Petrol vs hybrid

Petrol vs Hybrid – What’s the difference?

When it comes to buying a new car, choosing anything other than a petrol or diesel engine was always seen as a bit of a novelty. In the near future, all new vehicles will have to be part electric and from 2035 fully electric. Switching to a hybrid vehicle is a good first step to take as they have a standard combustion engine that is assisted by an electric motor – a good in-between for beginners.

But how different is it being the owner of a hybrid vehicle in comparison to a vehicle with a petrol engine? We have broken down a few key factors for you to consider:


There are a variety of running-cost benefits for plug-in hybrid drivers. If you are able to run your day to day journeys on battery power then you will see a dramatic drop in your monthly fuel benefit. The mix of power types also makes for an efficient vehicle. But, if you’re regularly making long journeys, chances are you will need to stop regularly to refuel/recharge, something you don’t need to consider so regularly with a petrol engine. Also with their larger batteries, plug in hybrids are heavier cars – which lowers their fuel economy once the batteries are depleted.

However there are some great tax benefits for a plug-in hybrid. As a business customer your benefit in kind savings are greatly increased if choosing a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Our company car tax calculator is a great tool to see the savings you could make. Even as a personal customer, your annual tax bill is greatly reduced for a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Road tax is calculated on the CO2 emissions of your car, its price and the year in which it was registered. So, your plug-in hybrid is charged reduced road tax.


Probably the biggest difference between a hybrid vehicle and a petrol vehicle is the environmental factors. Petrol vehicles release carbon emissions through the exhaust pipe on every journey. A combination of both carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, these are responsible for climate change and have a lasting, damaging effect on the environment

A plug-in hybrid however allows you to manage your emissions. Day to day, shorter journeys that require less power can be completed purely on the electric battery. This will not only reduce your running costs dramatically but also your carbon footprint.

Another environmental benefit of a plug-in hybrid is the way that an electric car battery minimises waste. For example, regenerative braking converts power generated from braking back into energy for the car battery.

Driving Performance

Being a motor and a battery, engines in hybrid vehicles are much heavier than a standard combustion engine. The combined power of both is often less than that of a petrol-powered engine. However, many hybrid vehicles have smaller fuel engines than comparable petrol vehicles. As the electric motor can create additional power when accelerating or climbing hills, hybrid vehicles can produce the same type of handling as a more powerful vehicle with an engine of fewer cylinders and less bulk.

Another driving difference between a petrol and a hybrid vehicle is the engine volume. That quiet hum of a hybrid engine will have you questioning if you’ve even turned the vehicle on! Perfect for those leisurely afternoon drives enjoying the countryside around you. However, if hearing the sound of a roaring engine when you’re behind the wheel is one of the most enjoyable parts of your drive, making the move to a hybrid might not be the right move for you at the moment.


Whether you opt for a petrol or hybrid Mercedes-Benz vehicle, something you will get from both options is luxury. Apart from a few minor differences that you would expect to see – an on-board charger for example – a Mercedes-Benz hybrid looks exactly the same as its petrol counterpart. Therefore whichever option you go for, you will still be getting the stylish exterior and opulent interior you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz.

Explore our range of vehicles, or contact your local Mercedes-Benz South West dealership to speak to a specialist today.