Hasn’t the A-Class Sedan been on sale in Malaysia for a while now?
Yes, but it’s the first time yours truly is having a go at the three-boxed interpretation of Merc’s W177 hatch. Initial impressions are very much in line with what we can remember from our previous stints behind the wheel of the fourth-generation A-Class. Approach the car facing its diamond grilled nose and there’s literally no difference in look and feel to report of. The minimalistic interior – the first one in Merc’s catalogue designed with MBUX from the ground up – is exactly the same too; not that we’re complaining. The A250 hatch was a solid car and it only makes sense to sing the same praises for the A250 sedan. But a conventional boot adds a whole new dimension of useability to the package.
How does a slightly bigger boot make any difference?
The V177 saloon is almost a ruler’s length (130mm) longer than its trunkless namesake. The fluid design of the A-Class, which sets the tone for the look and feel of Stuttgart’s latest crop of compact cars, works well with more metal separating nose from tail. The rear end itself is tidily integrated into a car that already looked pretty rad without a boot. I’m rarely a fan of compact sedans derived from hatchbacks – we have oddballs like the Peugeot 207 and Ford Fiesta sedan to thank for that – but Mercedes has really hit the spot with this one. It’s a handsome car that shouldn’t have a problem finding its way into the hearts of sedan-loving traditionalists. The same demographic will probably appreciate the extra 50 litres of boot space in what is a largely versatile 420-litre cubicle.
Does the added length affect the way it drives?
Not that we can tell, not that it’s a bad thing. The A250 Sedan is as zippy as its hatchback counterpart, with the front-wheel drive layout preserving the same sort of snappy steering response that endears us to hot hatches. It also helps that 250 is the magic number as far as any compact Merc built on the company’s Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) platform is concerned. This way, you’re getting a two-litre four-pot turbo that’s similar to the one propelling 200 models of bigger nameplates (think C200, GLC200, E200, etc.) which means two things: power and refinement. With 224bhp and 350Nm on tap, the A250 is certainly no slouch. It dispatches the century sprint in 6.3 seconds (just 0.1 seconds behind the hatch) with top speed limited to 250kph. More importantly, it feels like a more robust and sophisticated package than the A200 and its 1.3-litre mill; a proper gentleman’s compact so to speak.
Why should I buy one when I can get a C-Class for less?
At RM267,888 (RM259,255 after SST exemption), the fully-imported A250 Sedan is marginally costlier than the C200 CKD. Both pack AMG Line equipment and a two-litre mill, but the one powering the smaller A-Class is actually punchier by about 20 horses and 50Nm. Additionally, the W205 C-Class is already on its last legs, with an all-new W206 primed to take over where it left off. Being the first nameplate to be designed with MBUX from the ground up, the A-Class does feel like a full generation ahead of the current C-Class. Size disparity aside, the A250 Sedan doesn’t necessarily feel like a step down from its bigger sibling, such is its advances in styling and onboard tech. The C is a more classic offering, and we don’t really sense much conflict between models on the showroom floor. Depending on what your priorities for a new ride may be, you’d very likely want one and not the other.
2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo, 224bhp, 350Nm
0-100kph in 6.3secs, 250kph top speed