Premium Hybrid Car of the Year 2021: Mercedes E-Class

The Mercedes E-Class is the 2021 Auto Express Premium Hybrid Car of the Year with the Jaguar F-Pace P400e and Mercedes A 250 e commended

The Mercedes E-Class hybrid isn’t just a singular model in the range; the fact that there’s a choice of plug-in hybrids is a big part of the reason why it’s our favourite premium hybrid car for a third year running.

Mercedes recently updated the E-Class, with the hybrids getting the same styling and kit tweaks as the rest of the range. You can go for the petrol E 300 e or the diesel E 300 de depending on your needs, a choice that isn’t found in any of the car’s rivals. It means there’s an electrified E-Class for everyone, whether you mostly drive in town or do a lot of motorway trips. It’s a brilliant executive saloon in the first place, with refinement and comfort in abundance, yet due to the electric motor, the plug-ins are even smoother, quieter and more relaxing.

Both models use a 2.0-litre engine alongside an electric motor and a compact 13.5kWh battery that gives around 34 miles of electric range. The average UK daily mileage isn’t much more than this, while in a post-Covid world we might not even travel this far. Yet the engines offer plenty of flexibility in whichever form you pick, so longer trips aren’t a problem. The lump in the boot floor of the hybrids is just about the only drawback, because it reduces practicality, but there’s still enough boot space and plenty of room for passengers, while the comfy, relaxing driving experience makes it a great exec car.

Company car tax costs are very low because of the plug-in set-up in both models, and fuel economy is decent, especially on the diesel. A tech-filled cabin, strong performance and great build quality mean it’s a deserved third win for the E-Class hybrid.

Best deal

Mercedes E 300 de AMG Line (£47,891)

Both E-Class plug-ins offer potential for low running costs, but the diesel E 300 de offers lower emissions and superior fuel consumption once the battery has run out. We found an official Mercedes dealer knocking nearly £4,600 off the list price, which translates to a £550-per-month, four-year PCP deal with an £8,380 deposit.

Commended

Jaguar F-Pace P400e

Jaguar F-Pace P400e

Following an update, the Jaguar F-Pace is now available with hybrid power, and it’s a hugely appealing model to go for if you want a premium SUV. It’s great to drive and the revised cabin offers some solid tech. Add to that low running costs, and the F-Pace is looking better than ever.

Mercedes A 250 e

Mercedes A 250 e

Mercedes’ A 250 e is another fantastic option at a lower price than the German brand’s E-Class. It has a really impressive all-electric range of 42 miles, which helps reduce its company car tax liability, while the A-Class also features a very smart cabin that’s packed with modern tech.

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