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Electro-premium from Mercedes

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March 25No marksOn the test we have a restyled Mercedes-Benz E-Class W213. Yes, the model received an updated appearance, but in the case of our car, this is far from the most important thing. Much more important is the power plant – perhaps one of the most promising in the E-Class range – a rechargeable diesel hybrid 300 de.

It is strange that only Mercedes-Benz made a serious bet on this technology. Yes, VAG had a definite problem with diesels, but what about the rest? Why do we only know about plug-in diesel hybrids from Volvo and the previous generation of Peugeot 508 RXH, which was not even a plug-in (and maybe it's good, because then it would be more expensive than everyone else in the class)?

Too lazy to read? Watch the video test of the hybrid Mercedes E-Calss W213 :

Appearance

The updated E-Class looks toned and refreshed. The appearance of the sedan after modernization indicates that even in a restrained classic style there is still room for the imagination of designers to fly. And its main feature here has become a particularly well-successful front optics with a spectacular flourish of DRL (which can also be found on the new S-Class).

Electro-premium from Mercedes

But the taillights, similar in shape to the headlights of the A-Class (it was with him that the story of a new look at the design of the brand's sedans began), after restyling, they look much simpler than before. The previous taillights, which the brand's marketers used the word stardust to describe, looked just fine! They suggested that each element of the car is given special attention. What, in fact, lies the feeling of premium.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Now the rear optics looks too simple. And its appearance seems to be a solution aimed at … the Asian market. So one could assume that we are flirting with the actively growing demand from China. But this assumption collapses into dry numbers: in 2019, 150,000 E-Classes were sold in China, and more than half a million in Europe.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

The test car is made in a fairly simple version of Avantgarde, but despite this, it still looks smart. More expensive versions feature a different grille and discs. Wheels of the 18th size are also installed here (at the same time, 17-inch wheels are offered in the basic version). But in general, even in this version, the car looks restrained and tasteful.

Power point

Yes, the AMG 53 and AMG 63 S versions with the straight-six and V-shaped eight, respectively, remain in the E-Class lineup. They are worth a separate discussion, and unleashing the potential of those motors is not an easy task.

Opposite is our version, although its potential lies not in the outstanding dynamic performance (however, here they are really impressive), but in the exceptional efficiency of the diesel-hybrid system. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300 de has to be one of the most economical hybrids in this class on our market. At least on paper, the manufacturer claims 1.6 l/100 km. And we will definitely check this indicator.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Compared to its predecessor, the motor has become lighter and more environmentally friendly (but is it more economical?). A special particulate filter for hybrid cars is installed here, which warms up faster. An addition to it is another power plant control program – with a special burn mode, when the electric motor additionally loads the engine to speed up the process.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

This diesel unit appeared in 2016 and was installed on C- and E-Class sedans in modifications of 200 d, 220 d, 300 d (in various boost versions). In our case, the internal combustion engine is also supplemented by an electric motor. This system is similar to the one that was installed on the Mercedes S-class in (W222), but there are still differences, and the differences are significant.

The synchronous electric motor, developed jointly with Bosch, is the only alternative for the entire line of plug-in hybrids after 2016. He gives out 122 hp. with. and 440 Nm of torque. A battery with a capacity of 13.5 kWh was placed in the trunk, but it looks awkward: a huge step appeared in the trunk, which “eats up” about 140 liters of usable space. As a result, only a couple of suitcases can now be placed in the trunk itself, and the folding function of the rear sofa back sections (still available) causes only a grin. Yes, and there is no spare wheel under the raised floor – only a repair kit in a shallow niche.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Such features of the implementation of the hybrid installation are evidence that Mercedes-Benz changed shoes in a jump, realizing that in this – 213 – body they still have to make hybrid modifications. On the other hand, the argument in favor of just such an arrangement of the battery is the optimization of the weight distribution along the axes, as well as the margin for deformation of the body in the event of an accident with a rear impact.

Batteries for Mercedes-Benz are produced by a subsidiary, while the cells are Chinese. Its capacity, I repeat, is 13.5 kWh, and it is she who feeds the electric motor. With the return of a 2.0-liter diesel engine in 194 liters. with. and 400 Nm, the total power and torque of the hybrid power plant is 306 hp. with. and 700 Nm! Impressive performance. But how are they implemented on the go?

Performance and savings

The dynamics of acceleration to the first 100 km / h – 5.76 s! One-pedal response is lightning fast, and this E-Class literally shoots forward. It is worth noting that if it were not for the perfectly tuned 4Matic all-wheel drive system, it would be almost impossible to realize forces and Newton meters.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

And let the acceleration with a discharged battery is already a little less outstanding, but the difference is not very significant: the sedan accelerates to 100 km / h in 6.1 s. This is a very good result, which ten years ago one could only dream of (especially in the context of a 2.0-liter engine).

Of course, the electric motor helps to accelerate the diesel engine. Here it is integrated into the hydromechanical automatic transmission. The box itself is combined here. The classic for the 9G-Tronic brand was taken as a basis with a torque converter, which was left for greater softness of switching. Then an electric motor is installed in the circuit, followed by a “wet” clutch. The unit works smoothly: you don’t notice how the switching between modes occurs, at what moments the electric motor helps the engine, and at what moments energy is recuperated, and from all four wheels (which Mercedes-Benz is very proud of).

Electro-premium from Mercedes

How about efficiency? Let's compare. The hybrid system installed in the Toyota Camry, with skillful driving, saves up to 3.5–4 l / 100 km (compared to the ICE version). Here, with a completely discharged battery in the city, the consumption is about 6-7 l / 100 km, which is only 2 l / 100 km less compared to a conventional diesel E-Class. So it turns out that in the usual hybrid form, this version is not so economical. But do not forget that we still have a plug-in hybrid.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

An obvious plus of such a system is an impressive acceleration. And so impressive that on the move this Mercedes-Benz is not perceived at all as a sedan with a 2.0-liter engine under the hood. In addition, it can be great to save money in traffic jams. The hybrid system here is very similar in meaning to the technology used in the Peugeot 3008 hybrid, only it works more logically in Mercedes-Benz. For example, in city traffic jams, unlike Peugeot, it is much more willing to allow you to move on electric traction with the engine turned off.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

But where Toyota hybrids (and I give an example of this particular brand because these Japanese cars are the most common hybrids in our market) lose Mercedes-Benz one way is in the power reserve itself on electricity. After all, the main feature of the plug-in hybrid is the ability to replenish the charge from a socket or terminal.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

With the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300 de, you can commute, for example, to work purely on electric power. The range on electric traction, measured on the NEDC cycle, is 54 km, on the WLTP cycle – 46-49 km. But I recommend focusing on an indicator of 30-35 km – that's how much I managed to drive on electric traction in Kiev.

This stock may well be enough for everyday driving, especially if you live somewhere near the center. The battery is charged from a household outlet in 5 hours. If you use branded Wallbox, the process takes an hour and a half. The car is capable of taking on board up to 7.4 kWh.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

It should be understood that this car is not a benchmark in terms of economy. But what the 300 de is, is the right strategic step towards the electrification of vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has promised that by 2022, every model in the lineup will have either a hybrid or electric version. So this E-Class is another qualitative step in this direction.

Salon

In general, “quality” and “Mercedes” are often synonymous words. The interior of the test E-Class is a confirmation of this: everything is fine in it, as before. You will see very little here. But the new one, which is better than the old one, is even less.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

For example, I liked the nice new steering wheel, but the scattering of touch buttons on it takes some getting used to: they are small, and many of them need to be reached. So to use them without looking up from the road, as for me, is difficult.

Previously, you could control the multimedia system with a puck, which seems to suit most owners of such cars. Now its place has been taken by the touchpad, which again will have to get used to. Yes, this touchpad with a clear vibration response is better tuned than, for example, in Lexus. But why did you need to change the washer? ..

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Incredibly colorful system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) sins with illogical menus. And while you are flipping through the menu of its tabs, sitting in a stopped car, it seems that everything is clear in this system, everything you need is in its place, and it is even quite convenient to use it. But after the start of movement, even a simple search for a radio station turns into a dance with a tambourine: menus, submenus, false clicks … However, an alternative to the touchpad is a touch screen and voice commands.

Despite the ultra-modern power plant, there are no completely ordinary options in our configuration. For example, there is no steering wheel heating, but there is an electric steering column. The leather on the seats is quite ordinary, but the seats themselves are heated, there is also ventilation. The front panel is not covered with leather. The audio system is quite simple, but the sound quality is still very pleasant by the standards of the base system. There is also a multi-color interior lighting, the color of which changes depending on temperature changes in the “climate” (although it shines unevenly). Yes, and wireless charging for a smartphone is also available.

It may seem to someone that I find fault, but after all, the demand is higher from excellent students. I am glad that nothing creaks here (as in some Audi models), and there are no cheaper buttons (as is common with BMW). Here, the quality factor of Mercedes-Benz is felt in everything, the only exceptions are nuances, half of which are taste.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Our configuration also lacks adaptive cruise control and lane keeping system. But there is an equally useful option that allows you to keep a distance from the car in front. 300 de will stop on its own (and at the same time gently and smoothly) when it detects a critical decrease in the distance between cars. In a close metropolis, this option makes driving much easier. The main thing is not to get used to it.

Drive

Noise isolation in the E-Class is simply amazing. Much better than the Audi A6 I tested six months ago. But according to the criterion of smooth running, Mercedes-Benz still loses. The thing is that the Audi had an air suspension, while here it is a simple Agility Control spring suspension with a Selective damping system. Although you don’t have to worry about comfort, everything is still in order here. Ride is high, directional stability is also good. Yes, the softness of the air suspension can only be given by the air suspension, but a significant difference will be felt only on large bumps and paving stones. In other cases, comfort and silence reign in the cabin of the test Mercedes-Benz.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Clearance of 13 cm at first glance may not seem enough. But for an executive sedan, this is a pretty good result. In addition, the overhangs here are quite short – they will be more whole.

findings

The price of the Mercedes-Benz 300 de starts from 63 thousand dollars (at the time of writing the test – InfoCar.ua) Of course, this is not a little, but you have to pay for manufacturability. By the way, the gasoline plug-in hybrid with the “300 e” index costs three thousand dollars less. The scheme of operation of the hybrid system is identical there, the only difference is in the internal combustion engine.

The updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class is as good as ever. He is patient, thoughtful and calm. Of course, if necessary, he can easily show his teeth, but no one will force him to do this. If you are a fan of the brand, then this car will definitely not disappoint you.

Electro-premium from Mercedes

Is buying a diesel plug-in hybrid justified? Not everything is clear here. If you charge it every day, then on low runs you can achieve zero fuel consumption. If you drive about 100 km a day, then getting a pleasant average consumption figure of 4 l / 100 km is not difficult.

But the E-Class 300 de is not a story about economy. This is a conversation about amazing dynamics and the same notorious Mercedes-Benz ride and balance, which are now powdered with the latest technological delights.

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