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Mercedes-Benz A250 2019 review

This early release Mercedes-Benz A250 4matic is a rare beast.
EXPERT RATING
7.8
This is the Mercedes-Benz A 250 4Matic we wished for, but it won't be around for long.

Unicorns. They exist. The thing is there aren’t many of them and if you want to find one you need to know where to look. 

Now, I don’t normally give secrets away, but I’ll let you know where one is: it’s this 'early release' version of the Mercedes-Benz A 250 4Matic, and chances are you will never see one like this again.
 
See this A 250 4Matic is a sort of early release version of the car because it’s different to the model which will arrive later in 2019 – it’s also more affordable.

So, what’s the catch? We drove this special A 250 4matic at its launch recently to find out, if there was one.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2019: A250 YELLOW NIGHT EDITION
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.7L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$59,190

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Let’s start here first, because the features and price are the only differences between this A 250 and the one which will eventually replace it.

This A 250 lists for $49,500, before on-road costs, and while Mercedes-Benz won’t tell us how much more its replacement will cost, we do know the previous fully-kitted up A 250 was $55,200. You can expect to pay the same, if not more, for the new one when it arrives later in 2019.

This A 250 lists for $49,500, before on-road costs. This A 250 lists for $49,500, before on-road costs.

The catch is this current A 250 doesn’t come with the the upcoming one's high level of equipment. Instead it has the same standard features as the A 200. But the good news is, the A 200’s equipment list is impressive.

So, mirroring the A 200’s features, this A 250 comes standard with two 10.25-inch displays, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a nine-speaker stereo with digital radio, wireless charging, climate control, single-colour ambient lighting, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, auto parking and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The A 250 like the A 200 also comes with the 'Hey Mercedes' MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) function which is Benz’s in-house take on Apple’s Hey Siri virtual assistant system. Thing is, the A 200 costs $2300 less than the A 250.

This A 250 comes standard with two 10.25-inch displays, sat nav, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This A 250 comes standard with two 10.25-inch displays, sat nav, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

I know what you’re wondering. If this A 250 is more expensive more than the A 200 but has the same standard features, why does it cost more? The answer is the powertrain and chassis. And that’s what makes this A 250 good value. Skip to the next section on engines and I’ll explain.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The early release A 250 has the same standard features as the A 200, but  costs more because it has a bigger, more powerful engine, all-wheel drive and a more sophisticated suspension.

The A 250 has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine making 165kW/250Nm (the A 200 has a 120kW/225Nm 1.3-litre) which is enough to get it from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds (the A 200 takes 8.0 seconds). Helping the A 250 achieve that time is all-paw traction (the A 200 is front-wheel drive).

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission shifts the gears.

The A250 goes from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds. The A250 goes from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

The A 200 is good value with its extensive features list including those giant display screens, but after I drove it at its launch mid-way through 2018, I felt that if I could change anything it’d be to give it more grunt and a more comfortable and compliant ride. And that, in the shell of a nut, is the A 250 we have here.

This A 250 immediately felt more potent with its snarly exhaust note (that the 1.3-litre can’t deliver) and the get up and go to match. Winding roads beckoned, and well, I followed them.

This A 250 immediately felt more potent with its snarly exhaust note. This A 250 immediately felt more potent with its snarly exhaust note.

While the A 200 comes standard with a torsion bar rear suspension, the A 250 has a multi-link set-up in the rear, and is far more of a driver’s car.

That multi-link rear suspension is excellent. Not only is the ride more comfortable, but handling is improved, too.

Our test car was fitted with adaptive dampers, which could be relaxed to be softer, or firmed up to make the A 250 even more adept in the corners.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

This A 250 is a fourth-generation A-Class model with a new body, new platform and new technology.

In the same way the new Mercedes-Benz CLS seems to have become smoother and slipperier, this latest iteration of the A-Class also seems to have ironed out every crease.

This A 250 is a fourth-generation A-Class model with a new body, new platform and new technology. This A 250 is a fourth-generation A-Class model with a new body, new platform and new technology.

Headlights and tail-lights have lost their roundness and gone sleeker, and the whole car has been stretched. 

Take a look at the dimensions. At 4.4m end-to-end the new A 250 is 120mm longer than the previous model, while at almost 1.8m across it’s 16mm wider and at nearly 1.5m in height it’s 6mm taller.

Like the A 200, the A 250 comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, side skirts, twin exhaust and a ‘black diamond’ grille. 

  • Headlights and tail-lights have lost their roundness and gone sleeker. Headlights and tail-lights have lost their roundness and gone sleeker.
  •  The A 250 comes standard with a ‘black diamond’ grille. The A 250 comes standard with a ‘black diamond’ grille.

The 'Sports Package' adds the sparkly chrome studded grille, black 18-inch AMG rims, dark-tinted rear windows and an AMG body kit, while the cabin gets brushed stainless-steel pedals, red contrasting stainless steel stitched faux leather seats, plus shifting paddles.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

The new A 250 is bigger in all ways compared to the previous model. That’s resulted in more boot space and larger interior dimensions.

Cargo capacity has increased by almost 30 litres to 370 litres (the BMW 1 Series’ boot is 360 litres and the Audi A3 Sportback’s is 380 litres). But don't bother looking for a spare wheel/tyre. An inflator/repair kit is your only option.

Room up front is good for me at 191cm tall, with plenty of space in the footwell for my legs and between the centre console and door for my elbows.

Room up front is good for me at 191cm tall. Room up front is good for me at 191cm tall.

If I try to sit behind my driving position things getting a little tighter, with just enough space for my knees to clear the seat back, but plenty of headroom.

Storage is good with a large split-opening centre console bin, big door pockets and four cupholders (two up front and two in the rear).

Sitting behind my driving position is a little tighter, with just enough space for my knees. Sitting behind my driving position is a little tighter, with just enough space for my knees.

For charging you’ll find a wireless charging pad up front and a USB port, plus a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The Mercedes-Benz A 250 scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating in August 2018. That date is important because these days pretty much everything seems to have scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating, but something which scored full marks in 2015 may not get the same in 2018.

So, if you’re looking for a small car that’s as safe as it pretty much gets right now then the A 250 should be on your list.

The Mercedes-Benz A 250 scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating. The Mercedes-Benz A 250 scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating.

There are nine airbags (front, pelvis side and window bags for the driver and front passenger, side bags for those in the back and a knee bag for the pilot).

Advanced safety technology includes AEB, lane keeping assistance, blind spot warning with exit warning, traffic sign recognition and a reversing camera. Oh, and if you don’t like parking the A 250 will park itself.

There are three top-tethers and two ISOFIX locations for child restraints/seats across the rear seat.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

The A 250 is all-wheel drive and has a bigger engine, so it’s going to go through more fuel that the A 200 with its smaller engine and front-wheel drive only.

The difference isn’t huge though with the A 250 using 6.6L/100km of premium unleaded (according to Benz) if it’s driven on a combination of open and urban roads, while the A 200 is just under 1.0L/100km more efficient.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The A 250 is covered by Mercedes-Benz’s three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 25,000km.

Mercedes-Benz offers capped-price servicing for the A 250 with the first visit costing $396, while you can expect to pay $792 at for the second and third services.

Verdict

This early release version of the A 250 is for anybody who thinks the A 200’s features are sufficient but wished it had more grunt and was more fun to drive. Most carmakers will offer a more powerful engine in their model line-up, but it means stepping up to a higher grade which comes with features you may not want, while asking a lot more money.

With this early release you get a more powerful engine with sophisticated suspension that will give you better handling and a more comfortable ride, for just $2300 more than the price of an A 200.
It’s a bargain in Benz terms, and will make this A 250 a unicorn of the car world for sure.

Is this early release version of the A 250 something to pounce on, or would you let this unicorn go? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$48,945
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$38,700
Highest Price
$59,190

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
A180 1.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $38,700 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2019 A180 Pricing and Specs
A250 4MATIC 2.0L, ULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,500 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2019 A250 4MATIC Pricing and Specs
A250 4MATIC AMG LINE 2.0L, ULP, 7 SP AUTO $54,800 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2019 A250 4MATIC AMG LINE Pricing and Specs
A250 4MATIC LIMITED EDITION 2.0L, ULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,500 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2019 A250 4MATIC LIMITED EDITION Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.8
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Driving8
Design8
Practicality7
Safety8
Fuel consumption8
Ownership7
Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$55,200

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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