I’m told that there will be at least 100 electric or semi-electric cars available for Irish motorist to buy in 2022. The figure will range from battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV) to hybrid-electric (HEV).
Looking at my bookings for the year ahead I think that a lot of my time will be spent at charge points around the country. There is no doubt that I have a ‘sweet tooth’ and after attending the recent launch of Ford’s Mach E at Junction 14 near Monasterevin, all this charging is not good for the waistline.
After a slow start, Mercedes are now electrifying most of their cars. Not all are totally electric, but I am very happy with plug-in versions where there is no ‘range anxiety.’
After driving the Mercedes EQV People Carrier and their massive GLE before Christmas it was back to something neater in the CLA Plug-in Hybrid last week.
The four-door coupé joins a growing ‘A’ family which now includes a hatchback, saloon and Shooting Brake. The new generation CLA has been given a make-over with several design cues taken from the larger CLS.
The most impressive updates are to be found inside the cabin which now features the slick new MBUX infotainment interface and the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice-controlled assistant.
Three trim levels are offered: Style, Progressive and AMG line models with generous levels of equipment throughout the range.
I drove the 1.3-litre petrol 250 Progressive version with 160 horse power. There certainly was plenty of power, where I could, if I wanted to, get from zero to 100km/h in just under seven seconds. The top speed is 240km/h, but who wants more or indeed any penalty points?
Inside, the cream-coloured seats really brighten the décor. At night time you get to appreciate the 64-colour ambient lighting. The boot is huge in the CLA, but as usual with Mercedes no spare wheel.
My test car came in Denim Blue, a colour that was a definitely a first for me. A few years back somebody said that men over 53 should ‘ditch the denim.’ But apparently it’s not an ageist thing or that you look bad wearing them.
The reason given was that it’s supposed to be harder at that age to find a pair of jeans that actually fit. I normally have no trouble finding a pair of jeans that fit in Marks & Spencer and I had no problem driving a Denim-coloured Mercedes!
Prices start at €45,370 for the petrol version, while the diesel starts at €46,935. My plug-in Hybrid version starts at €47,430 and that includes a plethora of extras.
But if you want to go for the Denim look it will cost you another €1,273 and the sport seats are €500. Those extras brought the price of the car as tested up to €49,382. Road tax is €140.
Mercedes makes no secret of the fact that they are continually trying to attract younger customers. The updates in technology and styling has seen them win over a younger market and also increase their number of female customers.
Mercedes plan to launch 11 new models in 2022 and first up will be the S-Class inspired all electric EQS luxury saloon followed by the EQB.
In the second quarter we should have the E-Class inspired, fully electric EQE. So exciting times ahead for all ‘Merc fans.’