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Mercedes-Benz A200 – exhilarating performer in Sport Mode

I’ve just tested Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatch launched back in August. The latest A-Class body has been tweaked, 120mm longer, 16mm wider on a 30mm longer wheelbase and its 20 kilos lighter. A new 1.33-litre fuel-efficient turbo petrol engine, collaboration with Renault and built by Mercedes offers a very lively performance mated to a seven-speed automatic. At $47,200 its $2,900 dearer but the impressive technology sets it apart – like a widescreen display that gives the driver an impressive range of functions and features, there’s also an impressive head-up display that really adds to driver safety and a new function – ‘Hey Mercedes’ intelligent voice control which allows you to ask the operating system to perform commands like changing the radio station, volume or cabin temperature.
It’s enormously clever. The new Mercedes A-200 hatch a delight to drive – a front driver and highly communicative through a flat bottomed steering wheel that falls nicely to hand. A general consensus of people over the week suggested its new styling was a retrograde step and not as appealing as the superseded model – as the say styling is very much in the eye of the beholder. Re-designed tail lights allow a wider boot opening with better access and space but rear legroom is still on the tight side. On the open road the new 1.33 turbo engine is far more lively than the old 1.6 and with three drive modes available, Eco, Normal and Sport, it’s a very satisfying driver, the performance in Sport mode best described as exhilarating for a small hatch. I’m David Berthon

 

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