Mercedes-Benz A 250 e PHEV review (2020)

13 Aug 2021, 14:38  •  Review  •  Door koen

You may not see it immediately, but this Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a plug-in hybrid. You’re looking at the A 250 e, a compact five-door plug-in hybrid with performance that’s more impressive than you might think.

Plug-in hybrids are on the rise again. Previously, a PHEV was mainly bought for the addition benefit. Charging the battery was often forgotten. A shame, because by being smart with the powertrain, you can cover large parts completely electrically. A car like the A 250 e fully motivates you to charge it when you can, not when you have to. This ‘EQ Power’ plug-in hybrid has a solid electric range. It becomes a sport to drive as efficiently as possible.

Plug-in hybrid Mercedes

EQ Power and EQ Boost Mercedes

Well, first a little explanation. Because ‘EQ Power’, what’s that name? And then Mercedes-Benz also has the term ‘EQ Boost’. How exactly? The explanation is quite simple: the term EQ Boost is used on cars with a mild-hybrid powertrain (48 volts). In the case of EQ Power, there are plug-in hybrids.

Audi compact EV

Mercedes-Benz is introducing several new compact EQ Power types almost simultaneously, such as a GLA, CLA Coupé, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class and the A-Class Saloon. All of them have the designation 250 e. The drivetrain is the same in all models, but because they differ in weight and shape, we deliver varying performance. This A 250 e is the most potent of the compact PHEV family.

Mercedes-Benz A 250 e (2020) – THOUGHTFUL PHEV – AutoRAI TV

Merdeces 8G-DCT

In the front, Mercedes-Benz installs a transversely mounted 1.33 liter four-cylinder turbo petrol engine 160 hp and 230 Nm. It is coupled to an automatic dual clutch transmission, christened by the brand ‘8G-DCT’. This automatic transmission shifts smoothly and without jerking.

Impressive system power

The drivetrain also consists of a 102 hp (75 kW) and 330 Nm strong electric motor. The system power impresses with 218 hp and a maximum torque of 450 Nm. Especially when the petrol and electric motor work together, you enjoy a solid push in the back. Even on electric power alone, this A-Class is smooth. The acceleration from 0 to 60 km/h is particularly smooth, after which a pleasant acceleration is created.

Mercedes-Benz A250 acceleration

The A 250 e sprints to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 235 km/h. Great numbers. In the electric driving mode, the A 250 e can reach 140 km/h, just like the other models. Nice to know, but anything but efficient. The kilometers then fly out of the battery pack.

Electric driving at a speed of 80 or 100 km/h is much smarter. Yet this A-Class comes into its own in the city where you regularly accelerate and brake. Then you recover maximum energy during rolling out and braking and the electric range increases significantly.

WLTP-range

Thanks to a 15.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, you can travel 72 kilometers on paper according to the WLTP test standard. In practice, our on-board computer indicated a maximum of 62 kilometers at an outside temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

Mercedes-Benz handling

Not only in the city, but also on the highway, this A 250 e turns out to be a wonderfully comfortable car. It is very quiet and has a nice chassis. Mercedes-Benz has tuned the chassis to the extra weight of this plug-in hybrid.

Mercedes-Benz weight

The A 250 e weighs 1,680 kilograms versus 1,375 kilograms for an A 200 petrol. That higher weight is of course due to the relatively large battery pack. You feel the extra weight when you are on the road when cornering, yet the A 250 e remains very manoeuvrable.

Mercedes A250 Smart packaging

Mercedes has clearly thought carefully about the packaging. All components are cleverly placed in the car. To ensure that the luggage compartment is barely smaller than in models without a hybrid powertrain, the exhaust does not extend to the rear of the car, but ends halfway through the vehicle floor, with the muffler positioned in the center tunnel. The ‘exhausts’ in the rear bumper are therefore faker than fake.

Mercedes Slightly smaller luggage space

The integration of the 35-litre fuel tank in the axle carrier creates space under the rear seat for the high-voltage battery. This means that no valuable interior space is lost. You only deliver a few liters in the luggage compartment. With this ‘plug-A’ it measures 310 liters versus 370 liters for the A 200 petrol. A small difference that you hardly notice in practice. The towing capacity of this A-Class is also 1,600 kilograms (braked).

Recharge Mercedes

There is a charging connection in the right side of this Mercedes-Benz, refueling is done on the left. Charging is possible via a 7.4 kW wallbox with alternating current (AC). The battery is then charged from 10 to 100% SoC (Status of Charge) within 1 hour and 45 minutes. With 24 kW DC charging, the charging time is approximately 25 minutes from 10 to 80% SoC. The charge level during charging can be seen on the large digital display in the interior.

Mercedes charging cables

You get two charging cables as standard: one cable for mains power to charge at home or at work and one charging cable for a wallbox and public charging stations. These charging cables are stored in bags in the luggage compartment.

Preconditioning

Preconditioning is possible. The interior of the car can then be cooled or heated before starting. This can also be activated via a smartphone. Also smart: The EQ optimized navigation takes navigation data, speed limits and the route into account. In this way, the system takes the entire planned route into account and uses the electric driving mode at the times that are best for it.

Driver modi Mercedes

You can also influence the operation of the powertrain yourself by switching between driving modes. There is a choice of driving modes Comfort, Sport, Electric and Individual. In Electric, you can control the intensity of energy recovery with flippers behind the wheel. In position ‘D–‘ the A 250 e brakes the most on the electric motor and you recover the most energy. The car does not come to a complete stop, but the car continues to slow down to about 5 km/h.

Drivetrain Mercedes

The drivetrain feels nice. Driving away in position Electric seems to happen with some reflection time. It is also striking that the change between braking on the electric motor and with the physical brake pads can sometimes be felt well in the brake pedal. That takes some getting used to. You have to train yourself to drive smoothly in this A 250 e.

Mercedes competition

And what should that cost? Mercedes-Benz charges a minimum of 44,465 euros. Competitors of this A 250 e are the Golf GTE (245 hp | 400 Nm | 60 km range) and the SEAT Leon eHybrid (204 hp | 60 km range). In that respect, this A 250 e has the largest range on paper.

Summary

An ordinary A-Class to look at, but under the skin a very well thought-out car with a very efficient powertrain. We averaged 1 in 33. That could be much more economical. Because those who live within a radius of 50 kilometers from work can almost always drive electrically. As long as you remember to charge this car when you can, not when you have to. Bottom line, this Mercedes-Benz A 250 e is not only a smart choice, but also a fun one.

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