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Mercedes A 200 CDI in the driving report: More dynamic than ever before

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Mercedes A 200 CDI in the driving report
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I One of them is the new Mercedes A -Class of its predecessors: it does without the raised star on the bonnet. And that even though it would make it easier to target your competition. After all, this is now finally clearly defined: Audi A3, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, BMW 1 Series, VW Golf and the rest of the compact class shooting event.

With a broad cross, a determined look and proportions that look like rear-wheel drive, it seems the 4.29 meter long front-wheel drive Mercedes A-Class to intimidate the competition even before the start. If the B-Class cruises around in the orbit of Golf Plus & Co. in a relatively relaxed and informal way, sister A gets straight to the point in a sporty way.

Mercedes A 200 CDI from 27,787 euros

At least if you are not satisfied with the starter kit A 180 gasoline engine with 122 hp for less than 24,000 euros, but go one step above it. Just like us in the Mercedes A 200 CDI with AMG Sports Package. It stands broadly on its 18-inch wheels, crouches 15 millimeters lower with its sports suspension and underlines its claim of a high-quality compact with its wide sills and double exhaust - in a segment in which Mercedes sees a lot of potential and is brave.

We crawl through the relatively small doors and wonder. As with the bold exterior styling, some pigtails plopped onto the car floor in the interior. It is no longer twice as in generation one and two, but is much lower. Although this requires a new package with a longer front end and more crash safety measures, including in the event of a side impact, on the other hand the center of gravity was four and the seats almost 18 centimeters lower. The latter give the Mercedes A 200 CDI with AMG package a lot of support, flatter with microfibre covers, while the driver's steering wheel, side panel and roof come very close. It feels intimate and coupé-like, but those with all-round visibility should grumble.

iPhone dock only for a surcharge

There are already apps that help you find a parking space online, send messages or bring Google Streetview into your car. In addition, there is easy access to Internet radio, navigation and social media: Glymps, share, like and /or tweet with sharp 3D graphics? Gladly, but also only from 2013. If you really warm up while networking, you can rely on the automatic air conditioning, which works effectively and with little draft even at humid 35 degrees, as the trip with the Mercedes A 200 CDI showed.

Mercedes A 200 CDI follows commands smoothly

And the suspension tuning of the Mercedes A 200 CDI also helps to keep a cool head. The electromechanical steering has a variably toothed steering rod with adapted power assistance for an extra charge. This means that it reacts more directly with increasing impact, without filling in the steering ditch typical of Mercedes. The 1.4-tonne vehicle follows commands calmly and calmly, remains neutral for a long time, reacts stoically even to provoked load changes by releasing the gas. The Mercedes A 180 CDI is available with the 1.5-liter from Renault or the 1.8-liter from Mercedes with a DCT dual clutch transmission. Above this is the Mercedes A 200 CDI. 136 HP strong, with 300 Newton meters and solid running culture, it deserves a tip. Only the optional sports suspension requires a willingness to compromise on poor surfaces in conjunction with run-flat tires.

Mercedes A 250 Sport with 350 Newton meters

Still not enough turn-in point and load change pep? Then get on with the Mercedes A 250 Sport. With less camber on the axles, modified linkages, control electronics, engine response and sound, it reacts more spontaneously, cranks up more noticeably when the accelerator is released and up when accelerating. The two-liter gasoline engine pushes powerfully at 350 Newton meters from 1,200 rpm, pops out of the exhaust when the load changes, and lands with 211 hp at GTI level. Nevertheless, it still leaves space for the sharp AMG version with all-wheel drive.

What they all have in common are the practical talents of the Mercedes A-Class. Luggage space (341 liters) and variability (folding the rear seat backs) remain behind the sometimes tricky predecessors, but fit into itSegment. When it comes to safety, you are at the forefront: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Pre-Safe System are options, the radar-controlled collision avoidance comes as standard. In this case, the driver has to step on the pedal himself after warning, but the system ensures the appropriate brake pressure with the result of target braking. And the chances are good that the new Mercedes A-Class will otherwise achieve its goals.

Mercedes A 45 AMG will be the sharpest version

The hottest A-Class of all time is called A 45 AMG - which is neither a reference to the 45th anniversary of the company nor to the performance or the displacement. He included the A-Class, which made its debut in spring 2013, in the ranks of massive V8 cars. The two-liter turbo of the Mercedes A 250 hums under the hood of the A-AMG, but it has been revised to its foundations. Performance target? 160 to 170 hp per liter, and thus the AMG-A-Class is targeting the 340 hp Audi RS3. In terms of weight, the almost 1,500 kilogram Mercedes A 45 AMG has the Bavarian (1,650 kg) under control.

And that without disadvantages in terms of traction, as the Mercedes A 45 AMG delivers its torque well over 400 Newton meters via variable all-wheel drive with multi-plate clutch on the 18-inch wheels. There is also a three-stage ESP and a dual-clutch transmission that has been modified in terms of shift times and strategy. A crisp chassis, lavishly dimensioned brakes, a sporty interior with upbeat fabrics and top contoured sports seats go without saying. And all together at a competitive price that should be just below the competitive level.

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