Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid Review
Hybrid technology has so far been what you’d call hit and miss. Some have used it very well – particularly Toyota – but, for whatever reason, European car manufacturers have largely found it really difficult to find the sweet spot in this sector, but the 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid – a four door sedan – is looking to change all that.
This car originates from the popular C-Class and has been developed in response to the surge in popularity of electric cars. It comes in the guise of either a Saloon or an Estate, has an all-electric range of 19 miles, comes backed up by a four cylinder engine, and emits just 48g/km of CO2. Oh, and it’s a Mercedes. Sound good? Let’s take a closer look at what the new Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid offers.
Cracking The Hybrid Enigma
The 2.0-litre four pot engine is used in conjunction with the 80-hp electric motor to develop 275bhp, 443 lb-ft of torque, and can get to 60mph from rest in just 5.9 seconds en route to a max speed of 130mph. Sounds great, but what about the electric? Well, the 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid has a max speed of 80mph on just electric ALONE! That’s pretty impressive going, and when you throw in the fact that this car can amble along for 19 miles (all emission free) on just one charge, it’s easy to get excited that the Europeans may have finally cracked the hybrid enigma. Is there any surprise the German’s got there first? Moreover, the new Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid has a silent start, as well as an energy recuperation system that you would expect from any car that has pretensions to be a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid.
There are four driving modes to choose from: Economy, Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus, whilst each car comes wedded to a 7-speed automatic transmission with additional clutch. And because the system output is overall very high, the new Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid performs like a pert sports car, whilst offering the kind of comfortable ride you would normally find in a premium saloon. If you opt for the new Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid Estate, performance and ride enjoyment is still good, though acceleration is a teeny bit slower, and it takes 6.2 seconds to get to 60mph from rest.
To further boost the performance of this car, drivers can make use of a manually configurable Individual transmission mode, which allows you to switch between five different transmission modes: Drive system, chassis and suspension, steering, ECO assist and climate control. There are also four operating modes to choose from: Hybrid, E-mode, E-save, and Charge, the latter of which allows you to charge the battery whilst continuing to drive solely with the combustion engine. How you use the Charge mode might come down to how you plan any longer journeys.
Exterior and Interior
The 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid has the look of a sporty car, and comes as part of the brand’s avant-garde exterior equipment line. Housing a recognisably Mercedes radiator grille and the historical badge on the bonnet, the car proudly displays its classy heritage in combination with its innovative plug-in hybrid technology. Exterior embellishments that come as standard include H7 halogen headlamps, as well as a LED Intelligent Light System.
Inside, high class materials are to be found in abundance, with the designers really taking the time to work on the finer details to ensure that the car looks and feels luxurious enough to justify its expected asking price. The head unit is easy to control via a touchpad, with the buttons and layout user friendly. Other infotainment features include a telephony feature.
Facts and Figures
The new Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid price range has not yet been confirmed, but is expected a little later this year. Standard safety equipment across the range will include adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, collision prevention assist, active blind spot monitors, as well as cross-traffic assist which really makes this car a leader in safety. The total system power is 275bhp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
The 2016 Mercedes Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid is a fairly exciting plug-in hybrid, particularly for anyone who has at least a passing interest in the world of electric motors. It offers enough driving and operating modes for buyers to be creative with how they use it and what they get out of it – for example, it can easily function as just an EV until the driver wants to use the electric motor as a supplement for the four pot unit – and it pretty much does what a state-of-the-art hybrid car in 2015 should be doing. Even better, it’s quick as a whippet and comes with all the classy prestige of a Mercedes. The question really is whether this compact sedan is worth you waiting another year for. We think it is.