We no longer need to introduce you to the Mercedes C-Class, it has become so much an institution of the Stuttgart range. From the previous generation, it is also its hybrid version that aims to accumulate crowds in corporate fleets. Story of making a beautiful story a Success storyMercedes puts the package on electricity in this new C 300 e.
Since last year, the new C-Class is trying to find a place in a market, so to speak, in decline in favor of SUVs. To gain strength, look for inspiration in the quintessential Stuttgart sedan, the S-Class. In addition, it attracts a little more than inspiration. The new C even takes over the MRA 2 platform, which makes it grow 6 cm long while the wheelbase increases by 2.5 cm.
This sharing with his older sister is more than evident in the cockpit. While the exterior looks like an evolution of the style of the previous generation C, the cabin almost looks like a cut and paste of the S. the same controls and the same steering wheel. In short, only the ventilation nozzles change.
But the main difference of this 300th version is obviously its rechargeable hybrid propulsion. Under the skin, we discover a brand new package that combines the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor housed in the 9-speed automatic transmission using a torque converter.
With 204 and 129 hp respectively, the two engines provide a combined torque of 313 hp and 550 Nm on the rear wheels. This makes it the most powerful C-Class in the range (in addition to the AMG C 43), which allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.1 seconds.
As with all rechargeable hybrids, the centerpiece of it all is obviously the battery. After all, it is their size that dictates their autonomy and, therefore, their “ecological” performance. Mercedes seems to have understood this and decided to do it all. As with all of its latest connectors, whether it’s the S 580 or the GLE 350, the battery is large, if not very large.
In this C 300 e, therefore, comes a 25.4 kWh battery. That’s almost as much as some incoming electric cars! With great capacity, great autonomy: Mercedes announces 111 km. This is enough for this plug-in sedan to have one of the lowest, if not the lowest, certifications in the segment, with an average consumption of 0.6 l / 100 km and CO2 emissions of 13 g / km. In addition, the battery accepts fast direct current (DC) charging at 55 kW!
More good news: Although the battery is (much) bigger than before, it’s better hidden. So there is no longer an awkward stroke on the trunk, which makes it gain 45 liters. However, with 360 liters in total, it is still trimmed compared to the petrol / diesel models (455 liters).
Despite its good technical performance, it is really on the road that the C 300 e impresses. Not only for its electrical autonomy, but also for its period of autonomy. Always with 50 liters of petrol, you can easily travel more than 700 km on board. In our case, the battery ran out after driving 96 km on a combined cycle, including the freeway.
During this long electric journey, the C mimics the electric car almost perfectly. Power is available in an instant, while the torque converter smooths out gear changes very well. Even regeneration with walking elevation is almost like driving a single pedal. Once the battery is exhausted, the flat calm will be interrupted by a rough and poorly soundproof 4-cylinder. Too bad for a comfortable sedan …
With € 58,564 (France: € 58,550), the new Mercedes C 300 e is far from cheap, but so is the whole range. With equivalent equipment, ask for a supplement of € 3,200 on a C 300 petrol (not available in France). Compared to the competition, a BMW 330e is € 54,750 but offers much less range, while a Volvo S60 T8 is much more expensive at € 63,100 (France: € 65,350) but also much more powerful (455 hp).
Although the new C-Class does not present a stylistic revolution, it hides its main asset under its suit. Thanks to its (very) large battery and its real electric range that flirts with the 100 km, the new Mercedes C 300 e redefines the conditions of use of a plug-in hybrid sedan.