If you can’t stretch to the £47,000 Mercedes asks for an entry level E300e SE or E300de SE, then you’re in luck as there’s a plentiful supply of used examples. A one-year-old E300de Saloon with 12,500 miles on the clock can be had for £32,000 from a Mercedes retailer – a healthy £15,000 saving compared to a brand new one. Shop around and you can even get a 2019 E300de with just 6,000 miles for £34,000, again from a Mercedes dealer, and the same goes for the E300e petrol.
As the E300de is based so heavily on a normal E220d but with potentially cheaper running costs, you’d think it would command a premium over a used E220d just like it does when you buy brand new. However, it doesn’t as that £9,000 premium for the plug-in hybrid E300de levels out after a year. Therefore an E220d with 5,000 miles on the clock is roughly the same price as an E300de with similar mileage. That shows the level of depreciation the E-Class Hybrid models suffer from.
For less cash you can look at even older E-Class plug-in hybrids. The E300e’s predecessor, the E350e, was launched in 2017 and it also used a 2.0-litre petrol engine but with a smaller 87bhp electric motor and 6.5kWh battery pack. That gave it around 20 miles of pure electric range and CO2 figures of 49g/km. For some people that will be enough electric range, and with used prices kicking off at around the £20,000 mark, it’s usefully cheaper than a 2019 E300e.
If that’s still too much money to spend on an ultra-frugal Merc then you could look to the E300 CDI BlueTEC from 2013. This is the older shape E-Class and uses a 2.1-litre diesel engine and a 27bhp electric motor, and it looks pretty tempting with prices from £7,000. Be aware though, this isn’t a plug-in hybrid like its successors but a traditional hybrid. Consequently, you don’t plug it in which means not only do you pay more to tax it, but the electric driving capability only kicks in at low speeds and when cruising up to traffic lights. It’s almost the equivalent of a modern-day ‘mild’ hybrid which shows the pace of development in the electric car world.