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.
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