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Mercedes C-class hybrid Test Drive Review

Date: 24 October 2014   |   Author:

The C-class follows the S and E-class by offering fleet customers a four-cylinder diesel engine which is just 99g/km and has a combined power output of 231hp and 78.4mpg. It's a nice little ace in the hole for Merc, with only Lexus offering a hybrid in this class.

The C300h pairs the same 2.1-litre diesel used on the C250 combined with a 27hp electric motor. When driving in EV mode at low speeds the C-class is super quiet and the contrast when switching over to diesel is very noticeable, with a rattle making it obvious you're back in diesel mode.

There isn't the ability to drive in pure EV mode at slower speeds so getting that pure electric experience only happens very briefly after starting out on journeys. The hybrid technology is just operating in the background for the rest of the time, helping to improve those all important efficiency figures.

There is a £1570 premium for the hybrid tech over the standard C250 but that means the Merc can't be touched on CO2 at 95g/km, compared to 109g/km from the Lexus IS300h or the BMW 325d at 122g/km. The C300h falls in the 15% bracket, making it more competitive against diesel rivals by as much as £83 per month, although the petrol hybrid IS is actually £18 cheaper each month in the 40% tax bracket.

 As you'd expect, the C-class features a quality cabin with a much-improved modern look, which brings it in line against its rivals from BMW and Audi. The only real change over the standard C-class is the battery notification next to the speedo, which tells you how much charge has gone back in from regenerative braking.

While the C300h ticks all the boxes on tax, the reality is that it's not as smooth to drive as rivals because of the jarring switch between electric and diesel. It's a toe in the water ahead of the planned 30-mile range plug-in hybrid version next year.

P11D price £36,570
Model price range £32,315-£68,495
Residual value 35.7%
Depreciat¬ion £23,508
Fuel £4741
Service, maintenance and repair £3003
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £2442
Cost per mile 73.0p
Fuel consumption 76.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 95g/km (15%)
BIK 20/40% per month £91/£183
Service interval 2yrs/variable mls
Insurance (1-50) group 37
Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls
Boot space 435 litres
Engine size/power 2143cc/231hp
Top speed/0-60mph 152mph/6.4secs
On sale Now
 

Verdict


Diesel rivals are left hanging on running costs but lacks refinement
8/10

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