The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a complicated range, consisting of multiple bodystyles as well as performance options, but the E 300 e is the only hybrid.
It is the electrified version of what would normally be the mid-grade sedan, and it wears a starting price, before on-road cost (MSRP) of $122,872.
Sitting below is the E 200 (from $98,576) and above is the E 350 (from $127,100) which replaces the old petrol-only E 300.
Importantly, Mercedes ups the value equation by adding the ‘Air Body Control’ suspension package from the E 350 as opposed to the regular multi-link suspension on the E 200.
The other thing which might surprise you if you haven't looked at the E-Class in a while, is only AMG-branded variants now have more than four cylinders, with the rest of the range sharing a version of the brand's 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.
Read more about that in the engine and transmission part of this review, but the value equation is a surprise given the E 300 e packs a 90kW electric motor and a 13.5kWh battery on top of air suspension.
In the scheme of luxury sedans, this gives the E 300 e its niche, still coming in nearly $5000 below the E 350 (which offers a more powerful petrol engine, seat trim with a percentage of real leather, and larger alloy wheels), while being faster and more complex.
Looking at the standard equipment on this mid-grade it's clear there's no taxi-spec E-Class in Australia, and you'd hope so with this car costing well over $100,000.
Included is the impressive ‘MBUX’ array of dual 12.3-inch screens, one for the digital dash, one for the multimedia functions (which include built-in nav, digital radio, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity), leather interior trim (at least, seats which are some percentage real leather, according to Benz), fully electrical adjust for the front seats, and an LED interior ambient lighting package (with a choice of 64 colours).
Also on-board are a wireless phone charging bay, 19-inch alloy wheels (the 300 e has a different design to the base 200), dual-zone climate control, fully keyless entry with push-start ignition, an auto parking system and 360-degree surround cameras, and the full active safety suite, which we'll look at later.
An AMG exterior styling pack is standard in Australia, and our test car had pretty much every option ticked, including the ‘Vision Package’ ($6600) which includes a panoramic sunroof, head-up display and premium 590W audio system, the ‘Innovation Package’ ($1300) which includes a more powerful version of the MBUX suite with gesture controls and extended voice control functionality, and the ‘Energizing Package Plus’ ($9500) which includes improved air filtration to the cabin, heated and cooled front seats with heated rear seats, and tri-zone climate (including a separate climate zone for rear occupants).
This brings the total cost for our car to ($140,900) and that doesn't even include the Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable ($565.16) which you'll probably want for the convenience of topping up your charge levels whenever you stop at the shops (more on this later).
If it were my Benz I'd probably leave off the ‘Innovation Package’ and ‘Vision Package’, although the pricey ‘Energizing Package Plus’ adds compelling upgrades.
It's worth noting when it comes to rivals the Audi A6 range tops out at a suddenly-cheap-sounding $116,177, although there's currently no PHEV variant in Australia, while the BMW 530e PHEV comes in at a closer-to-the-mark $122,900 before you start ticking option boxes.