First contact: Mercedes-Benz A 250 e, the A-Class in plug-in hybrid guise

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The Mercedes Class A 250 e uses a 160 hp petrol engine and an electric motor for a cumulative power of 218 hp and an announced self-propelled 70 to 77 km range (NEDC) in all-electric driving mode. First test.

While waiting for the electric car to become the norm, rechargeable hybrids are multiplying in the car industry. This is particularly the case at Mercedes, with the GLE, on the C-Class, the B-Class and now the A-Class, which is being tested today, in A 250 e shape.

The technical concept is quite simple: we have a 1,330 cc turbo gasoline engine with 4 cylinders and 160 hp coupled to an electric motor of about 100 hp integrated directly into the 8-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox. The total system cumulative power is rated at 221 hp and torque is 450 Nm.

With such energy, obviously, the performance is more than correct: Mercedes announces a 0 to 100 km / h sprint in 6.6 s, but more than the performances, what interests us here is the 100% electric autonomy. The Li-Ion battery has a capacity of 15.6 kWh and Mercedes announces that this allows to travel a little over 70 km without necessarily using the engine. In real life, it is better to count a good fifty kilometers, which is already not bad and that allows you to browse daily journeys without necessarily returning lead free. The WLTP range official figures is 60 km.

What must also be said is that it is quite easy to refuel the battery because the on-board charger of the car supports direct current and alternating current to recharge at different power levels and therefore in as little as 15-20 minutes you can refill 80% of the battery  if you have a fast charging station available.

As for the driving sensations, even after driving several hybrid or electric cars, it’s still pretty miraculous to be able to propel yourself without noise, without vibration. It’s very nice. What is less is the braking phase because of a recovery threshold that varies depending on speed limits and the traffic that precedes you: basically, when you lift your foot, you do not have always the same deceleration, and at the beginning, it’s a little disturbing.

Still about energy recovery, in 100% electric mode, a mode that you can select via the on-board computer, this plug-in hybrid A-Class A 250 e has 5 different modes to more or less preserve the battery life. We also wanted to talk about the usual weak point of a rechargeable hybrid, namely, its trunk: here it is reduced by 70 liters because of the battery. That said, when we open the tailgate, we are quite happily surprised by the regular shape of the trunk, because the 70 liters disappeared under the floor, a compartment that is used very little in everyday life.