There seems to be a very brief lifespan for Mercedes-Benz E-class hybrid models here in Malaysia. The first hybrid E-class launched by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia was the E300 Bluetec Hybrid (W212) and was followed by the E350e Plug-in Hybrid with the introduction of the W213 model.
Launched in January 2015, at the tail-end of its model life, the E300 Bluetec Hybrid shook the premium car segment with its ultra-low fuel consumption and competitive pricing, given the high equipment count.
This model was very well received by the discerning Malaysian corporate owners, given that the 204 hp/500Nm E300 Bluetec Hybrid consumed diesel fuel rather than petrol. In just one year, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia managed to move over 2,500 units of the E300 Bluetec Hybrid.
The introduction of this variant also significantly improved the total sales of the E-class range in 2015, even outselling the C-Class range.
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia then introduced the E350e Plug-in Hybrid (W213) in October 2017, and within 10 months of its presence in the Malaysia market, the company has discontinued the plug-in hybrid model. Based on Carlist.my intelligence, the total sales of the E350e Plug-in Hybrid is under 1,500 units over the 10-month period it was in the market.
- Engine: 2.0-litre inline-four, Turbocharged, Petrol
- Power (Engine): 211 hp
- Torque (Engine): 350 Nm
- Power (Motor): 88 hp
- Torque (Motor): 340 Nm
- Transmission: 9-speed torque converter automatic, rear-wheel drive
- Combined Output: 286 hp, 550 Nm
- Safety: 7 airbags, Autonomous Emergency Braking, 360-degree camera, PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection system
Here’s a shortlist of five reasons we really like about the Mercedes-Benz E350e Plug-in Hybrid.
1. The bright blue brakes
All Mercedes-Benz E-class models (W213) are fitted with the large front brake calipers, and for product differentiation, the Mercedes-Benz E350e Plug-in Hybrid stands out with its front brake calipers painted in bright blue. The name ‘Bluetec’ immediately comes to mind of the majority, even though this E350e has zero relation to the previous generation E300 Bluetec Hybrid.
While it might not improve performance, arriving silently at the lobby with bright blue brakes sure makes it the more special (and now in limited numbers).
2. Regenerative-braking Active Brake Assist
While all new Mercedes-Benz models now come equipped with Active Brake Assist (ABA), the marketing name for the brand’s autonomous emergency braking feature, the E350e brings ABA to a new level.
Being a full hybrid, much of the E350e’s deceleration is taking care by the electric motor reversing its polarity into regeneration mode.
With the ABA radar detecting traffic ahead, the system actually uses the hybrid’s regeneration to apply “braking force” rather than conventional hydraulic brakes, ensuring a very smooth approach to traffic light stops, with the driver applying minimal brake pressure to bring the E350e to a complete stop.
Glancing on the meter display set to ‘Progressive’ theme confirms this, as there will be a drastic shift of the energy bar moving to the charging zone as the vehicle slows down when detecting slower moving traffic ahead.
We don’t recall if the hybrid system in the Volvo or BMW models offer this highly helpful setup. It has certainly reduced the amount of foot pressure to slow the vehicle down on our congested roads.
3. AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension
The ‘Air Body Control’ air suspension system in the E350e employ pressurized air chambers, replacing traditional coil springs at the four corners. With the system automatically adjusting air pressure according to the drive modes of comfort, sports, and sports plus, the cabin has a more isolated ambience as it soaks up our irregular-surfaced roads much better.
Thinking of requiring more ground clearance and suspension travel? Press the ‘Raise suspension’ button on the lower console and the E350e gains an additional 25 millimetres of ground clearance.
The fitment of the air suspension transforms this limousine’s ride and handling, offering a much better range of comfort and body control, as the new generation of ‘Sensual Purity’ models with standard suspension have been set to offer a relatively harsher ride quality.
4. Short charging time, free usage of EQ Power chargers
Charging the E350e Plug-in Hybrid with a domestic 3-pin home charger was a lot easier at my terrace-home parking. The charging port placed at the rear of the E350e was more convenient to reach compared to others which are on the front left corner.
Home-charging for under three hours at the lowest 8-Amp current provides 17 kilometres of pure electric driving from the 6.2 kWh lithium-ion battery.
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has also provided EQ Power branded charging stations at Bangsar Shopping Centre, Pavilion KL mall, Sunway Pyramid, and the latest addition at Waterfront, Desa Parkcity.
The higher amperage of the chargers allows for a full recharge of the batteries in under two hours. Under official testing, a full battery is rated to provide up to 33 kilometres of electric range.
5. Electric driving with haptic accelerator pedal
The thought of pure electric driving is still fascinating. Devoid of noise and vibration, the E350e just glides along without much fuss. The 88 hp motor might sound weak in number, but the instantaneous torque of 340 Nm gets the big limousine to highway speeds as quick as any 2-litre premium car.
In order to fully utilize the electric range, the E350e is fitted with a haptic feedback accelerator pedal. Put it simply, the accelerator pedal has two-stages of resistance through the use of force-feedback. Press beyond the first resistance fires up the 4-cylinder engine, enabling more burst of power for overtaking or catching up with traffic.
We quite like this, as we can control the usage of the electricity better, maximizing overall energy efficiency. The beautiful fully-customizable digital display also keeps track of how much driving has been done in pure electric (green font). There can never be too much information, isn't it?
The Mercedes-Benz E350e Plug-in Hybrid has just been replaced by the E300 AMG Line as the flagship CKD E-class in Malaysia. Learn more about the other Mercedes-Benz E-class range in Malaysia, plus few on the E350e.