When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Reviews / Cars & bikes / Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e review: Smooth operator

Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e review: Smooth operator

Classic Merc styling, lots of comfort and electric assistance make the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300 e perfect for short hops and longer journeys.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300e review tracking lead

Stuff Verdict

Oodles of comfort and an effortless drive. The Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e is great choice for anyone with access to home charging and a penchant for short journeys.

Pros

  • Stuffed with tech
  • Decent electric range
  • Ideal for long journeys as well as shorter ones

Cons

  • Engine could be more refined
  • Ambient lights are like a nightclub

Introduction

The Mercedes-Benz E Class has lots of powertrain choices, so there’s one to suit any type of buyer. This car, however, is the E Class 300e AMG Line Premium Plus – a PHEV variation on the German brand’s popular saloon. That makes it of interest if you’re looking to explore the potential of electric without committing to a full-on EV, but prefer a car bodystyle to the GLC 300e’s crossover type.

It’s ideally suited to anyone who does lots of frequent, relatively short journeys, such as school runs or forays to the shops. If you’ve got a home charger, it works even more effectively; it’s much easier to plug in at home than go to a more expensive public charger for the sake of the 70-ish miles of range from the 25.4kW battery.

You get all of the comfort and tech trimmings that you’d expect from a new Merc, with an interior that’s comfy and accommodating. Build quality feels as solid as you’d expect from the German marque, making the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e a very solid package.

The styling

There’s no mistaking this is a Merc. The design is smooth and very fluid looking, from front to rear. The grille and lights are pretty striking at the front end, but the taillights are perhaps the star turn; they look really good when they’re lit up at night. Down the sides it’s all smooth curvy nuances topped with sizeable, 20in spoked alloys. The sturdy door handles popping out when unlocking the car works better after dark, thanks to their illumination complemented by Merc logo puddle lights under the front doors.

What’s interesting about the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e is that it looks pretty big when viewed from the outside. Step inside though and the interior doesn’t feel quite as cavernous. The cockpit area lets you forget the bulk on the outside. Thankfully, excellent door mirrors and a very good reversing camera help remind you of its size when easing back into a parking space.

Nevertheless, the interior is a lovely place to be, with sculpted figure-hugging seats making the front and rear portions of the car wonderfully accommodating thanks to all that black leather. The driver’s seat benefits from a speaker in the back too, so you actually feel your tunes as you listen to them. The centre console is a nice touch too, with plenty of storage to be found either under the wood-style front section or the fold-up bit immediately behind.

Considering it’s got a conventional bootlid, there’s still 370 litres of space hiding inside, although some of this is taken up by the bags of power cables for the plug-in part of the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e equation. Granted, this isn’t a great deal for the size of the car, but it’ll handle a couple of sensibly-sized suitcases though anything with an irregular shape could be an issue.

The drive

There’s no doubt that the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e is more of a cruiser than a performance car. Its bulk and relatively modest 2.0-litre, four cylinder petrol engine reflects that. It’s still very enjoyable to drive, though, thanks to the 9-speed automatic gearbox, just as long as you take a fairly leisurely approach when you’re behind the wheel. Do this and the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e wafts from A to B very nicely indeed. It’s less happy if you’re being over enthusiastic with the throttle. A great place to see this in evidence is on motorway slip roads, where the engine becomes very animated.

In fact, I think one of the most surprising things about this engine is how unrefined it sounds from time to time, usually when you put your foot down promptly and catch it by surprise. The expected revving tends to take the edge off the premium experience a tad, but it soon settles back down again one the car gets up to speed. Keep your acceleration steady though and the car rewards you with a very smooth, no-nonsense drive which is fine for longer stints behind the wheel.

If you’re heading out around town then it makes sense to make use of the hybrid aspect of the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e. Setting off and parking at the end of short journeys is a breeze and largely silent too thanks to the electric assistance. It’s slightly less fun for parking though due to the bulkiness, but if you’re out and about on winding country lanes the E300e is more adept at getting around corners than you expect. The big wheel and tyres along with spongy suspension absorb most of what gets thrown at them, with only the odd jolt occurring when the surface gets more worse than usual.

The technology

One of the best aspects of the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e is its tech, which is some of the best you can currently get in a production car. It centres around the latest MB.OS system, which packs in plenty of potency and a dazzling array of features. Better still though, it’s relatively easy to use and the functionality seems very well thought out for the most part. I loved the way everything worked when I tried the EQS a while back, but this is even better.

You get the best view of everything from the driver’s seat, but the front portion of the cockpit is dominated with things to look at thanks to the smaller version of the Hyperscreen as seen in the EQS. It has a 14.4in central section, supplemented by a 12.3in passenger panel, and looks and functions in much the same way. I really love the colour and clarity you get from this current iteration of the system. The 12.4in digital instrument panel in front of the steering wheel tops it off.

I’m less chuffed about the dominant ring of ambient lighting that runs around the top of the dash and doors. I find it a little too overbearing, but you can, naturally, change the settings to something milder if preferred. It also springs into life if there’s something like a driving alert to announce when you’re on the move. While there’s the provision for using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, full marks have to go to Mercedes-Benz for the sat-nav display, which is beautifully detailed. Better still, it works!

Back to that screen though. You’ll find the bulk of the functions are inside, with just a mild smattering of physical switches below. However, spend some time mastering what the steering wheel has to offer and you can carry out lots of commands that way instead. If you’re going in via the app icons on the screens, then it’s all pretty simple to work and responsive too while there’s ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control if you want to try your luck with that instead. It’s generally very impressive. The Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e also comes peppered with plenty of USB-C ports to keep everyone happy.

Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e verdict

Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300e review tracking verdict

The Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e packs in plenty of appeal and, in this incarnation, you can even plug it in and enjoy shorter journeys using electric-only assistance. The exterior boasts classic Merc styling while the interior bristles with oodles of tech and packs some of the most comfortable seats you can sit on.

It’s big and heavy, but glides along beautifully so if you’re looking for a large PHEV-style saloon and you’ve got the space for it on your drive the Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e is a solid option.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

Oodles of comfort and an effortless drive. A great choice for anyone with access to home charging and a penchant for short journeys.

Mercedes-Benz E Class E300e technical specifications

Powertrain2.0-litre, 4-cyl petrol engine + permanent magnet electric motor
Battery25.4kWh
Power308bhp
Torque406lb ft
0-60mph6.4sec
Top speed147mph
Range70miles (EV mode)
Charge rate22kWh
Cargo volume370litres
Profile image of Rob Clymo Rob Clymo

About

Rob is a freelance motoring journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22