What is it?
The Mercedes-Benz A250e EQ Power hatchback is one of three new plug-in hybrid models launched by the German firm in its compact class line-up. It's joined by the roomier B250e and significantly larger A250e saloon, both of which run the same driveline.
This is the turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the A200 in combination with an electric motor and an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The overall system output is 215bhp and 332lb ft. The big attraction, of course, is that the front-wheel-drive A250e allows you to travel for extended distances purely on electric power at speeds of up to 87mph.
With a relatively large 15.6kWh battery from sister company Deutsche Accumotive mounted underneath the rear seat, the A250e achieves an electric-only range of up to 42 miles on the WLTP test cycle. That's 11 miles more than Volkswagen claims for the outgoing Golf GTE, which uses a smaller 8.7kWh battery. It also serves to provide the A250e with a theoretical combined 201mpg and average CO2 emissions of 33g/km, making it highly attractive for company car buyers.
Another thing: to package the battery as low down as possible, the exhaust system now ends in the centre of the car, under the floor, instead of at the rear, while the fuel tank has been moved backwards within a torsion beam rear suspension and reduced in size to 44 litres.