The hybrid will do up to 42 miles on electricity alone.

Mercedes-Benz’s new B-Class plug-in hybrid has gone on sale in the UK with prices starting at just over £35,000. Dubbed the B 250e, the newcomer pairs a 1.3-litre petrol engine with a 10.6 kWh battery and an electric motor, giving it an all-electric, zero-emission range of up to 42 miles.

According to the official WLTP emissions test, the B 250e is good for 235.4 mpg and CO2 emissions of 27 grams per kilometre. Crucially, that means company car drivers will pay six percent Benefit-in-Kind tax, which equates to £12 per month for those paying 20 percent income tax.

But as well as all this economy, the B 250e will also provide a dollop of performance. The petrol engine boasts 156 bhp, while the electric motor manages 100 bhp all on its own. Combine the two and the B 250e can get from a standstill to 62 mph in less than seven seconds - a time that’s seriously close to hot hatchback territory.

In the UK, three trim levels will be available, with the AMG Line Executive model marking the entry point. At £35,280, that car will come with climate control, 18-inch alloys and part-leather upholstery. A 10.25-inch multimedia screen houses the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration systems, while heated seats, wireless charging and privacy glass are all included, too.

Mercedes-Benz B 250e

For an extra £1,500, customers can upgrade to the AMG Line Premium version, which gets a 10.25-inch digital cockpit, keyless entry and Mercedes-Benz advanced sound system. It also comes with an augmented reality navigation system, which superimposes directions on a live view of the road ahead.

Finally, the range-topping AMG Line Premium Plus comes in at £38,280, which buys a panoramic sunroof, memory seats for driver and front passenger; and ‘Multibeam’ LED headlights. Like all versions of the B 250e, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and 7.4 kW onboard charging system also come as standard.

The options list is limited to just one pack - and that’s only available in conjunction with the top-of-the-range AMG Line Premium Plus. Priced at £1,495, the Driving Assistance Package offers a range of safety systems including adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance to the car in front and autonomous emergency braking.

Although the B 250e is available to order, customers will have to wait a while before their car arrives in the UK. According to Mercedes-Benz, the first examples will not arrive in this country until “late summer”.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz B 250e