The amazing Mercedes S300 Hybrid
There is no doubt that the Mercedes S-Class is a leader in its class in many ways; now, with the arrival of the new S300 Hybrid, it is also remarkably efficient.
The Hybrid model combines a 20hp electric motor, with a 2.1-litre diesel engine and can return 61.4 miles per gallon with CO2 emissions of 120g/km.
The chief long-wheelbase rivals to the Mercedes S300 come in the form of the Audi A8, BMW 730d and the Jaguar XJ saloon.
At low speed the electric motor activates to run the car independently, with the diesel engine turning off. This is great in heavy traffic, although it can be difficult to feather the throttle to stop the diesel engine kicking back in; however, the information on the car's dash helps by telling the driver how close they are to achieving the maximum power in electric mode. The energy for the motor - unlike with plug-in hybrids - comes from the energy recuperated when the car is braking.
The full plug-in S-Class Hybrid will be in the showrooms at the end of 2014 and will offer 69g/km, which will make it exempt from the London congestion charge, and a 5% BIK band.
If you want raw power, the S300 is not the quickest model in the Mercedes range; however, those attracted to buying one will be likely to do so for the car's classy appearance and the sheer comfort of the ride.