Mercedes-Benz A250e sedan plug-in hybrid discontinued in Australia

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the plug on its smallest hybrid sedan, after selling less than 20 last year – though its hatchback twin will remain, alongside a range of electric cars.

Mercedes-Benz Australia has quietly dropped the 2022 Mercedes-Benz A250e sedan from its line-up, amid slow sales and an onslaught of new pure-electric cars.

However, just 66 A250e examples were reported as sold last year – and with only about a quarter of those sales understood to be sedans, Mercedes-Benz Australia has opted to axe the model, cited as a “rationalisation” of its range.

“I can confirm that orders have closed for the A250e Sedan in Australia after rationalisation of the line-up,” a Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesperson told Drive.

“We will continue to offer the popular A180, A250 4Matic and A35 4Matic Sedan variants, and the A250e plug-in hybrid remains available in Hatchback body style. Our portfolio of all-electric compact vehicles is also expanding, giving local customers more choice over the course of this year.”

Priced from $66,000 plus on-road costs at launch, the A250e sedan cost $14,600 more than a front-wheel-drive, petrol-only A250 sedan – though by early 2022, the list price had blown out to $71,889 plus on-road costs.

Powering the A250e was (or is, in the hatchback’s case) a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine developing 118kW/250Nm, paired with a 75kW/300Nm electric motor and a 15.6kWh battery pack under the rear seats.

Combined outputs sit at 160kW and 450Nm, sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox for a 6.6-second 0-100km/h dash, and up to 73km of claimed driving range (according to laboratory tests).

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are up 91 per cent so far in 2022, compared to the same period last year – yet manufacturers are increasingly withdrawing their PHEV options from sale to focus on fully-electric cars.

Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid versions of the new BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans remain in doubt for Australia – and more mass-market models such as the Toyota RAV4 Prime have been ruled out.

Beyond the PHEV’s axing in Australia, the future of the entire Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan is in doubt, as its maker confirms plans to cut its global small car range from seven vehicles to four – one of which could be the ‘booted’ A-Class, which crosses over with the long-running CLA.

At the same time, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a range of EQ-badged electric vehicles, led in the small car segment by the EQA and EQB SUV models. An electric version of the next A-Class hatch looks likely, on a new MMA modular platform.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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