13 Oct 2020
Executive Car of the Year 2020: Mercedes E-Class
Mercedes E-Class

Executive Car of the Year 2020: Mercedes E-Class

The Mercedes E-Class is the 2020 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Audi A6 and Volvo S90 commended
13 Oct 2020
Mercedes E-Class review
Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes E-Class review

The Mercedes E-Class blends sumptuous comfort, refinement and tech in a stylish executive package
9 Oct 2020
2020 Mercedes E-Class facelift: prices confirmed
Mercedes E-Class

2020 Mercedes E-Class facelift: prices confirmed

Newly facelifted Mercedes E-Class launched in the UK – and it’s priced from £39,130 for the base-model E 200 saloon
30 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form
21 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review
Volkswagen Caddy California MPV - front
Volkswagen Caddy

New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review

It’s a family hauler and weekend camper all rolled into one, but is the Volkswagen Caddy California any good?
21 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
21 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front
News

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'
Opinion - average car
Opinion

'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'

Mike Rutherford says it's increasingly easy for them, and far harder for us, to earn enough for our new cars
20 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021