2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In Hybrid

#109
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$47,900

7.0

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

Although Fun isn't the modus operandi of the C 350e Sedan. This sedan has a different mission. The 350e is built for comfort and efficiency. While it delivers the former with a clinical precision it also manages to offer a classy design that contains it charm well.

The C 350e is fairly equipped to take care of your daily driving needs in the city. The gasoline/electric powertrain strikes a good balance between power and efficiency. But the combined output of this powertrain (2.0 Liter turbocharged engine + electric motor) surely stands out from the competition at 275 hp and 443 lb-ft. of torque.

The Mercedes Benz C 350e goes head to head with the BMW 330e iPerformance Sedan and Infiniti Q 50 Hybrid sedan. The C 350e leans more towards comfort. This Merc hasn't been crash tested by NHTSA but the IIHS has given it an average good rating for crashworthiness.


 

6.6/10
Engine

 

6.6/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.6/10
Interior

 

7.6/10
Exterior

 

7.6/10
Safety

 
 
 

The C 350e is fairly equipped to take care of your daily driving needs in the city. The gasoline/electric powertrain strikes a good balance between power and efficiency. But the combined output of this powertrain (2.0 Liter turbocharged engine + electric motor) surely stands out from the competition at 275 hp and 443 lb-ft. of torque.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Features

The C 350e is offered only as a sedan. There is a single powertrain on offer. This sedan comes with a standard 7-speed transmission while the entire C Class if offered with a new nine-speed transmission. There are many optional packages available for the 350e sedan.

Trim C 350e Sedan
MSRP $47,900
Key Features Rear-wheel drive
7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission
Air Suspension
Clear Coat Paint
Chrome Bumper Insert
Fixed Rear Window with Defroster
Daytime Running Headlamps
Rear Fog Lamps
MB Apps Selective Service Internet Access
Full Floor Console

Options include a Multimedia package (it comes with 8.4" touchscreen with navigation, touchpad infotainment controller), Smartphone Integration Package (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), Parking Assist Package (front and rear parking sensors and parking camera system). Other packages include the AMG Line package (AMG body kit, better brakes), Driver Assistance package (safety) and Advanced Lighting Package (LED lights).

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Engine

6.6/10

"There is a sportier edge to the current C-Class that was absent in the previous generation cars and the C350e retains the sharp handling feel. It does feel heavier but most of the additional weight is concentrated low down so the center of gravity is similar." - Carbuzz

Engine and Transmission

The C 350e has C 300's 2.0 Liter gasoline engine plonked under the hood. Albeit, this engine is offered in a lower state of tune 208 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque. This engine is duly supported by an electric motor that is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.

The electric motor is good for 80-hp and 251 lb-ft of instant torque. Don't take this 350e Sedan as a 'sheep'. Although powered by a 4 cylinder engine, this car packs a performance that puts V6 powered competitors to shame. The combined system output is a satisfying 275 hp and 443 lb-ft. of torque.

The transmission duties are accomplished by a 7-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes uses the older transmission for the 350e as the older transmission is more adept for handling the massive torque output. The engine and gearbox work in a complete confidence of each other and overall experience is silent, smooth and refined.

Models Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
MSRP $47,900 $45,600 $50,600
Engine Hybrid (2.0L inline-4 turbo + 60kW electric motor) Hybrid (2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder/AC Synchronous Electric Motor) 3.5L V6 w/INFINITI Direct Response Hybrid
Transmission 7-speed shiftable automatic 8-Speed Automatic 7-Speed Automatic
Horsepower 275 hp (combined) 248 hp (combined) 360 hp (combined)
Torque 443 lb-ft (combined) 310 lb-ft (combined) 258 lb-ft (combined)

BMW uses a similar recipe for the 330e iPerformance sedan, a four-cylinder engine, and an electric motor while the Infiniti Q50 brings in a V6 engine to the mix. When it comes to total horsepower, the C 350e doesn't post spectacular numbers whereas the Q50 Hybrid produces the best in the segment - 360 hp.

Acceleration

The C 350e has gained substantial weight over its sibling C 300 sedan. The former weighs 3924 lbs. while the latter weighs 3594 lbs. The new electric motor and battery pack are the new components that bring the most weight to this tally.

But the C 350e doesn't stray away from the performance of its sibling. Weighing almost 4,000 lbs., this behemoth manages an impressive 5.8-second naught to 60 mph run. Although there isn't a considerable increase in horsepower, the 350e shines when it comes to overtaking maneuvers with the additional torque from the electric motor.

It wouldn't be untrue to say that for 350e you get a performance of a six-cylinder car and for that additional performance you aren't charged with some exorbitant price. So, the 350e has the firepower of six-cylinder at the price of only four.

Models Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
0-60 MPH 5.8 5.9 sec 4.6 sec
Quarter mile 14.4 sec 14.1 sec 13.6 sec
Engine Hybrid (2.0L inline-4 turbo+ 60kW electric motor) Hybrid (2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder/AC Synchronous Electric Motor) 3.5L V6 w/INFINITI Direct Response Hybrid
Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) N/A N/A 6.1

The Q50 Hybrid has a definitive advantage when it comes to horsepower, and that translates to a sweet 4.6 second 0-60 mph run. This number is followed by the C 350e's 5.8-second run and it preceded by Bimmer's 5.9-second run.

Ride and Handling

Unlike its sibling C 300 4MATIC sedan, the C 350e is only offered in a rear-wheel-drive setup. With additional components and increased curb weight, the C 350e is heavier than before but engineers have masked this weight with a brilliant weight distribution that keeps the center of gravity similar to the C 300 sedan.

When you enter a destination in the satnav, the C 350e plans a route where it can utilize the strengths of the hybrid power plant. The C 350e is offered with four drive modes: Hybrid, E-Mode, E-Save, and charge.

In the Hybrid mode, the car decides the usage of the gas-electric power plant. In the E-Mode, the C 350e is propelled by electric power only (Range = 9 miles). Interestingly in E-Mode, a haptic accelerator pedal provides constant feedback to promote efficient driving. The E-Save mode saves battery power, which might be further utilized at zero emission zones like city centers. While Charge mode is being utilized the car uses the internal combustion engine to recharge the battery.

The result is a familiar handling characteristic the 350e hasn't strayed away from C-Class handling traits. The C 350e has an ace up its hole that no other car in the C Class has air suspension. Addition of air suspension takes ride comfort to a higher level. The car responds better to inputs from the driver and also tackles illest of the road surfaces with a smile on the face.

Braking

Braking is not a forte of the C 350e sedan. The primary reason being the influence of regenerative braking which takes time before the driver is used to it. It is normal for new drivers to overshoot their intended stopping points while they are getting used to the vehicle. The 350e comes to halt from 60 mph within 113 feet.

Model Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
Brake Front (in.) 13.0 12.3 12.6
Brake Rear (in.) 11.8 11.8 12.1
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3924 3900 4015
60-0 MPH (ft.) 113 113 115

When it comes to the competition, a similar trend is observed. The BMW 330e also comes to a standstill within 113 feet while the Infiniti Q50 requires 115 feet to accomplish the same task.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Fuel Economy

6.6/10

The hybrid cars are a popular choice for those you want to keep their car ownership costs. Recently, Hybrids are more popular than diesel options. Similarly, the C 350 e sedan delivers a combined MPGe of 51.

Model Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
MPGe (combined) 51 71 N/A

Yet, the Bimmer is able to pull an astounding 71 MPGe while the data for the Q50 Hybrid is not available.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Interior

6.6/10

"The C350e features the same interior as the rest of the range and there is little to complain about when it comes to the quality levels. The familiar center console can be a magnet for greasy fingerprints when finished in piano black but such is the competence of the package that this is about all that is wrong with the layout." - Carbuzz

Seating and Comfort

The Mercedes C 350e provides a very refined cabin experience. The cabin design is minimalistic, switches and toggles have been restricted to only essentials and like any modern car, most things can be controlled via the central touchscreen. The quality of materials is exemplary and in many cases better than what the competition offers.

Model Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
Passenger capacity 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 40.9/55.3/41.7 40.3/55.1/42 39.5/56.7/44.5
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.1/55/35.2 37.7/55.1/35.1 36.8/56.1/35.1

The Mercedes C 350e offers very generous space for the driver and the passenger (front). The front headroom and legroom are the best in the competition at 40.9 inches and 41.7 inches respectively.

Infotainment

There is a 7" high-resolution screen that automatically adjusts to ambient light. This screen functions as the command center for the car. The freestanding display is sleek and enhances the cabin appeal.

The secondary screen is situated in the gauge cluster, this colored screen presents information from driving systems and settings.

The infotainment system can be controlled by a central controller that offers access to entertainment, drive settings and more. This controller has been intuitively designed as it naturally falls to the right hand. The on-screen menus can be selected with the rotary movement of the central controller.

Interior Features

  • Power Front Seats with Driver Memory
  • MB Apps Selective Service Internet Access
  • Front Cigar Lighter(s)
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest with Storage
  • Seats with Leatherette Back Material
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Front Seats with Driver Memory
  • MB Apps Selective Service Internet Access
  • Front Cigar Lighter(s)
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest with Storage
  • Seats with Leatherette Back Material
  • Delayed Accessory Power

Cargo Capacity

Even after the addition of the high capacity lithium-ion battery, there hasn't been a significant reduction in the cargo space. The C 350e offers 11.8 cu-ft. of rear cargo space. The cargo area isn't quite generous but there isn't much to complain about. It can easily accommodate the luggage for your weekend getaway.

Model Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
Cargo Volume (ft.3) 11.8 13.0 9.4

BMW's 330e offers a more practical cargo space at 13.0 cu-ft. The Infiniti Q50 provides the least in the segment cargo space at 9.4 cu-ft.

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Exterior

7.6/10

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Sedan Exterior

"The details matter less to the C-Class' overall impression of fluidity. The LED lines over the headlights frame the front end nicely along with large low-set air intakes. The streamlined nose blends into slightly flared fenders, on back to the softly curved tail that's strongly cued after the S-Class." - TheCarConnection

Dimensions and Weight

The C Class fills out the role of a mid-sized luxury sedan and the design does justice to its position in the segment. It oozes graceful opulence. The C 350e's design has aged gracefully. The design is modest with its simple lines. There is a subtle chrome treatment that complements the sporty lines of the front fascia. The 3-pointed star is gracefully integrated into the front grille.

Model Mercedes Benz C 350e BMW 330e iPerformance INFINITI Q50 Hybrid
Curb weight (lbs.) 3924 3900 4015
Length(in) 184.5 182.8 189.6
Width(in) 71.3 71.3 71.8
Height(in) 56.8 56.3 57.2
Ground clearance (in) 4.8 5.5 5.1
Wheelbase (in) 111.4 110.6 112.2
Track width (in) F/R 61.5/60.9 60.3/61.9 60.4/61.4

The exterior dimensions for the C 350e are 184.5 inches in length, 71.3 inches in width and 56.8 in height. These generous dimensions make way for a very spacious cabin. When it comes to exterior dimensions, the Mercedes-Benz C 350e is rivaled by the Infiniti Q50 sedan which is the longest, widest and tallest car in the segment at 189.6 inches, 71.8 inches, and 57.2 inches.

Exterior Features

The 2018 Mercedes Benz C 350 e flaunts the following features on its body:

  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st Row Sunroof with Sunshade
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper with Chrome Bumper Insert
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent and Chrome Bumper Insert
  • Chrome Bodyside Moldings
  • Chrome Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors with Driver Auto Dimming, Power Folding, and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window with Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers with Heated Jets And Reservoir
  • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
  • Black Grille with Chrome Accents
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Rear Fog Lamps
  • LED Brakelights
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Headlamps with Delay-Off
  • Laminated Glass

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Safety

7.6/10

Safety Ratings

The Mercedes-Benz C 350e sedan hasn't been rated by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But the C 300 has been rated by the independent organization- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

IIHS has given superior rating to C 350e Sedan (with optional equipment) for 'Crash Avoidance and Mitigation'. The C 350e receives an average good rating for Crash Worthiness.

IIHS Safety Ratings

Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side Not rated
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Front crash prevention Superior
Headlights Poor
Child seats anchors (LATCH) Good

Safety Features

 

The Mercedes Benz C 350e has a wide variety of safety features which have earned it good IIHS rating. Furthermore, the battery pack is situated at the rear to improve the crashworthiness of the vehicle.

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Baby Smart Child Seat Sensor and Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Driver Knee Airbag, Driver And Passenger Pelvic Airbag
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -includes: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Baby Smart Child Seat Sensor and Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Driver Knee Airbag, Driver And Passenger Pelvic Airbag
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -includes: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Competition

Mercedes Benz C 350e vs  BMW 330e

The Bimmer is offered with a 2.0 Liter turbocharged gasoline/hybrid powertrain. The 2018 BMW 330e Sedan has received minor updates that are mainly focused on the interior. The additional weight of the battery pack and electric motor do hamper the 3- series experience. The 330e misses out on the traditional ultimate driving experience.

Mercedes Benz C 350e vs Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

When we consider the overall experience, the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid has surely aged and as we compare it to the rivals it needs some serious catching up to do. The unique selling point of the Q50 Hybrid is its engine. At a price point of $50,000, the Q50 is the only sedan to be equipped with a V6 gasoline/hybrid powertrain that produces a very healthy 360 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque.

 

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid Final Verdict

The C 350e is a plug-in hybrid that offers a power packed 275 horsepower and an astounding 443 lb-ft. of torque. Moreover, at a price point of a 4 cylinder sedan ($ 47,900), you get the performance of a 6 cylinder sedan. The extra torque from the electric motor comes in handy while performing overtaking maneuvers.

The electric components (motor and battery pack) surely mean extra weight for the C 350e sedan. But when we critically examine the sedan, it has very few downsides. Even with the battery pack, the rear cargo space hasn't been compromised.

The interior has been meticulously planned. The quality of materials used is simply Mercedes-like, and a notch above the competition. The additional weight does dampen the handling dynamics of the sedan but the supplementary torque from the electric motor is more than generous to make your drive a pleasant experience.

 

Pros

Combined power output

Haptic feedback throttle ( It helps you to save more fuel)

Smooth, silent and responsive

Cons

One of the heaviest sedan in its segment

All electric range is dismal

The infotainment system needs a major overhaul

What's New?

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available

Mercedes has simplified some optional packages


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$47900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu. in.

horsepower

208 hp @ 5550 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1300 rpm

transmission

7-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.8 in. ventilated disc brakes/13 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

111.4 in.

length

184.5 in.

width

72.1 in.

height

56.8 in.

curb weight

3924 lbs.

ground clearance

5.1 in.

capacity

cargo volume

11.8 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

NA/30/NA mpg

warranty

roadside assistance

No



Ratings

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

6.6

Interior

6.6

Exterior

7.6

Safety

7.6

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Mercedes-Benz C 350e Plug In hybrid C 350e

C 350e

power
208 hp @ 5550 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
N/A

$47,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
C 350e 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 7A) Starting at $47,900 MSRP N/A 208 hp @ 5550 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
7-speed automatic rear wheel drive 5 NA