Mercedes Benz has been defining its electrified car models using the abbreviation "EQ" since 2016 and promoting the new concept with the slogan "Electric Intelligence". Over the next few years, the premieres of the BEV models will be in the foreground of the concept models presented. The plug-in hybrids already have a permanent place in the Mercedes product portfolio. From the A to the S class, there are versions with petrol and diesel engines. The test reveals the character traits of the new A-Class with two drives.
In the vehicle segment of the compact class, almost a quarter of all new vehicles have been registered in recent years. The plug-in hybrid vehicles have become more popular among new vehicles in recent years. The main competitors in the premium segment of the compact class are primarily the Audi A3 and the BMW 3 Series. With the current A-Class, Mercedes has made a few new statements with regard to digitization, ergonomics and the chassis.
Vehicles that are used in business as BEV or PHEV variants benefit from the new regulation of the monetary benefit for privately used company vehicles. Instead of the one percent of the list price, only half a percent is taxed as a pecuniary benefit for vehicles with an E license plate. This regulation is often used for company vehicles.
DC charger as standard
The A 250 e is technically equipped with a compact inline four-cylinder engine with 118 kW (160 hp) and a 75 hp electric motor. The system output is 160 kW (218 hp) with a maximum torque of 450 Newton meters. An 8-speed DCT automatic transmission is included in the standard equipment. The first delicacy is a relatively large 15,6 kWh battery compared to plug-in hybrids with a DC charger that can be charged with up to 22 kW. This means that the charge is up to 80% at a corresponding charging station in less than half an hour in our tests. This means that time-saving charging processes can be carried out without any problems while shopping or during the lunch break.
After getting into the car, the seat adjustments that are practically integrated into the door panels are noticeable. The seats can be quickly and intuitively adapted to individual requirements and saved using the memory button. After pressing the start button, the major digital revision is shown on the generously designed information display. It extends generously behind the multifunction steering wheel to the center console with individually configurable displays. The departure from the centrally placed infotainment screen to the digital world of experience gives the new A-Class a leap into the informal zeitgeist.
Before looking for the right settings for a long time, it is best to familiarize yourself with the interactive voice control. With the right instructions, it is easy to make phone calls, navigate or air conditioning in the new A-Class. Anyone who has incorporated the WhatsApp voice messages can easily cope with voice control.
Strolling longer distances
The first test drives reveal the new inner values. Start relaxed without a combustion engine, and those who drive defensively in short-haul traffic can first drive a longer distance with the electric motor in a relaxed manner. Responsible for this is an electric motor with 75 kW / 102 PS integrated into the eight-stage double clutch. It ensures purely electrified driving up to a speed of 140 km / h and can cover up to 68 km per day according to the WLTP standard.
This is ensured by an electric motor integrated in the eight-stage double clutch with at least 75 kW / 102 PS and 300 Nm and a battery with a capacity of 15,6 kWh. The former enables a purely electric top speed of 140 km / h and, according to the WLTP standard, is enough for up to 68 kilometers and thus brings most city dwellers easily through the day. Recuperation is also carried out with a data comparison from navigation and distance radar; the detected delays are preferably used via the electric motor in its function as a generator and energy supplier instead of the brake system.
Fine adjustments can be made via a differentiated selection of the recuperation levels. Depending on your own taste, you can let the A-Class coast over a stretch or let the car slow down at the next intersection when you step on the accelerator.
The downsizing of internal combustion engines is in vogue with all traditional manufacturers. A 1,3-liter four-cylinder engine with 118 kW / 160 PS, which is comparatively compact for the traditional Mercedes driver, provides the combustion engine for propulsion beyond 140 km / h. Based on the more moderate consumption values, the petrol tank has also been slimmed down to 35 liters. The petrol engine always switches on when the accelerator pedal is kicked down, if the lithium-ion battery has run empty or if you want to keep the charge level of the battery. With a total of 160 kW / 218 PS system output and 450 Newton meters at maximum torque, the new A-Class can map the entire repertoire from defensive ECO gliding to brutal sport mode at the touch of a finger by selecting the driving mode.
The double heart of the Mercedes plug-in hybrid drive
In sport mode, the sprint qualities (6,6 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h) and a top speed on the motorway of up to 235 km / h are revealed. However, this is also far beyond the specified standard consumption of 1,4 liters of premium gasoline with CO2 emissions of 33g / km. Due to the speedy charging process, we charged more often in between. On average, we measured 3 to 4 liters in all modes in spring, a relatively moderate consumption and achieved a very good range with a full petrol tank of a good 700 to 800 kilometers until the next refueling stop.
There are only marginal changes to the design of the A-Class in the plug-in hybrid version. The mighty tailpipes are retained and the storage space is still 345 liters. In the interior, a few menu items have been added with the MBUX, which simplify the integration of the smartphone and the infotainment. The charging processes can be organized on the smartphone and monitored in real time, or the air conditioning and heating can be started while the car is still attached to the charging station.
In the premium segment of the compact class, the entry-level price for the basic version of the A 250e including 8-speed DCT automatic transmission is 37.764,65 euros. The pricing policy of Mercedes traditionally provides for different equipment lines and its own sporty note with AMG accessories. The customization of the new car is reflected in the 90-page price list.
A look at the Mercedes price list
A few delicacies can be found in the overview for the special accessories. We have put together a few interesting details that our test vehicle was equipped with in our list:
Adaptive high beam assistant
Those who value automated dimming of the high beam can order the assistance system as an extra for 214,20 euros. Whenever the adaptive high beam assistant does not register any vehicles ahead or in oncoming traffic, it switches on the high beam.
Blind Spot Assistant
The blind spot assistant is part of the special equipment for a surcharge of 535,50 euros. A relieving detail in the long-haul area, it shows vehicles in the blind spot area. But it is also active for a further three minutes when the vehicle is stationary: if the assistant detects two-wheelers or pedestrians in the danger area, it warns visually and acoustically.
The option package for 583,10 euros connects the smartphone to the vehicle's external antenna. The connections are technically optimized and the data transfer runs faster. Mobile phones charge automatically and connect to the vehicle via Near Field Communication (NFC).
The compact A-Class as a plug-in hybrid is, in combination with the environmental bonus, an alternative to the diesel drive. Those who can use the fast-charging DC charger frequently will drive purely electrically most of the time in short-haul traffic. The full range of relevant driving situations can be implemented with the other modes. Further pluses in the practical test are the high processing quality and a high degree of customization.
Practical test green car magazine 2020
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