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What Car? Electric Car Awards in association with myenergi

Electric Car Awards 2020: Hybrid family car

With electric cars now coming in all shapes and sizes – and available to suit every budget – we’ve named the best models in every class. Here we look at the best plug-in hybrid family car...

Electric Car Awards - Mercedes A250e

WINNER: Hybrid family car

Mercedes A-Class A250e

Best buy AMG Line List price £32,980 Target Price £31,461 Target PCP £360 per month 0-62mph 6.6sec Top speed 146mph Official economy 256.8mpg Official electric-only range 44 miles CO2 emissions 25g/km

Without wishing to sound overly dramatic, the Mercedes A250e is something of a game-changer among plug-in hybrids. How so? Because, with a starting price of less than £33,000 in our recommended AMG Line trim, it’s the first relatively affordable one to offer an official electric-only range of more than 40 miles. And the more time you spend running on battery power, the less petrol you’ll burn and the more money you’ll save.

Company car drivers benefit even more than private buyers. While most similar-priced plug-in hybrids fall into the 10% benefit-in-kind tax bracket, the A250e’s longer range means it attracts a rate of just 6%, translating into really low monthly salary sacrifices.

A250e Merc Rear

Although the A250e isn’t as sharp in corners as conventional rivals such as the BMW 1 Series, it has a comfortable ride that’s troubled only by particularly vicious potholes and expansion joints. Meanwhile, a combined power output of 215bhp from its 1.3-litre petrol engine and electric motor makes it far swifter than other affordable plug-in hybrids, including the cheaper Kia XCeed PHEV. In electric mode, power is down to 100bhp, although that’s still enough acceleration to keep pace with fast-moving traffic.

The A250e isn’t as smooth as the XCeed when it switches between electric and petrol power and its engine is more raucous under hard acceleration, but we suspect you’ll forgive it that for its interior. Not only does it look striking, with big digital displays and turbine-style air vents, but it’s also laid out in a very user-friendly way. Space in the front and rear seats is unaffected by the addition of the hybrid technology, although boot capacity takes a hit compared with other A-Class models.

Mercedes A-Class interior

As in its siblings, the infotainment system is impressive, offering a variety of ways of interacting with it, plus quick responses to inputs and easy-to-fathom menus.

Overall, then, the A250e is a fine car in its own right, and one that has some serious financial benefits whether you’re buying with your own money or receiving one from work.

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