MT Reviews: A250 AMG Sport

The A-Class has been dramatically improved, even if this A250 AMG Sport could have been racier, says Sathnam Sanghera.

by Sathnam Sanghera
Last Updated: 19 Jul 2013

One evening in the summer of 1993 a girl I quite liked remarked in passing that I looked good in black. At the time, I was the owner of several yellow shirts, a pair of red corduroy trousers and a set of green Nike Airs.

But they never came out again and I basically went around dressed like a gloomy goth for the next 10 years.

And this is pretty much how Mercedes has reacted to criticism of the A-Class. The original version didn't have an auspicious start - a test model rolled over during an avoidance test - and then the mini MPV faced years of jokes about its boxy looks and bad build quality.

Only Easycar seemed to like it, buying it by the hundreds, presumably on the logic that the smaller the surface area of a hire vehicle, the less the chance of it being damaged.

But the new A-Class range is transformed, a point-by-point rebuttal of the jokes and criticism. Indeed, it's like booking an Easyjet flight to Liverpool but finding yourself on Singapore Airlines to Tokyo.

Some people say the new design is derivative of the BMW 1 Series, the VW Scirocco, the Renault Megane and so on. Maybe, but it's as handsome as any of them.

It's even more impressive inside. My model came with an insane list of extras, but the standard kit was impressive too, including the seven-speed transmission, 18-inch AMG wheels and a slick audio system that links to your smartphone as instinctively as a chugger accosting strangers on the high street.

It's not perfect. The centre-mounted computer screen looks like the sort you see fastened to the windscreen of a minicab. It took me ages to get used to the gearstick on the steering column.

The auto stop-start system is too sensitive, cutting out the engine three times during a three-point turn. And though it looks ferocious in AMG trim, it didn't feel sporty.

The drive was more refined than entertaining and was reminiscent of an E-Class limousine. And this is the thing. The AMG version starts at around £27,000, but my test model, with options like a panoramic sliding sunroof and digital radio, was a whopping £37,895.

For that kind of money, you may as well be looking at an E-Class.

RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

SPECIFICATION
Mercedes A250 AMG Sport
£26,880


Engine: 1,991 cc, four-cylinder, petrol, turbo
Transmission: seven-speed auto
Power: 211 bhp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb/ft @ 1,200 rpm Fuel consumption 45.6 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 emissions: 145 g/km
0-62 mph: 6.6 seconds
Top speed: 149 mph


 

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