Mercedes A-Class 2013 Model Test Driven At Sepang Circuit


Published on September 10th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Mercedes A-Class 2013 Model Test Driven At Sepang Circuit


When Mercedes Benz showed the world their 3rd generation A-Class, it was clear that the designers at Stuttgart were looking at the knocking on the door of the popular VW Golf with this new hatchback. Unlike its older siblings, it had no intentions of being a family hatchback. It wanted to be a hot hatch. The A-Class’ coefficient of drag figure is just 0.27, which is exactly the same as with the all new VW Golf GTI MK7 which for now is the segment best.


Sharp looks, strong features in the front and rear and with a muscular profile, this new A-Class had more surprises inside the cabin. There are 2 variants on sale in Malaysia, the A200 and the A250. The cabin of the A200 is of high standard with a good mix of materials and build, but it is the A250 cabin that stands out with features shared with the exclusive Mercedes SLS.


The torso hugging race seats, the carbon finish on the dashboard, the red and silver inserts and not forgetting the aluminium trim finish; this A250 has by far the most exciting cabin for its segment. With the A200, the excitement might be a tad less but its delivery is on par with the C and E-Class Benz in terms of quality and fitment.


Under the bulging bonnet of this hatchback sits a 156bhp 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo engine for the A200. It is a simple engine mated to a 7G DCT automatic gearbox. Start the engine and it is docile. No drama. The 4-cylinder hums along with no issue. The delivery power is linear and unassuming. Push the A200 a little harder and the engine responses but without any drama. It’s a sensible engine for the sensible owner. Fuel efficiency seems to be the top priority with this version and it delivers.


The A250 is fitted with a 2-liter engine with 211bhp ready. Ignite this engine and at idle there is no drama. Accelerate hard and the gearbox readily swaps the gears to bring up to speed with no hesitation. At higher engine revolutions the A250 engine releases some aural notes but it is not inspiring like its cabin. There is more engine noise in the A250 than we noticed in the A200, but the characteristic 2-liter turbo thrum is never uncouth, unpleasant or overly intrusive. In everyday use it is quiet and efficient and, thanks to the slick 7-speed gearbox, the A250 provides an excellent blend of performance, economy and refinement. When we were comfortably cruising on the tarmac the feedback was firm and responsive and as it was being revved out of its safe range on the Sepang race circuit, the A250 did not disappoint us as a hot hatch. On the tight corners the retuned suspension on the A250 was quicker in its damping the steering paid dividends as the car felt much tauter and keener to react than the A200. The revised spring and damper rates and a wider set of tires on the A250 enhance its handling noticeably. This does not mean that the A200 is a shopping cart nonetheless it is still fun and capable but without the higher power advantage.

Looking at how its predecessor did in the Malaysian market, this new A-Class is better in every measurable way. Only its styling divides opinion, as traditional Mercedes owners might not be completely taken by its radical looks but there is a completely new group of buyers who now want to own a Mercedes Benz.


Mercedes Benz A200-Class SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 4-cylinder inline engine

Capacity: 1595cc
Transmission: 7G-speed DCT automatic

Max Power: 156bhp at 5300rpm
Max Torque: 250Nm at 1250-4000rpm
Acceleration 0-100km/h: 8.3seconds

Top speed: 224km/h

Price: RM198,888.00


Mercedes Benz A250-Sport SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 4-cylinder inline engine

Capacity: 1991cc
Transmission: 7G-speed DCT automatic

Max Power: 211bhp at 5500rpm
Max Torque: 350Nm at 1200-4000rpm
Acceleration 0-100km/h: 6.6seconds

Top speed: 240km/h

Price: RM238,888.00


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