Electric Car Awards 2023: Best hybrid estate car
With electrified 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 hybrid estate car...
Mercedes C-Class Estate C300e AMG Line Premium Plus
As a saloon, the Mercedes C300e impresses in many ways, including its long electric range. But what if you want something more practical? Well, the C300e version of the Mercedes C-Class Estate gives you everything that makes the saloon great, and then some.
Of course, the estate car boot means more space for luggage, boosting capacity by a modest 45 litres with the rear seatbacks up. But more usefully, accessing and utilising the available space is far easier, thanks to the estate’s lift-up tailgate and broader opening. If you need to fit more cargo in the boot, you get rear seatbacks that split in a handy 40/20/40 configuration, and folding them down increases total space to 1375 litres – although that’s slightly less than you get in the equivalent BMW 3 Series Touring, the 330e.
The C300e Estate’s reshaped roofline means there’s more rear head room than in the saloon. Leg room remains the same, but that’s not a bad thing, because there’s plenty of space for a couple of six-footers to sit comfortably.
Using the same class-leading 25.4kWh battery as the saloon, the estate can officially cover up to 69 miles on electricity alone – fractionally down on its sibling but almost double what the 330e Touring can manage. Better still, leave the C300e in Hybrid mode and it’ll seamlessly use its electric power and 2.0-litre petrol engine to officially return up to 471mpg.
The C300e isn’t just about efficiency, though; a combined power output of 308bhp means it’s also a strong performer, covering 0-62mph in just 6.2sec. True, that isn’t quite as quick as its BMW rival, but it’s plenty punchy enough to make overtaking a doddle. What’s more, with standard air suspension at the rear end, the C300e has a more comfortable ride than the 330e Touring.
Now, there is an elephant in the room: the C300e estate is available only in range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus trim, and that makes it pricey compared with the 330e Touring. To compensate, the C300e comes loaded with equipment, including a Burmester Surround Sound audio system.
Company car drivers will be especially drawn to the C300e because its low CO2 emissions and long electric range significantly reduce benefit-in-kind tax. As a result, monthly payments will be around £200 lower than for the 330e Touring M Sport.
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