Station wagons are adamantine to acquisition in America. Of the added than 120 car nameplates awash here, aloof nine are accessible with a continued roof. Constituent amalgam base wagons are alike harder to find. (In case you’re wondering, there are aloof two: Volvo’s V90 Recharge and V60 Recharge wagons.) A wagon that’s a constituent amalgam and whose centralized agitation agent is a diesel? It doesn’t exist. Well, absolutely not actuality in the U.S. But Europeans can buy one. Meet the Mercedes-Benz E300de Wagon.
The long-roof E-Class has been one of the few wagons awash in America with any amount of consistency, and over the years it has congenital up a baby but loyal following. Solid, smooth, carefully upscale, and ample abundant to booty the ancestors and their actuality out of boondocks for a anniversary in the Hamptons, the E-Class wagon boasted some of the wealthiest owners of any car in America afore exceptional SUVs were a thing.
Even in its best basal spec—you can buy one with a 157-hp four-cylinder engine, bolt seats, and 17-inch wheels—the E-Class wagon is agilely adequate and alluringly functional, its calmness of purpose underpinned by abysmal ability engineering. In our assessment it is the world’s best wagon, a car that hews to the best traditions of the three-pointed star. (The aforementioned goes for the E-Class calendar as a whole, accustomed the 2021 E-Class was the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year.)
The Best Economical of E-Class Wagons
Mercedes-Benz pitches the E300de as accepting the best economical of the nine powertrains accessible in the E-Class wagon lineup. Beneath the awning is a 192-hp adaptation of the accurate 2.0-liter OM654 turbodiesel, with a 121-hp motor amid the agent and the nine-speed automated manual that’s fed by a 13.5-kWh battery, abundant to accord the E300 de a claimed 31-mile ambit on authentic electric power. Absolute arrangement achievement is 302 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, which delivers a 0-60-mph dispatch time in the aerial 5-second range, according to Mercedes.
Critics say the botheration with constituent hybrids (PHEVs) is their electric active ambit is poor compared with a able EV, and aback the battery’s done, the centralized agitation agent uses added ammunition than it should because it has to lug about the asleep weight of a comatose EV powertrain. PHEVs are the affliction of both worlds, they insist, and in theory, they’re right. But afterwards packing a Mercedes-Benz E300de wagon with four adults and all their baggage and application it as a crammer during a weeklong break in arresting Cornwall in the southwest of England, we’re assertive this PHEV ability be one of the best alive ancestors cartage on the bazaar today.
As with any acceptable tool, though, the abstruse is in how you use it.
Application E-Power to Its Fullest
We had a 75 percent allegation in the array and an adumbrated EV ambit of 17 afar aback we began the 352-mile run from London. Left in the absence Amalgam mode, the Mercedes wafted through the suburbs on authentic electric power, the centralized agitation agent abandoned blame in aback the battery’s allegation was about absolutely depleted. The centralized agitation agent again did the abundant appropriation for the blow of the trip, which was analogously breach amid freeway canoeing at 75 mph and apathetic 30-to-50-mph active on awash two-lanes.
Even so, we accustomed at our destination with the cruise computer assuming 105 of those afar had been completed after the centralized agitation running. The powertrain administration arrangement would shut bottomward the little agent at any befalling and acquiesce the Mercedes to coast, or use about-face (the Active Brake Assist arrangement adapted to our absolutely loaded analysis agent automatically acclimated it to apathetic the car aback it sensed slower cartage ahead) to accelerate a allegation aback to the battery, which again accustomed the motor to be acclimated for torque ample and to ability the car silently through baby villages. We topped up the catchbasin with aloof 7.95 gallons of diesel, which meant the big Benz had alternate almost 44 mpg for the trip.
The centralized agitation agent accursed up aloof already during our six-day break in Cornwall. Afterwards actuality acquainted into a approved bank atrium for some bristles hours, the absolutely answerable array would bear a astute 26 afar of authentic EV ambit with the car switched into E-Mode, abundant to awning our abbreviate trips to adjacent day-tripper spots. In all, we covered about 150 afar on electric ability alone. Adumbrated electricity burning ranged from a affliction of 2.1 mi/kWh to a best of 3.5 mi/kWh, which pencils to almost 70.8 mpg-e to 118.0 mpg-e.
The amalgam powertrain ascendancy arrangement additionally has an E-Save mode, which keeps the centralized agitation agent active to bottle the battery’s accompaniment of charge, and a Allegation mode, which uses the agent to recharge the array while the car is actuality driven. These are in accession to the accustomed Mercedes-Benz Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport , and Individual drive modes.
For the cruise aback to London, via cafeteria abysmal in the wilds of Dartmoor, we started with a abounding array and—as the centralized agitation agent had run for abandoned 30 afar back our appointment to the gas base beforehand in the week—a abreast abounding tank. Topping the car up in London appear we’d acclimated aloof 8.16 gallons of agent over 502 afar for an able boilerplate ammunition abridgement of 61.5 mpg.
Over the 856 afar we’d catholic in absolute during our anniversary away, the E300de had averaged 53.1 mpg—deeply absorbing abridgement for a roomy, 4,750-pound base wagon that was absolutely loaded best of the time.
It’s Not Perfect, But It’s Perfectly Efficient
The E300de wagon isn’t perfect. Its 13.5-kWh array sits in a box beyond the rear amount space, abbreviation burden accommodation by about 25 percent. And we’d like added EV range. (The PHEV C-Class wagon, aloof launched in Europe, addresses both issues with a 24.5-kWh array army out of the way beneath the rear amount amplitude to bear a claimed authentic electric active ambit of aloof over 60 miles.)
Nevertheless, this Mercedes shows that an intelligently engineered PHEV can be a 18-carat center abode amid a accepted centralized agitation agent agent and a abounding array electric vehicle. Plug it in every night, and you can use E-Mode to waft calmly and silently about the ‘burbs, on those runs to the stores, to the coffee shop, and to the kids’ soccer game. And aback you charge to bite the miles, there are few added fuel-efficient engines than a torquey little agent active at a connected speed.
Smooth and quiet, ample and comfortable, with bigger ride and administration than any analogously sized SUV, and a agenda powertrain toolkit that, if acclimated correctly, can bear absolutely outstanding efficiency, the Mercedes-Benz E300de wagon is the cerebration person’s ancestors car.
2023 Mercedes E-Class Performance – 2023 Mercedes E-Class
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