Mercedes B-Class B 250 e plug-in hybrid: specs, price and performance

After an spacious plug-in hybrid hatchback? Keep reading for specifications, prices and charge times for the new Mercedes B 250 e...

James Wilson
Sep 12, 2019

The curtains have officially gone up on the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). UK prices are expected to begin around £34,500 for this new petrol-electric mini-people carrier, with order books due to open in October 2019 and deliveries starting in early 2020.

Thanks to its hybrid format, the plug-in B-Class comes under the same EQ branding that Mercedes is using for all its electric - or part-electric vehicles, headed up by the all-electric Mercedes EQC SUV. Like most mainstream carmakers, Mercedes is planning rapid expansion of its electric vehicle range, aiming to have more than 20 plug-in variants on sale by the end of 2020.

Mercedes B 250 e: quick facts

  • Prices starting around £34,500
  • Electric-only range of around 39 miles
  • Claimed economy from 170mpg
  • Total power output of 218hp
  • CO2 emissions of 32 to 36g/km
  • DC charge from 10% to 80% in 25 minutes

Irrespective of the models arriving over the next few years, the B-Class plug-in hybrid isn't exactly swamped with rivals. This is partly due to the fall in demand for MPVs and rise in demand for SUVs. The main direct rival is the BMW 225xe Active Tourer - another plug-in hybrid mini-MPV. More widely, though, the B-Class does face stiff competition from hybrid SUVs, with models such as the Kia Niro PHEV and Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4 offering buyers similar packages.

While the engineering underpinning the B-Class PHEV is thoroughly different to the standard, fossil-fuel-powered B-Class, the exterior and interior styling are identical, save for the odd EQ badge. The changes under the metal are arguably more important though, helping to boost economy and reduce emissions over the non-hybrid B-Class.

Read on to find out more about the 2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid including models, electric range, boot space and more.

 

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid models and prices

The Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid is only being offered with one combination of engine, battery and electric motor. All models will be badged up as a B 250e, with no confirmation of trims levels as of yet. That said, Mercedes currently uses the following trim levels: SE, Sport, AMG Line and AMG Line Premium on most of its range.

You can, therefore, expect some (or all) of those to be available on B-Class plug-in hybrid variants – saying that, hybrid models are normally well specced, so the less well-equipped trims (such as SE) may not appear. Prices are expected to start at £34,500.

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid electric range, charging times and battery capacity

The all-important pure electric range for the Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid is claimed to be up to 39 miles. All B 250e models use the same size lithium-ion battery pack which weighs in at 15.6kWh – charging times for which are dependent on the power output of the charger you are using.

A regular household 7.4kW wall box will manage to charge B-Class plug-in hybrids from 10% to 100% in 45 minutes. Meanwhile, more powerful commercial chargers can take B 250e models from 10% to 80% charge in as little as 25 minutes.

To help motorists keep their hybrid B-Class charged, Mercedes provides something called me Charge, which works in conjunction with the car’s navigation system to locate available charge points to use. The platform works using a me Charge card, app or even your car – but Mercedes stresses that once signed up, motorists will simply get automatically generated monthly invoices for the electricity/charging points they use.

2020 Mercedes B-Class engine range

The engine range for the Mercedes B-Class PHEV is simple, as there is only one option: a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which is paired with an automatic gearbox. Once the accompanying electric motor and battery pack are taken into consideration, total power and torque - that's low-engine-speed muscle - outputs for B 250e models sit at 218hp and 450Nm respectively.

These figures result in a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds (a fairly rapid time for a regular MPV/hatchback) and a top speed of 146mph – however, the top speed driving under electric power alone is 87mph.

Claimed economy is between 177mpg and 202mpg – though to get that figure you'd have to regularly top up the batteries. Normally the size of a car’s wheels impacts economy figures, which would suggest more than one size will be available when the plug-in hybrid B-Class launches, explaining the broad range of economy figures.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are nice and low at 32 to 38g/km, the range of values again likely due to the impact of specifying different size wheels. Again, you'd have to regularly charge the car to get near this figure. Fail to charge the car and you can expect to return far, far more than this. When it comes to the efficiency of the battery pack and electric motor, Mercedes is claiming between 14.7 and 15.4 kWh/62 miles.

These economy and emission figures have been gathered something called the NEDC testing procedure - a less realistic test that has since been superceded with a more accurate format - and so you're likely to struggle to get close to them in typical driving.

If “kWh/62 miles” is new to you, all you need to remember is the smaller the number the better. Currently, 12 to 15 kWh/62 miles is about as good as it gets. Larger and more expensive electric models such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model S have values well above 20 kWh/62 miles due to their additional size and weight.

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid technology

Even though the Mercedes B 250e plug-in hybrid has the same interior as the standard car, there are a few new features which are specific to the electrified B-Class. To start with, there are two extra driving modes – Electric and Battery Level – which go alongside traditional Comfort, Eco and Sport options.

Each mode tailors the car for a particular aspect of driving – for example, Electric mode drives the car under battery power alone and allows the driver to dictate how strong the regenerative braking system works, which can help put more power back into the battery pack when slowing instead of energy being wasted as heat by the conventional brakes fitted to the car.

In the cabin you will likely find Mercedes’ latest MBUX information, navigation and media system which is made up of two screens splayed out in front of the driver. To help maximise your electric-only range and boost economy, this system will consider speed limits and even elevation changes when used for navigation.

On top of this, the Alexa-style voice control system which is part of the MBUX system is included. Even though features such as this can be a touch gimmicky, drivers are able to ask useful questions such as “Hey Mercedes, find charging stations nearby.

In a similar fashion to many other electric cars, hybrid B-Class models can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin to your requirements depending on instructions from your smartphone.

Outside of cabin technology, Mercedes has used some ingenious thinking when making the B-Class PHEV. For example, the B 250 e doesn’t use a traditional starter motor, instead, it uses the same electric motor which can power the wheels. Also, the exhaust exits under the middle of the car to save space for electrical gubbins at the rear.

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid exterior

Mercedes never made the B-Class to stand out from the crowd with an in-your-face design, and the plug-in hybrid is no different. Aside from a few minute exterior changes (namely EQ badges and extra flap for the charging port), most won’t even notice that you are driving a hybrid.

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid dimensions, boot space and towing capacity

As you might have expected from the pictures, the Mercedes B 250e is the same size as its fossil-fuel-powered counterpart. This means the plug-in B-Class is 4,419mm in length, 2,020mm in width and 1,562mm in height. Due to its size (it is quite small) there are some who argue the B-Class isn’t a true MPV at all, more a larger hatchback.

Unfortunately, due to the additional equipment for the hybrid system, there is slightly less boot space than the normal model. Mercedes is yet to announce the official reduction, but the standard car has 455 litres of cargo area so don’t expect any more than that. As for towing, the plug-in B-Class comes with a maximum towing capacity of 1,600kg (braked).

2020 Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid review

We are yet to drive a Mercedes B-Class plug-in hybrid, but when we do the greatest test will be how Mercedes has integrated the extra components of the hybrid system. We aren’t just talking in terms of space either, batteries and electric motors aren’t particularly light so making sure the B-Class handles corners well will be very important when considering how it fares against its rivals.

For a good idea of what to expect, read our Mercedes-Benz B-Class buyers' guide for all the details.

 

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