This is Mercedes-Benz’s attempt to make a petrol plug-in hybrid more economical than its more popular diesels, using the now tried and tested 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine with an electric motor via an automatic gearbox.
Stepping into the big car for the first time, a welcoming display of gentle lighting, plush leather, aluminium detailing and massive screens fills me with a real sense of satisfaction. This is a quality looking cabin that certainly has the wow factor.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the experience. While appearances are certainly very good, the quality feels only skin deep. It’s more about show rather than longevity and sure enough on this particular car that has covered just a few thousand miles from new, it was already starting to show wear. Every control in the cabin has a soft touch to it, which sadly gives the feeling that it’s fragile and about to break. For example, the large and heavy doors are opened with a softly sprung door handle. The driver’s information screens are controlled by two thumb sensors like you’d find on a Blackberry phone. They’re a neat idea in theory and while the car’s stationary, but on a vaguely bumpy road it’s all too easy to change a setting by accident or end up with an option you didn’t want. Then there’s the laptop-like mouse controller, which provides a touch sensitive area to navigate between menus on the non-touch screen. Again, it’s fine when stationary, but on the move it’s difficult to master with any degree of accuracy. Because it sticks up in the air, it’s also a nuisance and hides important mode buttons from the driver that are mounted on the far side of it. All that said, one could argue that the controls are all very refined. No effort in terms of strength or power is required to operate anything at all and that, I imagine, is what Mercedes were aiming for. In a word; effortless.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
RENAULT CAPTUR E-TECH PHEV
Renault’s first foray into plug-in hybrids has arrived with the Captur. Jonathan Musk drives.
RANGE ROVER EVOQUE P300E
The first plug-in Evoque is impeccable tuned to a demanding segment, as Alex Grant explains.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
Globally, Hyundai will launch more than 12 additional BEV models in the next four years starting with the IONIQ 5 you see here – proving that range isn’t the only thing that matters, instead it’s their charging time that counts.
KIA SORENTO ‘2' 1.6 HEV
Good foundations mean Kia’s hybrid flagship is a worthy diesel alternative, says Alex Grant.
Mazda reckons there’s more to selling EVs than offering long-range and straight line speed – but will potential customers agree?
CIT ROËN Ami
The Ami proves electric mobility doesn’t have to be expensive, provided you don’t mind sacrificing some luxuries…
With an end date set for combustion engines and plug-in sales accelerating in the UK, demands are ramping up for a widespread public charging infrastructure. So what do the companies tasked with deploying them see as the biggest hurdles ahead?
AN ABSOLUTE APPROACH
Chinese EV maker NIO offers smart technologies and a holistic view of the electric vehicle experience. Ahead of its arrival in the west, Autovolt talks to NIO Europe vice president Hui Zhang about the company’s innovative user concepts
2010 KIA VENGA EV
Kia is best known today for its electric e-Niro and Soul EV models, yet their roots reside with the Kia Venga EV concept car first displayed at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. While Nissan was just getting its Leaf off the ground, Kia (and the wider Hyundai Motor Group or HMG) were busy reading themselves for their future too.
UK to benefit from £20m on‑street charge point funding
LOCAL authorities have been urged to take advantage of a £20m UK government cash injection which will boost the number of on-street EV charge points.
MERCEDES RE-ESTABLISHES THE THREE-POINTED STAR AS THE SYMBOL OF THE LUXURY SEDAN
STEER YOU RIGHT
A PSC Motorsports Big Bore XD steering box solved our Jeep’s steering woes
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff has the winning formula
NOT EVERY AUTOMAKER CAN CREATE LUXURY ON A BUDGET
“WHAT IS THAT THING?”
John Marshall’s ’05 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500 is 80 percent unique trail rig and 100 percent custom machine
Mercedes - AMG GT 63 S-Door
Under the skin of the new Mercedes AMG GT 63 S 4-door, there’s a lot going on as the transition from the AMG GT sports car to GT family car proves to be anything but straightforward repurposing. But if you’ve gone offthe whole oxymoronic genre of fast SUVs, this menacing mutation from AMG is far more versatile than its niche status would have you believe.
Seven seater plays the long game
High-End Mauler Fits In Comfortably
Few sporty SUVs are as well resolved as the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35. Quick and clever, this compact all-wheel-drive wagon delivers a convincing combination of performance and practicality. That’s a rare achievement.
Beating Around The Hush
Cautious? Or Clever? They’re the two central themes that need to be probed when considering Mercedes’ first-ever mainstream EV.
Best New Chefs – Mercedes Bernal y Rodney Cusic
Mercedes y Rodney hacen que parezca fácil tener un restaurante.