The subcompact Mercedes-Benz lineup is thoroughly fleshed out nowadays with the A-Class sedan, CLA-Class, GLA-Class and GLB-Class in the U.S., and the A-Class hatch, CLA-Class Shooting Brake and B-Class in Europe. Mercedes even revealed its roughly 400-horsepower versions of those vehicles in the past couple of months. Now the German automaker is launching plug-in hybrid versions of the little luxury cars and crossovers.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e, CLA 250e Shooting Brake, and GLA 250e expand the models’ powertrain options by adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the range. These vehicles will be available in Europe this spring, but there’s no info yet about North American availability.
All of these models combine a 1.3-liter combustion engine and electric motor with a total system output of 215 horsepower (160 kilowatts) and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque. The only gearbox choice is an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The hybrid system’s battery pack measures 15.6 kilowatt-hours.
For the CLA 250e, Mercedes estimates a WLTP range of 37 miles to 43 miles (60 kilometers to 69 kilometers). The CLA 250e Shooting Brake should be capable of 36 miles to 42 miles (58 kilometers to 68 kilometers), and the GLA 250e would do 33 miles to 38 miles (53 kilometers to 61 kilometers).
The packaging of the PHEV system includes re-routing the exhaust and integrating the fuel tank into the rear axle installation space to open up the room necessary for fitting the battery. Mercedes says this layout allows for “only minimal reduction” of rear cargo capacity.
These models get Mercedes’ route-based system that evaluates navigation data and speed limits that alters the electric drive mode to make the most of the hybrid tech. Drivers can also force the system into a driving mode that prioritizes electric power unless the person depresses the accelerator enough that the computer decides that the combustion engine is necessary. The automaker estimates that 90 percent of everyday driving can be done purely using electric power.