When Mercedes introduced the A-class back in 1998, I have to admit I wasn’t really impressed with the models released. The car wasn’t attractive at all (Not even the sports model) and you couldn’t tell if it’s a mini family car or a car for the younger generation, specially that it wasn’t affordable at all.
The original model was revamped and enhanced a few times since then but Mercedes realized a couple of years back that it needs to reshape the whole thing and the end product was a beauty and undeniably one of the hottest hatchbacks in the market at the moment.
Design & Style
The most noticeable feature in the new A class is that the upright short body from the old model was dropped and replaced by a longer and wider one. The huge front headlights, with the red metallic inserts in the bottom middle, give the car an aggressive and sexy look and the central Mercedes star in the middle of a diamond-grille make things even better. In fact, it’s almost as good as the new SL Class front which is my favorite Mercedes series.
The back is always a tricky part in a hatch and the A250’s rear goes along with the rest of the car in my opinion. The rear headlights, the contour lines on the sides give the car a dynamic shape. It should be noted here that the A250 model which I drove is equipped with an AMG exterior and interior sports package, and looks very different from the standard A200 model.
The AMG package includes red accents in both bumpers, fire-red brake calipers, twin oval tailpipes, thick coupe-like C-pillars, a lower suspension and 5-spoke, 18-inch lightweight AMG alloy wheels shod with fat 235/40 R18 tires—all.
The red accent gives the interior the sporty look the car needs, from the floor mats, the sports seats to to the red seat belts (loved those!), the circular air vents and the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The front seats are comfortable, but the back seats lack head room due to the panoramic sunroof and leg room.
I didn’t appreciate though the LED display in the middle. It looks out of place and resembles old digital frames with the thick borders.
On The Road
While the AMG sports package makes the A250 model look hotter and its drive a lot more fun, this is not a car you’d want to drive on a daily basis to work or use for long trips. The reason for that is that the rides are bumpy, specially with Lebanon’s roads, and the passengers as well as the driver might get a bit uncomfortable. Of course that’s the case for most sports car not just the Mercedes, so I would advise to go for the A200 model if you’re planning to use this car as your everyday car. If not, then you can either go for the A250 or wait for the A45 AMG to come out.
As far as the handling is concerned, the car feels great on the highway and turns, and the acceleration is quite impressive. If you want to have some more fun, you can always switch to Sports mode but watch out as the A250 in S mode is really quick and you could easily reach 160kph without noticing. For those who like a loud engine, don’t expect much from the A250.
The gear box is located behind the wheel and I loved how it takes one click to switch to Park. However, I still can’t get used to the small Hand Brake Button that most new cars now have. The A250 has a 2.0 litres petrol engine with a 211 horsepower. You need 6.6 seconds to get from 0 100 kph.
All in all, driving a Mercedes always feels different than other cars and the A250 is no exception. Of course it doesn’t come at a cheap price (Around 40,000$) but it is definitely much cheaper than more luxurious Mercedes models. In fact, it feels like they joined all the qualities of a bigger more expensive Mercedes into a compact car.
To sum it up, the A250 Sport is a beautiful, stylish and quick car that comes with everything that you’d expect from a German-Engineered vehicle. Add to that the AMG specs and you have one of the coolest hatchbacks today.