Mercedes-Benz A-Class plug-in hybrid: specs, prices and performance

Mercedes has plugged a gap in its range with the new A-Class PHEV. Here are its specs, prices, charge times and more...

James Wilson
Sep 10, 2019

The Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has officially been revealed. UK prices for the A 250e hatchback and saloon variants are expected to start at around £34,000, with order books opening later in 2019 ready for deliveries to commence in early 2020.

Hybrid A-Class models are sold featuring Mercedes’ EQ branding which is reserved solely for the German maker’s electrified vehicles. Spearheading the EQ range of cars is the electric EQC SUV. Much like other manufacturers, Mercedes is planning an aggressive expansion within the hybrid car sector and aims to have more than 20 plug-in vehicles on sale by the end of 2020.

Quick facts

  • Prices starting at around £34,000
  • Electric-only range of around 40 miles
  • Claimed fuel economy of 202mpg
  • Total power output of 218hp
  • Electric-only top speed of 87mph
  • DC charge: 10% to 80% in 25 minutes

Even ignoring the wave of upcoming hybrid and electric cars, the A-Class hybrids already face stiff competition. Hatchback models have to measure up to cars such as the VW Golf GTE, while the saloons face competition from the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV and plug-in Toyota Prius – although both the Hyundai and Toyota are technically hatchbacks.

By packing in a battery pack and electric motor, Mercedes has differentiated its A-Class plug-in hybrid models from the petrol- and diesel-powered A-Class it is based on. That said, there is very little that differentiates the plug-in models in styling and interior terms. Regardless of this, the impressive claimed fuel economy figures and reduced carbon dioxide emissions should be enticing enough to pull some buyers away from fossil fuel powered alternatives.

Read on to find out more about models, pricing, range, charging times and more.

 

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid prices

Mercedes is only offering the plug-in A-Class with one engine, battery and electric motor combination – meaning all models will be badged up with A 250e. Buyers do have the option of hatchback or saloon body styles, though, with the latter being a bit of a rarity in this segment of the car market.

Mercedes’ existing range of A-Class models are sold in SE, Sport and AMG Line trim levels, so you can expect plug-in variants to be sold under similar monikers. That said, hybrid models typically come well-equipped, so Mercedes may forgo offering basic A-Class PHEV models and only offer higher-specced trims, such as AMG Line.

As for pricing, Mercedes has only confirmed that the A-Class PHEV will start from around £33,800 for hatchback body styles and £34,000 for saloon variants. There has been no confirmation on individual trim prices, but either way, this is a steep starting price for a Golf-sized car.

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid charge times

When it comes to electric-only range, Mercedes is claiming figures of around 40 miles per charge for hatchback A 250e models and around 41 miles for saloon A 250e models. Both variants use the same lithium-ion battery pack, which has a capacity of 15.6kWh.

As for charging times, it depends on the power output of the charge point you are using. If you plug an A 250e into a 7.4kW wall box which supplies AC (alternating current) electricity, it will take one hour and 45 minutes to go from 10% charge to 100% charge. Using a DC (direct current) charger – more commonly used at public charge points – charging times can be cut to as little as 25 minutes when going from 10 to 80% charge.

Mercedes offers buyers something called me Charge, which links with a car’s sat-nav system to help motorists locate a network of charging stations. Use of the charging points is a paid-for service, either through the me Charge card, app or via the car itself. Once motorists are signed up, they should receive monthly invoices for the charge points they have used as each charging session is monitored automatically.

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid engine range

All Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrids are set to come with the same 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and accompanying automatic gearbox. Once combined with the electric motor and battery pack, the hybrid A-Class will have a total power output of 218hp and 450Nm of torque.

On the road, this translates to a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds for hatchback variants and 6.7 seconds for saloon models. Top speed sits at 146mph for hatchbacks and 149mph for saloons. If, however, motorists are driving in electric-only mode, top speed is limited to 87mph.

As for economy, hatchback and saloon models vary slightly. A 250e hatchback models come with a claimed combined economy figure of between 188 to 202mpg. Mercedes is yet to confirm as much, but traditionally differences in economy figures are largely down to being able to specify cars with different sized wheels - with larger, heavier wheels often reducing fuel economy figures. Saloon variants are claimed to be capable of 202mpg only – so expect just the one wheel size.

Emissions sit impressively low at 33 to 34 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre of driving for hatchback models and 32 to 33 grams of CO2 per kilometre for saloons. On top of traditional fuel economy figures, Mercedes also provides an economy figure for the electric side of the powertrain.

Hatchback models are supposedly capable of achieving between 15.0 to 14.8 kWh/62 miles, while saloons are good for 14.8 to 14.7 kWh/62 miles. Unfortunately, Mercedes has tested the A-Class hybrid’s economy and emissions figures using an older and less accurate economy testing procedure, which means real-world figures are unlikely to be as impressive as those claims.

For those who do not know what kWh/62 miles means, what you need to remember is the smaller the number the more efficient an electric car is and 12 to 15 kWh/62 miles is pretty good going at the moment. Larger all-electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace come in well above 20 kWh/62 miles, partly due to their greater weight.

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid technology

As mentioned above, the Mercedes A 250e plug-in hybrids have the same interior as the regular A-Class. That said, there are some new features which are specific to the hybrids. For example, driving modes now include Electric and Battery Level options, on top of the traditional Comfort, Eco and Sport modes.

In Electric mode drivers can choose how strong the energy recuperation is, meaning how much the electric motor can be used to slow you down and put charge back into the battery before relying on the car’s brakes. The greater the level of recuperation, the more the car slows itself down when you lift of the throttle.

Mercedes’ latest MBUX media system is available which uses two 10.3-inch screens spanning much of the dashboard. This system is capable of considering your route, speed limits and elevation changes to help optimise your all-electric range and fuel consumption.

Furthermore, Mercedes has included Alexa-style voice commands with its MBUX system. Despite certain features erring on the side of gimmicky, drivers can say things such as “Hey Mercedes, find charging stations nearby” which could come in handy. This system is also very effective at decoding your voice instructions correctly, with simple commands like "Hey Mercedes, navigate to..." being far simpler and quicker than prodding a touchscreen - which can be extremely distracting while driving.

Like many other part- or fully-electric cars, hybrid A-Classes can warm or cool the cabin before you get in. So no more freezing cold mornings in winter or baking hot afternoons in summer, drivers can simply use their phone to make sure their car is just the right temperature. Goldie Locks would be delighted.

Beyond that, Mercedes has included some genuinely impressive engineering into the A-Class hybrid. One such example is that A 250e models don’t come with a traditional starter motor – something mainstream cars have been using to start engines since the 1950s. Instead, it uses the electric motor that also helps drive the wheels. Similarly, the exhaust doesn’t exit at the rear of the car, it exits under the vehicle floor, which helps save space available for electronic components at the rear of the car.

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid exterior

Mercedes hasn’t gone nuts with a hybrid-themed makeover for the A-Class PHEV. Instead, there are a few subtle EQ badges and an additional filler flap for the charging cable to plug into. The truth is, many will not notice that you are driving a hybrid.

Mercedes A-Class plug-in hybrid dimensions

A-Class hybrid dimensions are the same as the standard cars on which they are based. Hatchbacks measure in at 4,419mm in length, 1,796mm in width and 1,440mm in height. Saloons are identical in width but are 4,549mm long and 1,446mm tall.

Mercedes has said that there is a slight decrease in boot space over non-hybrid models but is yet to confirm actual numbers. Standard hatchbacks and saloons come with 360 and 420 litres of boot space respectively, so expect a little less than that.

Both saloon and hatchback A 250e variants come with a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,600kg.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hybrid review

We are yet to drive the Mercedes A250e, but we have a strong inkling of what to expect in certain areas. The interior isn't the highest quality, but looks smart, especially if you splash out on desirable optional extras, and voice controls for the MBUX media system work very well.

As for the unknown, how Mercedes has managed to package the extra electrical systems without compromising the performance and driving enjoyment will be major testing points, as will assessing how accurate the claimed economy and electric-only range figures are in the real world.

Read our Mercedes-Benz A-Class buyers' guide, and be sure to keep checking BuyaCar for our latest reviews of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class 250e.

 

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