By Guilherme Marques
Diesel, electric, fast, frugal, comfortable and a Mercedes. The future is closer.
This week we are delving into the world of hybrids once again. After the Peugeot 508 RXH from the last number, we have the first Mercedes-Benz to use a diesel-electric powertrain. I confess I was curious how this Benz would fare against the Peugeot, even though it costs €17,610 more than the French car at €60,850.
My theory was if there is no cheaper hybrid in Stuttgart and seeing as the 508 RXH is the most expensive Pug on sale, they could be seen as rivals. It only took about five minutes aboard the Mercedes to forget why I had thought this car had anything to do with the Peugeot. Maybe it was the name hybrid because, apart from that, they are on completely different levels.
If you need to overtake, or have a secret desire to lose your licence, just press a bit harder on the gas and the diesel comes into play. The real trick is you don’t have to worry about this, you can just drive as you have always done and the Benz will do the rest, as long as you are doing over 35 km/h and below 160 km/h.
Apart from this, the E300 Hybrid is a regular E-Class, which is a very good thing. Come springtime there will be a restyling, which Mercedes says is the biggest one ever made in a model’s life cycle, with a new front end and lots of clever tech.
And the best news is still to come. Because taxes make a whole lot of sense in Portugal, a car that is fundamentally more technological and expensive than the E250 CDI on which it is based, is actually €649 cheaper, because it emits less CO2. That means that, apart from those of you who still think a hybrid is something from outer space, there is no point in going for the E250 diesel and not the E300 Hybrid. For me, it is a no-brainer.