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Comparing the Stalwarts - Mercedes E300 Hybrid and BMW 520d ED

| 18 Jan 2013 | No Comments

E300 is Mercedes’ endeavour to create a diesel hybrid premium automobile with the E-Class. Let’s find out if it delivers an actually convincing performance, and how does it fare compared to its archrival – BMW 520d ED.

Development of diesel hybrids is a new-fangled idea with the auto industry, with the two Peugeot creations failing miserably despite their promised fuel economy figures and stunning performance. However, we expect positive results when a company like Mercedes ventures into the field with the intent of making the combination of a potent diesel engine and a tiny battery work.

The E300 Hybrid

The E300 Hybrid is designed and created to aim directly at corporate customers. And the inclusion of a Li-ion battery and a motor into the car’s drivetrain has turned Merc’s E-Class into the greenest large executive saloon in the industry. The boot area and the spaciousness of the E-Class interiors remain unaltered due to the battery placement beneath the rear passenger seats. Moreover, the E300 Hybrid comes liberally equipped to match the dangerously high price tag of about £40,000.

The Competitor

However, this hybrid will have to face intense competition from its BMW counterpart – the BMW 520d ED. Despite its fuel efficiency theoretically lower compared to the E300 Hybrid, it turns out to be competitive due to a lower price tag, and hence promises more affordability in terms of corporate car tax rates. After all the number crunching, let’s find out which of the two will emerge victorious – the current class leader 520d EfficientDynamics or the new E-Class Hybrid?

The Comparison

Where other car manufacturers have failed in the past, Mercedes achieves success by creating a hybrid model fit for the UK market, and the one that performs effectively. Earlier, petrol hybrid models from the premium car makers – BMW and Audi – have managed to deliver high performance but unsatisfactory fuel returns. This E300 Hybrid outclasses its closest rival at the test track and is a lot more fuel efficient.

On the other side, even with the impressive drivetrain – a remarkable feat of engineering, this E-Class Hybrid model carries the same drab interiors and old design. Had these been the only gripes with this new E-Class, it would have clearly led in its race with the 520d ED. But there are two major flaws that obstruct its way towards the first spot.

Since the suspension has been lowered to enhance the aerodynamics of this model, the ride comfort has been compromised with. This is quite an unacceptable proposition for any leading corporate. The other concern is the E300 Hybrid’s cost. Though this Merc is economical to run as a corporate or private vehicle, the savings are in no way enough to compensate for its heavy price and sharp depreciation.

Contrarily, BMW’s sharp drive and value for money make it a clear champ, although by a thin margin. Its classy interiors and spaciousness make up for its deficiency in pace. However, BMW must keep a close watch, as improvement happens to be a constant phenomenon in the hybrid car market.


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