Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts Jérôme Cartegini for Itopdroid

The best-selling model of the star brand, the Mercedes Class A reigns supreme in the premium compact category. Launched in spring 2020, the first Plug-in Hybrid EQ Power version of the German bestseller benefits from a latest generation hybrid engine. In addition to an all-electric range "finally" interesting, this Class A 250th AMG Line embeds a high-tech arsenal of high quality. Here are our impressions after a week spent by his side ...



Mercedes Benz continues to forcefully expand its range of plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with its EQ Power system. The flagship of the German manufacturer, the A-Class sold 20 units in Spain in 051, out of 2019 registrations in total.

In 2020, the star brand would have taken the lead in the Spanish PHEV market ahead of PSA with 8 registrations at the end of November. Not so surprisingly successful when you consider that Mercedes has the largest PHEV portfolio on the market, with around fifteen models. Although it has only been on the market for a few months, the Class A 542 e should undoubtedly be the most requested model.

The city car par excellence, the rechargeable technology suits it particularly well, especially as it offers a range of about sixty kilometers which is starting to become really interesting. The price of the Class A 250e is € 41, and € 850 for our trial version with an AMG Line finish (excluding options). With a price below € 43 and CO550 emissions of less than 50 g / km, it gives entitlement to the ecological bonus of € 000 in 2 (€ 50 in 2).



Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts Summary

Efficient electrification

Under the hood, the A-Class 250 e has a four-cylinder 1,3-liter turbo petrol engine with 116 horsepower developed jointly with Renault. It is coupled to an electric motor (102 hp) integrated in the Mercedes 8G-DCT dual-clutch gearbox. The set develops a cumulative power of 218 horsepower (160 kW) and a torque of 450 Nm.



What to offer beautiful acceleration and swallow the 0 to 100 km / h in 6,6 seconds. The maximum top speed is 235 km / h in hybrid and 140 km / h in all electric. Energy is stored in a high voltage liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 15,6 kWh.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts A hybrid mechanic in line concocted jointly by Renault and Mercedes

Larger than average, this battery housed under the back seat encroaches on the capacity of the tank, which goes from 43 to only 35 liters. The trunk volume of 310 liters also takes its grade by losing 60 liters to make way for the high-voltage system. The Class A 250 e is overweight 300 kg compared to the thermal version, but it promises an electric range of more than 60 km. According to the manufacturer, it is capable of achieving 64 to 74 km in the combined cycle, or 69 to 78 km in the city (WLTP cycle). For comparison, the first generations of PHEVs offer between 30 and 50 km maximum.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts The plug-in hybrid version concedes the under-trunk to the high-voltage system

In our combined cycle test, the average fuel consumption of 4,9 liters per 100 km is quite remarkable, even if it is far from the 1,5 l / 100 km advertised by Mercedes. Note that a battery reserve not indicated on the meter would be kept by the vehicle to be able to continue to benefit in particular from the electric boost. Whatever the capacity of this reserve, it cannot be inexhaustible.



Once deprived of the electricity fairy, fuel consumption does not explode. On a journey of 57 km with the battery empty, consumption which rose to 6,2 liters per 100 km remains reasonable. Unlike a majority of PHEVs, the A-Class EQ Power does not lose all of its means and drivability when the battery is depleted.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts The Class A 250 e is not very greedy whether in all electric or in the combined cycle

High autonomy

By driving only on electricity on mixed journeys in town and on the outskirts, we noted an average consumption varying between 9,7 and 13,2 kWh / 100 km. During our tests, we were able to drive 56 km without spending a drop of gasoline, which is well above the average for plug-in hybrids on the market. By adopting an eco-driving mode and playing with the kinetic energy recovery system during braking via the paddles on the steering wheel, it is undoubtedly possible to do a little over sixty kilometers. This is the longest range we've seen on a plug-in hybrid so far.

In addition to a generous battery, the electrified compact can count on a particularly efficient braking kinetic energy recovery system. With 30 km of autonomy remaining, not only were we able to complete our last 27 km route on expressways (only) in “Electric” mode without any problem with the compact, but we still had 6 km on the clock when we arrived!

Even when driving at an average speed of between 80 and 110 km / h, the energy recovery system allowed us to gain 3 km of autonomy on the journey. In the 100% electric mode, it is possible to play with the intensity of the recovery via the paddles on the steering wheel.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

These offer 5 levels of braking intensity: DAuto which measures the braking force according to the traffic, D +, D, D - and the most powerful D --. By activating the latter, the vehicle offers a driving experience similar to an electric car, but without going so far as to allow one-pedal driving.

The Class A 250 e incorporates an AC charger (7,4 kW) and a fast DC charger (24 kW). It takes 1h45 for a full recharge with a 7,4 kW Wallbox or only 25 minutes to recover 80% of autonomy on a 24 kW fast charging station. On a conventional domestic socket (2,3 kW), recharging from 0 to 100% requires approximately 8 hours.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

Driving license

Comfortably installed at the wheel, the driving sensations are generally very pleasant. In town, the A-Class EQ Power behaves like an electric car that is both silent and capable of lightning-fast acceleration on demand. As soon as the heat engine starts up, the mechanics are much more audible. The soundproofing of this model is not really worthy of a Mercedes.

Like all the latest EQ Power models from the star brand, it has a new “Electric” drive program that is supposed to allow only the electric motor to be used. There is however a small nuance to know, because even by selecting this mode the heat engine starts if you suddenly press the accelerator pedal fully.

A second new mode called “Battery Level” serves, for its part, to maintain the current level of the battery, without however allowing it to be recharged via the heat engine. For the rest, we find the classic modes, including "Eco" which degrades performance a little to spend as little fuel and battery as possible, "Comfort" for a smooth ride, and "Sport" which boosts the performance of the vehicle. However, the latter does not operate a radical transformation of the vehicle as is the case on a Cupra Leon TSI e-Hybrid, for example. A final "Individual" mode finally offers the possibility of creating your own driving mode by modifying certain parameters (engines, ESP, steering, etc.).

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts The trackpad is used to control the central screen

Despite some noticeable body movements in tight bends due no doubt to the overweight of the compact, it provides good road holding with precise steering. If it shows a certain liveliness, the German compact is not sporty. The driving pleasure that this compact provides is closer to that of a comfortable sedan.

Things get tough with the brake pedal travel, the response time of which varies depending on the selected driving mode and road conditions. In use, it is very disturbing, because you never know how to adjust the braking, which can be either too soft, or on the contrary much too firm. We had already encountered a "big" problem with the braking system of the all-electric Mercedes EQC model, which lacked bite in certain situations.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

On board the Mercedes Classe A 250e

The quality of the materials inside the vehicle impresses from the first glance. There are a lot of similarities with the aforementioned EQC or the GLA 250, such as the multifunction steering wheel, the 100% digital dual screen (optional), the huge trackpad facing the central armrest, the turbines-shaped vents. airplane, or the electric seat adjustment buttons placed on the doors. We should also mention the ambient LED lighting (64 colors) which can be customized as desired and which is very well established in the vehicle. Our AMG Line test version also benefits from Thermotronic automatic air conditioning (optional) and a panoramic sunroof.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

With its characteristic screens, its multifunction paddle-wheel steering wheel, the steering wheel speed selector and its various very plush physical buttons, the ultra high-tech dashboard is a real success. The superb heated leatherette seats offer maximum comfort for 4 adults and a child in the back. The rear legroom is very decent for a compact.

Thanks to the multiple electric adjustments available at the front, the driver's seat with an extendable seat cushion (up to 6 centimeters) can adapt to both small and very large riders. An interior of rare quality in this segment.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

“Hey Mercedes! " : what can I do for you ?

Voice assistants in cars aren't exactly new, but the ones that actually work are rare. With its man-machine interface called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) and its Linguatronic voice assistant, Mercedes sets the bar on a whole new level than most other manufacturers.

As with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, it is possible to interact with the vehicle's voice system in natural language. Just say “Hey Mercedes” or “Mercedes” to wake him up, then say a command such as “I'm cold” or “Is there a pizza place nearby? »So that it increases the heating and displays on the screen various establishments in the vicinity with the routes to get there.

Designed by Cerence (formerly called Nuance), this conversational agent based on artificial intelligence technologies gradually learns the driver's habits in order to anticipate his intentions. The duo of 10,25-inch screens, dedicated on the one hand to instrumentation and on the other hand to multimedia and vehicle-related functions, gives it a futuristic high-tech look of the most beautiful effect. After some time to familiarize yourself with the ergonomics of the system, it turns out to be particularly pleasant to use.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

The steering wheel controls allow you to control and customize the MBUX interface in a very intuitive way. Different buttons and two small tactile surfaces placed on each side of the steering wheel allow easy navigation in the instrumentation menus (left) and on the multimedia screen (right). The latter can also be controlled via the central touchpad, but it is far too sensitive.

In the register of innovations, Mercedes offers an optional augmented reality feature integrated into the navigation system. When approaching, for example, an intersection or roundabout, a video image of what the car's front camera is filming is projected on the screen instead of the map. Driving instructions (street names, direction arrows, etc.) are displayed overlaid on the image to guide the driver. Although very well done, this system remains quite disturbing in use, because it tends to distract the driver. However, the latter will evolve and be integrated from 2021 into the very first augmented reality head-up display system for the S-Class.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts Mercedes' augmented reality navigation system

Full of tech

To benefit from all the intelligence of the A-Class 250e, it is almost essential to use its navigation system. Based on data from Here (formerly Nokia) bought by the trio Audi, BMW and Mercedes, the latter has nothing to envy to Waze or Google Maps. Ultra fast, it uses both information stored on hard disk and online data. In addition to the quality of 3D mapping and driving instructions, it delivers valuable information on journeys such as the best driving mode to minimize electricity and / or fuel consumption.

To do this, it takes into account data relating to GPS navigation, topography, speed limits and traffic conditions. The ability to be able to say destinations aloud without having to enter any address on the touchscreen really facilitates the use of GPS on a daily basis.

Note that the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but only by connecting the smartphone via a USB cable. However, it is very easy to use the functions of the wireless smartphone such as the telephone or music applications (Deezer, Spotify, etc.) via Bluetooth.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

The compact gives pride of place to driving assistance which can be reduced or deactivated as needed. It includes adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, assistance with keeping in line, detection of blind spots or even trajectory correction.

The manufacturer offers as an option (750 €) a semi-autonomous driving assistant with active regulation (Distronic) capable of automatically adapting the speed according to the distance of the vehicles in front, or even when approaching an intersection. , a motorway exit, etc. Despite nearly 10 euros in options, our test model ignored the head-up display, billed at 000 €.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

Impossible to ignore the sound system signed Burmester. The latter delivers particularly impressive performance. Composed of an external DSP amplifier, 5 speakers and a subwoofer housed in the boot, this system with a power of 590 Watts offers enveloping sound reproduction with remarkable precision even by pushing the volume to fund. A must to take advantage of DAB + digital radios in particular.

The associated mobile application "Mercedes me" finally offers access to a lot of information and remote functions: opening and closing the doors, vehicle condition (ESP, tire pressure, etc.), pre-air conditioning, air conditioning level. battery, remaining range, consumption and driving statistics, etc. A model of its kind.

Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

Information

  • Dimensions L x W x H in meters: 4,42 1,80 x x 1,44
  • Wheelbase: 2,72
  • Trunk volume: 370/1 210 liters
  • Unloaded weight : 1 710 kg
  • Number of places : 5
  • Thermal motor : 1.3 liter turbo petrol
  • Displacement: 4 cylinders 1 cm332
  • Fiscal power : 6 CV
  • Electric motor: 116 ch / 85 kW
  • Total cumulative power: 218 ch / 160 kW
  • Total cumulative torque: 450 Nm
  • Drums : 15,6 kWh (64 to 78 km in WLTP cycle)
  • Tank : 35 liters
  • 0 to 100 km / h: 6,6 seconds
  • Vitesse maximum: 235 km / h (140 km / h in electric mode)
  • CO emissions2 : 30 g / km
  • Price: 43 850 € (without options)
  • Parts and labor warranty: 2 years (unlimited km)
  • Battery warranty (8 years or 160 km)
Mercedes A-Class 250th AMG Line review: the queen of trendy compacts

Verdict: should we fall for the Mercedes Classe A 250e AMG Line?

In the compact plug-in hybrid category, the Mercedes Class A 250e is clearly one of the best possible choices. In addition to a devastating look, it stands out for its driveability close to a premium sedan, its latest technologies and its all-electric range, which is a record in the segment. Capable of driving around sixty kilometers, or even a little more with suitable driving, it promises great savings in the long term.

The efficiency of the latest generation of EQ Power plugged-in hybrids from the star brand is partly explained by the presence of a remarkable braking regeneration system while driving. The other side of the coin is that this system, which adapts to the topology of the road, constantly modifies the travel of the brake pedal, which can be as firm as it is inconsistent! This is apparently the price to pay to benefit from such autonomy, for the moment, with Mercedes.

The other annoying subject is the very high base price of the Class A 250 e AMG Line (€ 43), which climbs to € 850 on our trial version which includes no less than € 53 options. Mercedes' online configurator allows this price to be adjusted according to your needs, but it is clear that a great deal of equipment is sold as an option such as digital screens, driver assistance systems, the keyless entry system. , or the seats or electric mirrors.

Few electrified compacts can however currently compete with the Mercedes Class 250 e apart from the Audi A3 TFSI (38 €), the Golf GTE (100 €) or the surprising Cupra Leon eHybrid (40 €).

Prices and equipment

Mercedes Class A 250 and AMG Line: 53 199 €
Price of the model without options: € 43 (excluding ecological bonus)

Main options of the test model

  • 24 kW DC on-board charger: 600 €
  • Dark heat-resistant glazing: € 399
  • Pack Premium Plus : 3 600 €
  • Blind spot warning: € 549
  • Decorative aluminum inserts: 200 €
  • THERMOTRONIC automatic air conditioning: € 600
  • MBUX Augmented reality for navigation: 500 €
  • 7,4 kW AC on-board charger: € 399
  • Coupling: 999 €
  • 48,3 cm (19 ") AMG alloy wheels: € 750
  • Cosmos black metallic: 750 €

Main standard equipment

  • Pre-air conditioning
  • Steering wheel control for the active DISTRONIC remote assistant
  • Front sill guards
  • Combined arm rear axle
  • 8G-DCT automatic gearbox
  • TEMPOMAT speed regulator with speed limiter
  • Driving modes
  • Standard equipment for A 250 e
  • DYNAMIC SELECT
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