The Mercedes-Benz A Class in previous forms has been the hatch which whilst was not a bad car, it never brought any appeal or the feel of a Mercedes-Benz. A horrible exterior design which made the car seem like it was the result of a prank being pulled on the marketing guys which went wrong. The interior wasn’t much better either.
Today, the segment which the A Class sits in has actually turned into something which the likes of BMW and Audi did very well. The 1 Series from BMW and the A3 from Audi found a young audience which wanted a new European car, but didn’t want the price tag or extra size. Because of this we see a hot new A Class which has been redesigned from the ground up and has caused lengthy waits for those buying them.
We took the Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport for a quick drive and here’s our thoughts.
When you see the A250 Sport for the first time you are immediately struck with an attitude from the car. Almost a ‘bring it on’ attitude which you get from a 13 year old facing an older sibling who’s finally had enough. The A250 Sport now looks like a real Mercedes-Benz and brings all of the elements which you and me love about the current design theme.
The A Class certainly also achieves its presence from its new size. It is much larger than the previous A Class and thanks to the long shooting brake design it looks much bigger. A bonus too for us in Australia, is that our A250 Sport has been tuned by AMG themselves and that means nice standard options. The colour choices are also superb with the blue being the pick of the lot.
The A250 Sport has no trouble in labelling itself an entry level sports car. Despite being front-wheel-drive which would worry some enthusiasts, it almost matches the BMW 1 Series when it comes to handling. It’s not 100% there, but it certainly does come close.
When you’re sitting in the driver’s seat you’re seated in a great position directly behind the wheel and the instrument cluster presents itself nicely. The carbon and titanium looking cluster is beautiful though I would have liked to have the needles themselves to be a little longer on the dial. That is just a small detail though.
Because the A250 Sport has been tuned by AMG it is a considerably large step up from the A200 which sits just below it. Essentially everything that affects the handling, the exhaust note and little interior touches make the car worth the extra $$$ if you’re after performance. 0-100km/h is 6.6seconds and fuel economy is a pleasant 6.6litres per 100km. The transmission isn’t a traditional dual-clutch transmission as Mercedes wanted to avoid the problems of traditional dual-clutch systems. It means that it isn’t as fast as the Audi sTronic however still fast enough to enjoy.
What has attracted so many people to the A Class has been the price. The A250 Sport undercuts the competition by a significant amount which should be enough to make anybody considering the BMW or Audi equivalents to jump ship. The A250 Sport starts in Queensland at roughly the $56,000mark. The dealerships we have spoken to have said that most customers who have been purchasing the A250’s have been ‘fully loading’ them. This would push the price up to approximately to $70,000.
The spec which we loved of the A250 had just the COMAND Package selected. The ‘fake’ Alcantara in the door cards and seats as well as the carbon fibre look trim was perfect in our eyes. The full leather seats to us took a little away from the sportiness of the A250 Sport. What also comes standard is the driver alertness and front distance control. What the driver alertness (not the actual name but you know what we mean) is a feature that when driving between 80km/h and 130km/h it will monitor the driver and look for signs that you’re not paying 100% attention or even falling asleep at the wheel. You will then get alerted and hopefully you’ll snap back to attention.
The A180 if you can’t stretch to the A200 or A250 Sport does start from $35,000 and is the cheapest way to get into a Mercedes A Class. At that price you’re looking at $5,000 or so more than a Suzuki Swift Sport. That puts things in perspective.
Mercedes-Benz has done an extremely good job at redefining what a luxury entry level hatch should be like. The car doesn’t feel like you’ve bought the absolute cheap of cheap. The steering wheel is almost identical to the one in the C63 AMG and the air vents look straight out of the SLS AMG.
If you haven’t driven the new A Class yet and are considering a new small car all we can say is that you should test drive this car to put it through your tests. It beats the competition in almost every aspect we can think of and when thinking about the cost and the safety features also included are