What Is It?
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) is a C-Class sedan that boasts the first PHEV system in its class. Mercedes projects an all-electric driving range of about 20 miles from the gas-electric hybrid system, which consists of a 211-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, a 60-kilowatt electric motor and a 7-speed automatic transmission. Total output is 279 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, good for a sprint to 60 miles per hour in under 6 seconds. With that kind of performance and a standard AIRMATIC air suspension, the C350 PHEV is shaping up to be a unique offering among current small luxury sedans.
Additional C350 PHEV highlights include fast charging times for the onboard battery (ranging from 1.5 to 2 hours), a haptic accelerator pedal with palpable feedback to encourage an efficient driving style and a pre-entry climate control system that can be operated remotely via a mobile app.
The C350 PHEV is particularly notable because Mercedes has beaten both the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series to market. If you want plug-in functionality in a compact luxury sedan, this Benz is the only game in town.
Based on the current price in Euros, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid should cost approximately $57,000 to start.
When Can You Get It?
Europeans can buy it now, but Americans will have to wait until fall 2015.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because...
The new C-Class is arguably the most luxurious car in its class, and it now offers innovative PHEV technology that its main rivals currently can't match.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Audi A3 e-tron -- Likely the C350 PHEV's closest competitor once both hit the market, the A3 e-tron PHEV offers peppy turbocharged performance and 30 miles of EV driving range.
2015 BMW i3 -- The all-electric i3 is the best BMW can offer for now, though a 3 Series PHEV is reportedly being readied for production.
2015 Cadillac ELR -- We're reaching here, but the Volt-based ELR does look pretty cool, and it offers solid PHEV capabilities.
Used Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid -- It might take a few years for the plug-in Panamera to drop into the C350 PHEV price range, but there's no doubt that this is today's ultimate luxury/performance PHEV.