Mercedes-Benz A250 Review New Zealand
When I was younger (yes I can still remember that far back), fifty seemed to be an ancient age, ‘old and past it’ if I can recall. However, as my half-century came (and then went), terminologies such as ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ or ‘age is a state of mind’ came into play. That being said, often, my mind is willing but the body and drive have difficulty keeping up, something that the Mercedes-Benz new ‘50’ knows nothing about.
Having already tried out the A200, let’s just say that I was more than keen to get behind the wheel of the 250. The new Mercedes-Benz A250 targets the young and young at heart, with its increased capacity engine (over the A200), modern styling and smart, MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User eXperience) connectivity, I assumed that it would be a fizzing, cracker of a small hatchback, I wasn’t wrong.
As seems to be the way with Mercedes-Benz current line-up of review vehicles, my A250 limited edition came in black, Cosmos metallic black that is. The merits of its fresh new face, broadened tail and kerbside appeal I have already voiced but this model also came equipped with a Sport and AMG line package which (among other things) included a more aggressive look, an unmissable grille and 19-inch AMG feet – it looks poised, ready to go.
The interior is awash with two-tone classic red and black lugano leather which includes the well-bolstered bucket seats and spreads out to the door cards, it’s very, very sporty. Again my model came with a few tasty titbits including the Seat comfort and more AMG involvement, I re-iterate, it’s sporty.
As with the A200, the infotainment and instrument clusters have merged into one very large digital display that spreads across half the dashboard landscape, it’s managed via your thumbs (on the steering wheel), modern touchpad in the centre console and by voice command and MBUX will take care of a variety of your cabin needs (although it still requires time to get to know you).
Under its pert nose lies a 2L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces (thanks to 4MATIC all-wheel drive and 7-speed DCT transmission) a very usable 165kW and 350Nm. 0-100km/h arrives in just 6.2 seconds while it boasts 6.6L/100km should you feather the accelerator.
Despite this hot hatch thriving in an urban environment, I was lucky enough to have a few projects on while reviewing this A250 that required some out of town driving, time to stretch its legs. Leaving in the dark before sunrise really showed off the car’s ambient lighting. The choice seems endless but funnily enough, I settled on the ‘Amsterdam nightclub’ pink and purple that it came with – turning on my funky tunes, I hit the go-faster pedal and headed south.
Around the town, the new A250 feels tight and manoeuvrable, but on the highway, it seems to straighten its shoulders and stand up to the ‘grown up’ traffic, even the trucks. There’s a firmness to the ride that includes the steering and the 2L engine gobbles up the kms with ease. When the tarmac turns twisty or bendy, the knowledge that you have Mercedes’s capable all-wheel-drive underfoot is reassuring.
With the A250’s increased technology comes plenty of driver’s aids, to be honest, I found them a little too enthusiastic but for many people, I’m sure they’d be an asset.
When it comes to the new A-Class, the extra 50 (A250 over the A200) it really makes a world of difference. Aside from a raft of ‘small extra’s, the increased horsepower and inclusion of 4MATIC are more than enough to make this 50, nifty. Oh and just for the record, (now that I’ve crossed that bridge), I can see why fifty has been renamed the new forty, I’m as spritely as I’ve always been – yeah right.