Driving report: Mercedes E 300 de: The stingy king

The diesel engines from Mercedes are known to be more economical than ever.

Driving report: Mercedes E 300 de: The stingy king

The diesel engines from Mercedes are known to be more economical than ever. This applies in particular to the well-known four-cylinder diesel, which with its displacement of almost two liters drives almost everything that bears a star as a self-igniting all-purpose weapon below the luxury models. Most other manufacturers have only shaken their heads with this combination of technology – and have done so for years. Because the diesels at Mercedes and the competition are economical enough anyway. Installing an electric motor specifically for the small further savings potential and thus creating a plug-in hybrid that weighs 150 kilograms more usually has a manageable benefit in reality, because the diesels are used in particular by the E-Class, for example moves long-distance drivers in everyday life. And on the Autobahn, the hybrid drive hardly reduces fuel consumption.

But now it is the case that Mercedes decided on the technology years ago and has now elaborately developed it further. Since the drives of the previous E-Class are largely the same as those of the successor, the W 214, the adaptation costs were limited and so the combination of diesel and electric migrated to the new model as a stingy PHEV. The drive power is powerful for a four-cylinder thanks to the additional electric boost, because the two-liter common rail diesel with its 145 kW / 197 hp / 440 Nm is supported by an electric motor in the gearbox housing, which contributes a further 95 kW / 129 hp. What they have in common is 230 kW / 313 hp and more than a generous 700 Nm of maximum torque.

Admittedly, the elegant Swabian does not drive like a Swabian power sedan with over 300 hp and enormous torque in real operation. This is due to the lavish dimensions in addition to the dead weight of almost 2.2 tons, the opulent comfort level of the luxury class model and a four-cylinder diesel, which unfortunately makes no secret of its combustion chamber quartet, because the engine sound of the combustion engine is no revelation for such a sedan. But at second glance, the boost is more lavish than you think, because numbers often say more than subjective feelings. From a standing start to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds is a good value and a top speed of 235 km/h is also important for the mile-eaters behind the wheel. However, it gets really impressive when the PHEV comes to charging and fuel stations. The standard consumption of 0.5 to 0.8 liters is a value that leaves your mouth wide open for a posh version like the new E-Class. Of course, the micro value lies in the eyewash measurement method that the plug-in hybrids are measured with a charged battery. Since the Mercedes E 300 de can use 19.4 kWh from its 25.4 kWh battery, the electric range is up to 100 kilometers. That explains the tiny consumption at the pump. At the charging station it is a bit more meaningful with 19.0 to 22.0 kWh / 100 kilometers.

For which customer is the Mercedes E 300 de the right one, because most diesel fans should be well served with the E 220d and its 145 kW / 197 hp? It offers similar driving performance and is also available with the sensible all-wheel drive on request. If you want more power, you often also want more image and then it would be better to wait for the six-cylinder diesel in the E-Class, which will also be available as an all-wheel drive version. The Mercedes E 300 de should be the right choice if long motorway journeys can be regularly combined with purely electric inner-city routes and there may even be free charging at home or at work. Perhaps the fleet manager of the company car department also prescribes electrification and, despite all the criticism and electric fans, is a diesel fan. Then the Mercedes E 300 de is exactly the right choice, because its level of comfort with excellent seats, numerous driver assistance systems, screens wherever you look and technical delicacies such as air suspension or a steering child axle is a big show. This also applies to the extremely pleasing design, which should not only please the fleet manager.