Cars

Published on March 17th, 2020 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Mercedes-Benz A250 Sedan AMG Line First Impressions

Thanks to a recent media drive to the historic city of Melaka, we finally had the chance to sample Mercedes-Benz’s latest offering in the compact segment, the A-Class sedan.

Launched in Malaysia in September last year, the A-Class sedan is essentially a carbon copy of its hatchback sibling except that it comes with a separate boot measuring 420 litres, 50 litres more that what the hatchback has to offer. In other words, it is a more practical option between the two.

The event day started with a hearty breakfast in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur and soon after that, we hopped into an A250 sedan, which is positioned between the entry-level A200 and the hot A35 in the A-Class sedan family.

Although it is no AMG, the A250 is not too far off in terms of appearance with its AMG Line kit that includes aggressive-looking bumpers, side skirts and AMG-badged 18-inch alloy wheels. Fake exhaust tips aside, we actually like its clean, bold look. Those who say that sedans are boring might have to think again.

The cabin is expectedly divine, with the same layout and fancy selection of materials as that of the hatchback. There’s the Widescreen Cockpit and MBUX infotainment system that we’ve become so accustomed to as well as the stylish turbine-look air conditioning vents and the flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather. The sports seats are not the most comfortable for long distance travelling but they do well in terms of providing support during fast turns.

Speaking of fast, this particular variant is packed with enough firepower. With an output of 224 hp and 350 Nm of torque courtesy of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the A250 is a worthy rival to the popular Volkswagen Golf GTI. Though the latter has an upper hand with 4 more horsepower, it’s only fair to say that you would struggle to feel the difference.

The output is routed to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Gear changes are quick and crisp and in-gear acceleration is more than satisfactory but if there is one thing it could improve is the smoothness when crawling in traffic. This became very apparent when driving through the traffic-riddled roads in Melaka.

As with the hatchback, there are four driving modes to play with, namely Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual. In most situations, the sedan is quick enough in Comfort mode but if you’re on the open road and feeling a little bit naughty, the Sport mode is ready to kick it up a notch. The engine and transmission will respond quicker and you will definitely smile wider.

Handling-wise, the A250’s sharp steering and sportier suspension setup is a perfect combination if you want a car that feels planted when taking on a series of corners. The downside to it is the stiff ride that will be aggravated by our poor road conditions.

Wind noise suppression is surprisingly good for a compact Mercedes-Benz. Most of the time, the noise is kept to a minimum and barely noticable, unless you are going above the speed limit. While the suspension is stiff, you will never hear any unpleasent crashing sound whenever the car is driven over potholes.

Our verdict

The A250 Sedan is undoubtedly a good looking car and fun to drive too. Practicality is also one of its strengths, thanks to its large boot space and bigger rear legroom. As for overall performance, it will give most hot hatches out there a run for their money. One might argue that there are other cars that deliver higher performance for less money but none of them come close to this one when style and exclusiveness are factored in.

Mercedes-Benz A250 Sedan AMG Line Specifications

Engine: Inline 4, 16-Valve, DOHC, Petrol
Capacity: 1,991 cc
Gearbox: 7-speed DCT
Max power: 224 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Max torque: 350 Nm @ 1,800-4,000 rpm
Price: RM267,888

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