DRIVEN: Mercedes-Benz A-Class W176 – the A 200, A 250 and A 250 Sport sampled in Slovenia

25 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on DRIVEN: Mercedes-Benz A-Class W176 – the A 200, A 250 and A 250 Sport sampled in Slovenia
Mercedes-Benz A-Class

DRIVEN: Mercedes-Benz A-Class #8211; the A 200, A 250 and A 250 Sport in Slovenia

Radical isn’t a one associates with Mercedes-Benz, veritable pillar of collectedness and But with conservatism running out of to hide in this day and age, where cars are concerned, the has inevitably had to respond to market with necessary fortitude.

The C-Class hinted at things it came about, that the was trying to inject some vim and into its offerings and effectively its appeal to a larger crowd ‘younger’). Still, there are so many things one can do to a premium sedan without turning it a kitsch-mobile.

So it’s the job of the new third-generation to bridge new ground. This is the vehicle the brand is looking at as the to replace dowdy and boring fun and cheer. Unimaginable as it may seem, from the brochure suggests so, the car as “non-conformist from the outside and the style icon inside,” and enough to “expel boredom the street.” Is it going to be A-Class

We venture to find out.

how it started, the W176 has definitely a long way from the original When it arrived in 1997, the it of the ‘elk test’ fame, was much an urban compact mover, veined in the thinking of the which happened to be along the of the Smart, made bigger. I the competency of an example I drove a ago overseas, a pre-facelift A 170 CDI belonging to a utilitarian as the delivery was.

The W169 carried on the flow, an of the original offering more in the way of and finesse, but still very entrenched in functionality. Nonetheless, the broadened somewhat. In its own quiet the little A 170 won me over with its efficiency during the time I reviewing it for a magazine.

Still, it wasn’t the final word in and it couldn’t be termed sporty if its life depended on it.

Enter the which takes up the bat looking to the appeal in significant fashion, and Mark Fetherston and his team come up with an offering in one fell swoop rids of its compact urban mover and gets it squaring off against the of BMW’s 1er and Audi’s A3, looking to them. From a styling of view, it’s by far the shapeliest of the

To say that the current car – which the same underpinnings as the B-Class – has into something previously would be understating it. Led by a wedge-like that follows on elements on the current CLS, scaled and out in scope, the overall stance is predator-like, especially from a angle view.

The rear is less visually and that bit more generic, you’ve seen some of the and flow somewhere else (on Korean hatch, perhaps?), but it all together convincingly enough. The hatch, a looker in photos, is more effervescent in the metal – in this is a car with significant

The move towards liberal – and – isn’t surprising. With the compact segment market 6.57 million units as of last year and projected to to 10.62 million units by Mercedes isn’t looking to be behind. In an effort to capture buyers, the design team was wide-ranging freedom in respect of the and was even encouraged to be more

The result is rather spectacular.

In of engines, the 4.29 metre-long will ship with a of three petrol and three forms, all turbo units. The 6-ready BlueDirect petrol starts with the new Camtronic-equipped 1.6 M 270 DE 16 AL, which offers two output

The first is 120 hp at 5,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 1,250-4,000 rpm in the A 180 and the second is 154 hp at 5,000 rpm and 250 Nm (at the same rpm in the A 200 BlueEfficiency.

A quick aside on which premieres on the mill. a load management system an earlier intake cut-off and valve lift adjustment, a in a turbocharged direct-injection engine. it does is reduce throttle under partial load, to lower fuel consumption by up to 10% in operating ranges compared to the M 270 Camtronic.

Essentially, it’s a operated system served by an actuator. The intake camshaft is up of several components, with two sub-shafts of equal size on the carrier shaft. The first of ‘cam-pieces,’ as they are known as, the intake valves of cylinders one and the second those of cylinders and four.

The cams themselves are in the form of a double-cam with two surfaces, with the surface the valves via roller-type rocker only half as wide as on a cam. When the steeper of the cam is active, the valve lift is and the valves remain open for switching to the flatter half of the cam the valve lift, and the valves sooner.

At very low engine levels, the load control on the valve lift is conventional, the position of the throttle flap, medium torque levels the position of the intake camshaft and torque levels, the charging of the turbocharger. As the torque increases, the lift is switched to the higher with load control again being conventional via the flap and then, in the charged range, via the turbocharger.

The third petrol unit is the 2.0 M 270 DE 20, which equips both the A 250 as well as the A 250 Sport versions, and figures for this one are 208 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm at rpm. Performance figures a 0-100 km/h time of 6.6 and a 240 km/h top speed.

It’s the until the M 132 2.0 litre premieres the A 45 AMG sometime early next – that one promises about 350 hp and 450 Nm, numbers indeed.

Diesel-wise, are three oil-burners powering variants, two of which are somewhat known as the A 180 CDI BlueEfficiency. The first A 180 CDI the smallest displacement unit, the 1.5 OM 607 DE 15 LA, which is a reworked Renault offering 108 hp at 4,000 rpm and 260 Nm at 1,750-2,500

Compounding matters, the other A 180 CDI also has the same horsepower and the same amount of torque hp at 3,200-4,600 rpm and 250 Nm at 1,400-2,800 rpm) its 1.8 litre OM 651 DE 18 LA unit, so just the A 180 badging and horsepower figures tell you which is what.

The A 200 CDI wears the 1.8 litre, but generates output numbers, in this 134 hp at 3,600-4,400 rpm and 300 Nm at 1,600-3,000 rpm.

there’s the A 220 CDI BlueEfficiency, which the diesel range; the OM 651 mill has a 2.2 litre displacement, with 168 hp at rpm and 350 Nm at 1,600-3,000 rpm for numbers. It’s to note that the A 250 petrol offer as good a punch in of torque to the highest specification unit.

Transmission choices are a manual and a seven-speed 7G-DCT. For the models, the dual-clutch ships as fitment on the A 250 and A 250 Sport, and as an option on the A 180 and A 200 Some other numbers – the weight starts from kg for the A 180 petrol right up to 1,475 kg for the A 200

Three equipment lines are for the car, starting with the This is the entry-level line, a two-fin radiator grille in the colour, with a chrome as well as 16-inch alloys and profile tyres. Internally, are sports seats finished in an man-made leather/Messancy fabric with contrast stitching.

The line is the Urban, which the tags as an expressive sporty line. Kit includes 17-inch wrapped with 225/45 rubbers, a two-pipe exhaust and a front grille with its fins finished in silver/chrome. the seats are an Artico/Larochette cloth again with contrast with decorative trim in silver chrome.

The third is called the AMG Sport, and as its moniker the exterior gets a dose of AMG treatment with a kit comprising bumpers and side skirts, and the also dresses up the car with alloys and 225/40 profile Also on, a Dynamic Handling replete with a Direct-Steer sensitive steering incorporating steering ratio and a brake featuring larger ventilated and brake discs as well as with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering.

Kit for the interior includes black carbon-look interior trim stainless steel pedals and an Dinamica upholstery combination. of red contrast stitching to be found – the seats, the door cards and mats – replete with AMG – get the treatment too.

As if that’s not Merc has given the A-Class further options. There’s a package, an exterior dress up that can be added on top of any of the three and equipment lines. Also to be are Exclusive and AMG Exclusive packages, dress up the interior even

There are 11 exterior colours for the car, eight metallic and solid, and the standout shade is the Mountain Grey Magno – the tone is an absolute delight to the and lends even more to the W176’s lines.

It does from the anomaly that such a hue though. Under sunlight, there’s a perceivable in colour gradation between the and on the non-metal parts of the car. And it’s easiest on the eye, not easiest to maintain.

Word is MBM isn’t looking to offer it as a shade here.

Safety kit Collision Prevention Assist, Assist and Adaptive Brake as and the A-Class ships with for the front, front sides and as well as a driver’s knee as stock fare, with side airbags as an available Other options include Distronic Plus proximity and a Lane Tracking package.

In to capture younger buyers, the has equipped the A-Class with new of connectivity. Chief to it all are two packages the Digital DriveStyle and Drive Kit for the iPhone, available even the entry-level Audio 20 system.

will be able to access from an iPhone through the display and via the controller on the center and the Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone allow all major functions of the to be shown and selected from on the dashboard display screen.

music playback, making and sending messages, there’s and Twitter integration as well, and will be able to post and what they want, the aid of Siri. The fully integrated will also offer Internet radio through personal radio, which can music by genre or artist on the driver’s personal taste. there’s GPS in the mix as well.

The new connectivity will be available the car#8217;s market debut in and at point of launch only as a option, which means no retrofitting it if you don’t tick particular box. By next though, the kit should be available as an accessory, according to Marina from Mercedes-Benz Accessories.

The location, currently in the glove is also set to move closer to the console, allowing easier This also happens year, as does integration Android.

A quick walk-through of the revealed its usability, even if still room for refinement in of graphics and presentation. Nonetheless, it Mercedes up to speed in connectivity and the new face will eventually its way on to the likes of the C-Class and E-Class, a more vibrant option for who think the traditional COMAND a bit

On to the sampling of the car. A total of 34 road cars were on the manifest during the international drive, which took in Slovenia a few weeks back. The contingent was effectively bringing the to a close (one more after us, presumably the Chinese), so before us had already run the cars

Still, the examples felt the worse for wear, certainly not that I happened to be in.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

There two drive sessions, split two days, but with drive limited to what you picked, my and I decided to focus on the variants mattered, in this case the A 200 and A 250 variants Mercedes-Benz Malaysia be bringing in. Someone else in the took out a diesel (not by all the petrol units had been and reported that it felt enough.

We started out in the A 250, our being the only A 250 variant in Mountain Grey. The Urban line unit had a crystal interior, which I didn’t care much for. it does make the cabin a bit and spacious, but the colour elements gel, at least to me.

The black-themed showcases things best – are highlighted well, and it does it all in line with the car’s presentation.

The cabin itself is appointed, with particular to refinement being noticeable. The and presentation itself is a pretty affair, but material-wise, nothing has skimped, all the more promising for is essentially entry-level for the brand.

The feel good to the touch, those that aren’t contact points. For example, the surround on the rounded AC vents – ala SLS – as classy as it looked, and the inevitable of the dashboard top got the necessary soft in tactility. Buyers may have one though – surprisingly, despite ECO functionality, there’s no push-start to be found, so ignition remains a keyed affair.

The front seats are firm-ish, but up well in terms of comfort extended driving, and no complaints a driving position point of Meanwhile, the rear provides space for two; it looks bit of a for the third though.

If there’s a in volume, then it’s the boot – 341 litres sounds for a couple of knapsacks and the weekly haul, but not a place where want to be manoeuvring large We didn’t have to respond to the but nothing folding the rear backrests and bringing capacity up to litres wouldn’t have in our case, I suppose.

It’s a and responsive car, the A 250, and on the strikes a neat balance performance and comfort, though the output numbers the perception of is somewhat muted. Pushed the turn of speed is brisk, but is rather than gut wrenching. The character of the 7G-DCT no doubt the civility.

I quite like the response of the new transmission though. aspects are clean and the ratios are very equitably across the

The ride is compliant without mushy, and though it’s not to give the 1 Series any sleepless handling-wise, the A-Class’ nimbleness is The steering is less likable in sense, being on the light and not very communicative off centre, but at it’s quick and responsive.

In the of the mix, there was the best and it came in the form of the range-topping A 250 Having spent a fair bit of with the A 250 earlier in the day, the was that the Sport wouldn’t up any more than was already given the identical powertrain on

The track session, held on Aerodrome, stated otherwise. an AMG sports suspension featuring a front axle and modified ESP the A 250 Sport behaves rather than its standard sibling,

On the course, which involved rather tightly defined and a high-speed slalom run, the A 250 felt zippy, though the was inherently psychological than given that nothing has tweaked in the engine. The changes in however, were distinctly Sharper and more reactive to this is a Merc that to being chucked about gusto, and it’s easily the handling standard-fare Benz AMG-tweaked as it may be.

Such was the consensus the rabble-rousers in our drive group – as the progressed, we were leaving the later and later as well as the steering harder to see if the little A be unfazed. It never did, and the while providing a suitable of assist to keep things did so very benignly, never coming across as intrusive or

The following day’s drive to Ljubljana was done in the A 200, a Red example with an AMG Sport and a six-speed manual transmission. having 54 less horses – and 100 Nm – that things weren’t as as with the A 250, but the car didn’t once it got going, and the stick helped to keep things The 1.6 litre has a good midband about it and is quite free-revving the higher ranges, which

A spot of Cayenne chasing out on the – prompted by another A-Class us just before that – the A 200’s legs, and at 210 km/h the of the car was, for want of a better poised.

My co-driver, deciding to forty winks to compensate the of sleep from the previous remained undisturbed at the end of my very high-speed charge, a veritable to that. Wind noise was evident at 200 km/h, but the run showed significant attention has been to the areas of noise and vibration.

It did less compliant than the A 250 B-roads on the return route Not jarring, but the firmness was a perceptible from that a day before. the 18-inch wheels of the AMG Sport had something to do with it, but the ride less forgiving of bad surfaces.

notes about the manual even though we won’t be seeing it here. The clutch is and light, set up for a broader appeal for the minority. Likewise the shifter, has a clean, if rather rubbery, about it.

The short sampling was to convince that for all intents and the W176 A-Class is going to be a for the brand. It won#8217;t be the clear cut choice for everyone in its segment, but very well specified and and it’s a very attractive so it#8217;ll be right up there in the

Indeed, this newfound, appeal is set to win it many new friends and up the Tristar to a whole new generation of #8211; more than orders to date ahead of the market launch in mid-September a game changer, very on. Considering that which before it, the accomplishment is nothing of radical.

UPDATE: The Mercedes-Benz has been officially launched in Read our launch report and the pics here .

Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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