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Mercedes Launches CLA250e and GLA250e Plug-In Hybrid Models

Buyers can have a torquey baby Benz in sedan, wagon, or SUV flavors.

Greg FinkWriter

Mercedes-Benz's compact CLA-Class and GLA-Class models are plugging into the gasoline-electric hybrid foray with new 250e trims. Both Benzes share the same powertrain, which consists of a 158-hp turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a 101-hp electric motor, the latter of which also starts the former. The two power sources work together to produce a peak of 215 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, which get sent to the wheels by way of an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

That's enough grunt to push the CLA250e sedan (er, four-door coupe) and wagon (Shooting Brake) to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds and the GLA250e crossover SUV to the same mark in 6.9 ticks. Feeding power to each cars' respective electric motor is a 331-pound 15.6-kWh battery pack that lives under the rear seats. According to Mercedes, the whole setup contributes to a "minimal reduction" in trunk capacity.

On a full charge, the electric motor pushes the CLA a maximum of 43 miles (42 miles for the wagon) and the GLA a maximum of 38 miles on the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure. Those numbers are surely lower on a more conservative test cycle like that of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Unfortunately, there's no evidence that Mercedes plans to ship either the CLA250e or GLA250e to the United States. Instead, American baby Benz buyers who prefer frugal motoring will have to settle on the 221-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder of the run-of-the-mill CLA250 and GLA250. There are AMG 35 and 45 versions of each model available, as well.