Published on July 9th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
VOTY 2020//Hot Hatch of the Year – Mercedes-Benz A 250
The performance hatch segment is alive and healthy in Malaysia, with manufacturers from every continent throwing their weight in for bragging rights and brand awareness. To be fair, it’s tough to convince any number of Malaysians to part with RM300,000 without giving them a badge that’s worthy of the price tag. For that reason, we have to give the Mercedes-Benz A 250 a little credit. It’s not exactly the newest model on this list, but it’s perhaps the only model in its segment that’s actually attracting the buying crowd. It has enough power to excite, it has the right badge, and of course looks and tech are where customers expect it to be.
The new A-Class brings a fresh ‘sensual purity’ design language. It’s quite an interesting look, especially from the front. The bonnet tapers down to a pretty narrow end and makes ways for a sort of ‘shark nose’ front grille. I really like what they were going for. I think it’s safe to say that Mercedes-Benz have the most distinctive looking premium hatchbacks on sale today. The AMG Line trim on this particular model lends a sportier touch, particularly with those 18” alloy rims.
Mercedes-Benz went big to achieve the look of a high-tech cabin. You’ll find the displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system ‘merged’ in a single floating panel. It’s quite a good move and perhaps they’ll genuinely merge the two displays in the next iteration for a more fluid look.
In terms of interior design, it’s quite sculpted and minimalist. There’s more glossy black plastic than before. Some may like it, some may not.
The A250 is EXTREMELY capable. It’s a little faster than you expect, but it has the grip and steering feedback to keep things in control. It’s as powerful, capable and neutral as any of their rivals and you will utterly enjoy pushing this car around any corner.
224hp and 350Nm of torque from this turbocharged 2-litre sends it flying from 0-100km/h in just over 6 seconds! This is proper hot hatch territory and Mercedes-Benz nailed the driving performance here perfectly. For a DYNAMIC and PREMIUM hatchback experience, nothing comes close to the Mercedes-Benz A250 at the moment.
Mercedes-Benz A 250 Specifications
Engine: Inline-4, 16 Valve, DOHC
Gearbox: 7-speed Dual Clutch Automatic
Max power: 224hp @ 5500rpm
Max torque: 350Nm @ 1800rpm
0-100 km/h: 6.2 seconds
Top Speed: 250km/h
About the VOTY Awards 2020
The Vehicle of the Year (VOTY) Awards is sponsored by Allianz Malaysia Berhad and is judged by Daniel Sherman Fernandez, Ross Hadi, Amirul Mukminin and Subhash Nair from Drive Safe and Fast (dsf.my) and GohedGostan.com.
The selection process is simple and clean. All cars launched in Malaysia within 13 months of our cutoff date are eligible for entry. We contact all car brands officially operating in Malaysia and ask them for test cars for each of our judges. There’s no participation fee, no tables to buy, no package deals — nothing. Any judge who drives an eligible car gets to vote for it. A simple majority is all it takes for a vehicle to win in a given category.
The categories are kept as consistent as possible from year-to-year with some modifications when a certain category is not adequately represented or is over-represented in that particular year. You can view the categories over the years by looking through our “VOTY” tab on the dsf.my page.
Our title sponsor Allianz recognises the integrity of our team and all players involved in deciding on winners and leaves all decisions to us regarding the winners. We hope our readers appreciate the efforts of all parties involved and provide us with feedback on how we can further improve on this.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to postpone our VOTY awards presentation and have instead decided to stream it LIVE on facebook and youtube. This would make VOTY the first automotive awards show to be streamed live in ASEAN as far as we can tell.