Here’s how we think this premium German hatchback fared on our Malaysian roads.
Presented in two variants, the Mercedes-Benz A 200 and A 250 retains its urban hunter appeal with its intuitive digital user experience and an uncompromisingly dynamic design – making it a stunner on the road both inside and out! So can you blame us for being excited to take this bad boy out for a drive? It was one of the most anticipated launches in the automobile industry for Malaysia last year, after all.
We had this A-Class hatchback for close to a week and boy, did we make full use of it. Besides the usual city commute to and from the office, we also took it for a run at Putrajaya and up Genting Highlands during the weekend (psst…for all you fans of British Fish & Chips, the UK fish and chips chain Harry Ramsden just opened an shop there and we think it’s worth the drive up just to try it). Anyway, back to the car…
When Mercedes-Benz Malaysia first rolled out these two variants, they emphasised that the hatchbacks would serve as the start of a new revolutionary journey into the digital era of the automobile for the brand. Think gadget-like cars that’ll make your everyday driving experience even more seamless than it was before.
The A 250 stood out to us in many ways, namely its beautiful modern-looking cabin. Completely redefined with a modern, avantgarde look, its contemporary design made the inside look and feel much more spacious. Both variants come with a high-resolution widescreen cockpit with touchscreen control and also features an all-digital instrument display / metre cluster that can be switched to different styles to suit your personality. With that said, the sports steering wheel design was the cherry on top for us as it was wrapped in Nappa leather aka awesome to the touch.
In terms of tech, we found the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system to be surprisingly interactive. Fun fact: This A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature this multimedia system! The MBUX is equipped with its intelligent voice control with natural language comprehension which can be activated by the words, “Hey Mercedes” and this language assistant supports numerous function requests such as destination input, phone call, music selection, as well as climate control and lighting.
Seriously, how cool is that?!
Performance wise, the new A-Class models are powered by new efficient and powerful engines. The A 200 Progressive Line is equipped with a 1.3-litre inline turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine rated at 120 kW/163 hp with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. While the A 250 AMG Line we test-drove is equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine.
When it came to driving, the A 250 delivered impressive horsepower and torque figures at 224hp and 350NM respectively, resulting in a 0-100 time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h! Trust us, going up to Genting in this beast was a breeze thanks to its very responsible wet dual clutch transmission (DCT) and good cornering abilities (all credit goes to the car’s multilink rear suspension). Apple Car Play and Android Auto managed to pair seamlessly as well, so there was no shortage of good road-trip music. Both the A 200 and A 250 is also equipped with the four DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual – which came in handy when we switched drivers as each of us had a preferred driving style.
To sum it up, the A 250 was definitely a fantastic car to drive. From its fast acceleration to instant braking when we were too close for comfort to the car in front (ladies, this is why having the Active Brake Assist feature in your car is important and also why you should stop playing with your phones while driving), there wasn’t a moment where we felt like there was something to complain about. That is until we had to go through speed humps. Just a heads up, the ride is very low and we may or may not have hit the under carriage when passing through high humps with a full load. Sorry Mercedes!