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Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport 4Matic 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
9
Ewan Kennedy road tests and reviews the Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport 4Matic with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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Mercedes-Benz A-Class received a facelift at the start of 2016. We've just spent an interesting week in the A250, the model that we forecast is likely to be the biggest seller in the extensive range.

It's not the lowest cost model A-Class; the A180 is priced at just $37,200, a real bargain for a car with the prestigious three-pointed star on the grill. Nor is as manic as the A45 AMG which has a tag of $77,900 and really needs a racetrack to get your pulse racing.

At $53,500 the A250 Sport is an excellent compromise, being relatively easy on the bank account and providing a solid turn of performance that's fine for everyday use.

For the 2016 season A-Class gets additional technology, with all versions now having adaptive suspension and satellite navigation. The Mercedes A180 has 17-inch wheels, Garmin Map Pilot navigation, blind spot assist, reversing camera, keyless start, Dynamic Select modes and a sporty diamond grille in black as standard. The A200 has 18-inch wheels and sports seats with lumber support. The ultra-hot AMG A45 4Matic now produces 280kW (up from 265kW) and can get from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in just 4.2 seconds.

The sports kit on the A250 is anything but shy.

We will cover powertrain details of our A250 Sport test car in a moment.

Design

The A-Class is no longer the tiny car aimed at finding parking spots in overcrowded European cities, the latest generation is longer, sleeker and lower. The so-called diamond grille treatment works well and we found the red paint on our test car a pleasant change from the 500 shades of grey currently making our roads like we're living in a black-and-white movie.

The sports kit on the A250 is anything but shy and retiring and grabbed plenty of looks while we were driving it.

Also in a red hue is the stitching on the dark trim on the seats, door and dashboard that certainly tie in with the Sport badges. Ambient interior lighting can be tailored to suit your needs by providing 12 different colours.

Engine

The 2.0-litre A250 Sport petrol has 160kW of power and a wild 350Nm of torque running through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It uses the Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, sits on 18-inch AMG wheels, and Ride Control suspension. Five different driving modes are offered, everything from Comfort to Race. The latter, naturally, only intended for track use.

Features

In a sign of the times, the days when Mercedes saved up its new high-tech items until a new S-Class was introduced, have gone. So rapid is the rate of technology change that the company is now, somewhat reluctantly we suspect, forced to add tech to the next model it launches. Waiting for an S-Class would otherwise see it lagging for years behind competitors at times.

Handling through the all-wheel-drive 4Matic system is tenacious and easy to control.

The A-Class is the first Mercedes model to be available with smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Siri voice control. Mercedes' latest Comand multimedia system works well and we enjoyed the quality sound system.

Safety

The latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class has multiple driving assistance systems, including the drowsiness detection system Attention Assist, Distronic Plus, Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Blind Spot Assist.

There are nine airbags to minimise damage to the occupants should everything still go wrong. An Active Bonnet setup minimises pedestrian injury in a collision.

Driving

The front seats are correctly shaped to give good support without being overly aggressive. The rears are on the tight side if the people in the front are tall, so some compromise will be required.

The adaptive suspension system, now fitted to all A-Class models, provides the sort of ride comfort that's close to its bigger brother the C-Class. That's in the Comfort setting, when sharpened up by dialling in Sport it becomes a genuine hot-hatch to let drivers enjoy a traditional early Sunday morning drive. Some passengers may find it slightly harsh on rough roads, though.

Handling through the all-wheel-drive 4Matic system is tenacious and easy to control and defies the fact that the A-Class began its life as a front-drive family hatchback.

Engine performance is excellent and the Mercedes engineers have managed to trim turbo lag to a minimum. Engage the Sport mode and it not only gives more power, but also builds downshift blips into the automatic. Love it!

Verdict

The smallest Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been further refined in this latest iteration. We love the look of the Sport body kit and the engine and chassis dynamics will bring a smile to the face of those looking for performance at a relatively modest price.

How does the A250 measure up to its hot hatch rivals? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

 

Click here to see more 2016 Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport pricing and spec info.

Pricing guides

$44,990
Based on 124 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$34,990
Highest Price
$74,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CLA200 1.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $27,000 – 35,750 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2016 CLA200 Pricing and Specs
CLA45 4Matic 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,600 – 62,700 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2016 CLA45 4Matic Pricing and Specs
CLA45 4Matic Orangeart Edition 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $45,900 – 58,080 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2016 CLA45 4Matic Orangeart Edition Pricing and Specs
CLA45 AMG 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,000 – 61,930 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2016 CLA45 AMG Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.