MERCEDES-BENZ A250 SPORT.
Now the first and second generation A-class by all means was no sporty hot hatch, if you see one on the road today you wouldn't look twice.
But that's a different story with the 3rd generation Mercedes A250 sport.
Coming in at a base price of $49,900 it's slightly pricier than its rivals so what makes this one so special, well…
Sitting under the A45 AMG the A250 sport packs a punchy 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder pushing 155kw (165kw on over boost) and 350nm, with a fuel consumption rating of 6.6 litres per 100km.
AMG has also worked there magic on the A250.
This includes a louder exhaust, sports tuned suspension, a faster more precise electric steering rack. Larger Brakes, a more aggressive styling and a ECU tweak to a more performance orientated engine and gearbox setting.
Mercedes have done a great job on the styling upgrades too, with its red highlights, diamond front grill, sleek body styling, 18' wheels and LED lights.
Moving on to the interior you first notice the AMG sports seats utilizing leather and alcantara inserts, they are a little on the firm side but gives great shoulder and lumber support, The cabin gives you a great sense of class and sportiness with its red seatbelts and accents throughout the interior, AMG steering wheel a low seating position and carbon fiber like dash.
Mercedes have also used quality materials on where it counts, all the buttons have that precise click feeling, this car is also equipped with the command pack that features a 12 speaker Harmon kardon sound system a 17.8cm screen that does look like a after thought but works well, voice control, Bluetooth and internet connectivity. It really does give you the impression of driving something special.
In the back it's a little claustrophobic due to the sweeping roof line, but still enough room for small adults. The boot also has sufficient space but due to those sweeping taillights the opening is a bit on the small side.
With the AMG performance upgrades the A250 sport can truly be called a hot hatch, taking the car out to the twistys near Kinglake proved that. The AMG tuned suspension and larger sway bars working well with its upgraded 18” wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires and short wheel base makes the front axle have a sharp turn in, in the tighter sections, but with a really neutral balance that doesn't move around a lot to scare the average driver. The 2.0 liters 350nm of midrange grunt pulls effortlessly through the corners, even with no limited slip differential there is no feeling of tugging from the steering wheel from torque steer after all it is a Mercedes.
The 7 speed duel clutch gearbox work well in everyday driving its smooth and doesn't feel clunky, switch it to sports mode and that 2.0 liter engine comes into life, the gear changes are real crisp and precise with that AMG exhaust it bangs on up shifts and crackles and pops on downshifts.
If you're in the market for a fun 5-door hot hatch with class, I say stop reading and go book a test drive you wont be disappointed.
By James Ioannidis.