From the most loved household family brand which is ever so popular with its striking three-pointed star, comes one of the most advanced hatchbacks one could find in the market today. The creatives and engineers from Stuttgart, Germany bring to you, the safety and technological savvy young at heart, the all-new Mercedes Benz A-Class…Still not A-moosed? Then we strongly suggest you keep your eyes glued for our First Drive impressions after the jump.
When one associates themselves with a brand such as Mercedes Benz, trust me when I say that the person considers their personal image to be of the highest standards. The general appearance and flow of the vehicle is rather sexier and a bit more modern than that of the previous model. It’s rather easier on the eyes and has striking features which would almost tempt one to place an order almost immediately after the car turns around the corner.
Though the new Mercedes Benz A-Class is longer and wider than the previous generation, it’s surprisingly much lighter and packs more muscle in that curvy design. There is practically nothing not to like about this vehicle, however, a little off-putting factor for us was the addition of those fake exhaust tips, which almost makes them looks like oversized lucky packet rings which are a bit of a turn-0ff. Thankfully due to the clever technology and autonomous driving and braking systems equipped in A-Class, that’s one minor issue one can overlook. Oh yes, if you feeling a little generous and happy which is likely to be the case after seeing this beaut, the AMG package is definitely an option to consider and is worth every penny.
The overall driving experience is much softer and refined in comfort mode with a reduction of acoustic road excitation by 30% more than it’s predecessor, as you switch to sports mode the suspension becomes stiffer and you get a much more responsive steering reaction.
The A-200 comes standard with a twist beam axle which is much smoother and has a comfortable tuning feel, whereas the A-250 offers a multi-link rear axle for performance type models which also boasts a significant improvement of tire and road noise, though sometimes travelling at higher speeds might feel a bit rocky and you can almost feel all the twists, turns and bumps on the road .
Luckily, electronic stability programme comes as a standard option in this vehicle which comes as an added bonus on top of all the tech offered in this miniature powerhouse. All in all the A-Class promises to deliver a harmonic interaction of driving dynamics and comfort by adjustable dampers which you will have to get yourself in this vehicle to experience it first hand.
One notable distinction we ought not to forget is that when coming to the interior design, only the best form of premium materials are used in all classes of the Mercedes Benz. The dash boasts high-quality gloss black trims with a two-tier look and S-Class type steering wheel with brushed aluminium finishes.
The focal point of the Mercedes A-Class certainly has to be its new continuous 10-inch screen display which can be used a touch screen or if you wouldn’t want fingerprints all over your screen, a vibrating trackpad can be used to navigate through the high-resolution screen displays. A must-have option which one must ensure they get when purchasing the A-Class is a new advancement across Mercedes Benz known as the MBUX (Mercedes Benz User Experience) which uses advanced artificial intelligence and lets you control most aspects of the vehicle from the seat warmers, air temperature and music to name a just a few. This form of new technology is designed to try understanding natural languages as well as to offer a better handling of non-native speeches and have a more natural and variable flow of the spoken language. This innovation is practically designed to create an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. Still not convinced? well all it takes is a simple “Hey Mercedes” and a truly different world of driver/vehicle is unlocked. The manufacturer has truly rectified most of it’s error which were prevalent in their generations, they were even generous enough to offer improved luggage space offering enough space for 2 beverage crates or a full sized golf bag to go show off your new wheels in style at the local golf club.
Both models we drove on launch come standard with a 7G-DCT transmission with improved dimensions of 4.4m/1,7m/1,4m for length/width/height(m) respectively. While the specs for the A-200 are as follows: 1332cc engine, 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque, 5,2l/100km fuel consumption, 120g/km CO2 combined emissions, 0-100 acceleration in a decent 8.0 secs with a top speed of 225km/h and all these starting at a cool R499 000.
The meaner sibling, the A-250 offers a 1991cc engine which is pretty quick considering that it packs a heavier punch at 165kW and 350Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6,2l/100km with an efficient 141g/km CO2 combined emissions which is not at all bad. We do know that anything that is capable of doing 0-100 acceleration in a cool 6,2 secs is not really slow, so I’m sure you getting the picture of how quick this rising powerhouse is with a top speed of 250km/h. I’m pretty sure by now with all those numbers rolling in your head they should equate to a warmer figure of about R593 300 for the A-250.
With all this being said we shouldn’t forget that any Mercedes Benz is not for every Tom, Dick and Jabulani, but the select few who view their overall image as everything. This is indeed a vehicle suitable enough for only those who “dare to win”.