With its current A-Class, Mercedes-Benz already has a winning
line-up. Excellent handling, class-leading technology and the prestige of the
three-pointed star makes a worthy addition to any prestige hatchback shortlist.
Now, the arrival of a plug-in hybrid A-class promising an all-electric range of
up to 44 miles should extend its appeal even further.
For commuters, those with short daily journeys and city
dwellers the most important performance figure will be the electric-only range,
which stands at a genuine 44 miles. This is around 10-15 miles further than
many other plug-in hybrids and will prove a significant advantage in day to day
use. When the 1.3-litre petrol engine and electric motor are both harnessed for
full-throttle acceleration, 0-62mph takes just 6.6 seconds. The A 250e hatchback
can deliver up to 201.8 combined mpg and emits just 32 g/km of CO2, while the
saloon version is even more impressive with up to 217.3 combined mpg and 31
The A 250e will be available in four trim levels; AMG Line; AMG Line Executive; AMG Line Premium; and AMG Line Premium Plus. All come with the acclaimed MBUX infotainement system and its ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control system, which is flexible enough to understand commands like ‘I’m cold’ as well as precise commands like ‘set heating to 22 degrees’. The AMG Line comes as standard with privacy glass and Thermotronic climate control, but if you take the next step up to AMG Line Executive you’ll also enjoy a 10.25-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration and wireless charging, as well as parking and mirror package.
The Premium adds the 10.25-inch digital cockpit, 64-colour ambient lighting, keyless entry and augmented navigation while the top of the range Premium Plus includes multibeam LED headlights, memory seats and Traffic Sign Assist.
The fourth generation A-Class was launched in 2018 and has been an enduring success. Handling, space and refinement were significantly improved over the previous model, with a more rigid body structure as well as a 30mm longer wheelbase and 14mm wider front track. The front featured a new ‘predator’ design treatment with AMG-inspired grille and narrow headlights tapering into the wings.
And apart from the A 250e badging and the extra ‘filler’ flap for the electric plug-in socket, there’s nothing to distinguish the new plug-in hybrid from its petrol and diesel-engined stablemates. Even the interior packaging is uncompromised – the large battery pack stows under the rear seats and the 99bhp electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and transmission.
Like all A-Class models the new plug-in hybrid comes with an array of safety systems as standard as well as an optional Driving Assistance package. Active Brake Assist can mitigate the effects of a rear-end collision or even prevent it completely and Attention Assist warns the driver if they are showing signs of fatigue.
The Active Distance Assist Distronic system will maintain a set distance behind the vehicle in front and give steering assistance, even in corners. It also uses map data to adjust the car’s speed approaching bends or roundabouts.
Verdict: if you drive less than 44 miles a day in normal motoring, but still want the performance and range of a petrol-electric hybrid for longer distances, the A 250e – either as a hatchback or saloon – makes a compelling case for itself. Economy figures of up to 217mpg and a Benefit in Kind rating of just 8% for company car users speak for themselves. Best of all, it still has everything that’s so good about the other A-Class models; you don’t have to compromise on luggage or interior space for the hybrid powertrain.