Mercedes-Benz has put a significant amount of focus and development into the latest-generation A-Class. On top of offering just a hatchback body style like the past three generations, Mercedes also took to create a sedan for the fourth-generation model and introduce it to the global market. In Malaysia, the A-Class sedan comes in the same two variants as the hatchback – an A 200 Progressive line and A 250 AMG line. What separates the A 200 sedan from the A 250 hatchback we reviewed last year? This is what we found out.
There are several firsts and highlights for an entry Mercedes-Benz
- Apart from the obvious body type, the sedan shares the same wheelbase as the hatchback and in measurements, is 130 mm longer and 6 mm taller than its smaller sibling.
- In an effort to keep the crown of having the most aerodynamic passenger car in the market (previously held by the CLA), Mercedes set to equal the co-efficient drag figure of 0.22, but because of the smaller frontal area of 2,19m² compared to the CLA, the A-Class sedan takes over the crown.
- MBUX is the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system that showcases the brand’s all-new system and makes its debut in the A-Class. MBUX is customizable, adapts to the user and has the ability to learn. The user experience is now operated by a touchscreen, touchpad on the center console or touch control buttons on the steering wheel. Locally, both A-Class types in Malaysia are equipped with the highest specified two 10.25-inch displays.
The engine might be small, but it delivers more than enough power
- Underneath the hood of the A 200 sedan lies a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 163 hp and 250 Nm of torque from 1,620 to 4,000 rpm. It is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Foot down from a standstill and the A 200 can reach the century sprint in 8.1-seconds.
- Fuel economy is stellar. In our four-day test drive, we only used less than half of the 51-liter fuel tank before returning the keys. The rated fuel economy is 5.4-liters per 100 km.
The interior is the biggest evolution for the A-Class
- Mercedes-Benz went all the way with the redesign of the A-Class cabin. It takes inspiration from the brand’s flagship models and offers a premium look and feel unlike its predecessors.
- The wing-shaped design of the main dashboard now extends from door to door at the front, offering a visual continuity. The turbine air vent designs from the E-class coupe is introduced and the overall visual appeal is modern and luxurious.
- Cabin ambient lighting with 64-colors also bring the mood and luxury to the interior with preset colors and even color schemes.
- MBUX is the latest generation of the brand’s multimedia system. It is a leap forward in user interface and user experience with customizable easy access shortcuts. However, the highlight for MBUX has to be the intelligent voice control via the keyword “Hey Mercedes”. With this, the driver will have a digital assistant, somewhat like Siri on iOS devices and will be able to change the ambient temperature and set navigation locations among other functions. It’s great but might need a little getting used to.
- Cabin insulation is quiet to the engine start and idling. However, once bumps and cracks form or if you push the engine hard, it comes into the cabin and it can feel a little less refined
Driving is sharp and precise
- Turn in is the most impressive Mercedes we’ve driven in a while. It behaves just like the A 250 hatchback we reviewed previously albeit with a less refined suspension. The size, and the way the A 200 behaves is rather impressive for an entry-level Mercedes and is certainly a welcome one for us.
- The front changes direction quick and you can get up to speed fast with the midrange power thanks to the turbo. Once you’ve felt the way the A 200 picks up speed once you get things going, it puts quite a smile on your face.
- Gear changes are smooth and does the job well but has a tendency to upshift for better fuel economy. The result is good mileage when you need it, but can be irritating when its between a quick crawl in traffic.
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