The S-Class achieves admirable fuel economy on the official test but finds itself in the ‘Also Consider’ section as it is a full class larger than our usual Executive cars, with a price tag to match. This is actually the second generation of Hybrid S-Class with the original model staking claim to being the first production hybrid to use lithium-ion batteries.
For many the S-Class remains the default choice if you’re looking for a full size executive saloon, particularly if you’ll be spending more time in the back than in the driver’s seat. The 300 Hybrid adds to your options by providing an S-Class with fuel economy that would shame many city cars.
The hybrid system is deceptively simple with a single electric motor producing just 27 bhp sandwiched in between the engine and the silky smooth 7G-Tronic Plus gearbox. However the real news is that the slim motor can produce 184 lb ft. of torque instantaneously, so don’t be fooled, it packs enough punch to help the diesel engine out when needed.
The diesel engine in question is a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder unit which with a little help can produce 369 lb. ft. of torque between 1,600 – 1,800 rpm. Cleverly, although it is connected to the motor and gearbox, it can be de-clutched so that the electric motor can drive the car without having to spin the engine.
Mercedes has managed to move the game on again with fuel consumption that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. It is an intriguing mix which provides an opportunity to drive one of the iconic executive models without the anticipated fuel consumption penalty, if, and it is a big ‘if’, you can stump up the necessary cash.