wheels

20 December 2014 Last updated
Search

Long-term reviews

Long-term review: Mercedes-Benz A 250 Sport - week 4

By James Hewes
Added 14:26 | June 23, 2013
  • Source:Dennis B. Mallari/ANM

James Hewes is already beginning to miss the fabulous A-Class and it hasn’t even left wheels HQ yet. This week, its frugality impresses most.

The baby Merc has mostly been used for the daily commute this week, not giving me much time to really stretch its legs on the highway. But all this pottering around town hasn’t been wasted, it’s reinforced all the good points about living with the A-Class.
A visit to the Wafi Grand Cineplex to see Man of Steel, reminded me just how frugal, and how smart, this car really is. The fuel light was on all the way and while I was looking through the various menus for the range calculation, I came across another of the Merc’s little tricks. One of the screens is a kind of eco-driving game, with little graphs that fill up the smoother you drive. Using these, I carefully nursed the A-Class from the cinema to the nearest petrol station, trying to be the best little green driver I could be all the way there.

I’d forgotten to fill the car up because quite honestly visits to the petrol station are a rarity. Getting 550kms out of the 50-litre tank is child’s play and careful driving easily pushes this out to 600kms or more.

My A250 better start looking over its shoulder though, as this week sees the launch of its faster, sportier older brother, the A45 AMG (see the review on page 22). It’ll be interesting to compare the two, particularly to see how different the car feels with the all-wheel-drive system Mercedes have adopted for the AMG to cope with putting its additional 140 horses on the road. Our reviewer described it as like driving ‘a GTI on steroids’, which I guess makes the A250 ‘a GTI on vitamins’.

There’s only one cloud on the horizon, a warning light has come on telling me that a visit to the dealer is required, to address a fault in the airbag sensor. This is only a minor niggle and hasn’t spoiled what is fast becoming an incredibly enjoyable relationship with my little blue rocket. The end is nigh though, with only a couple more weeks before the Merc goes off to pastures new. I’ll be sad to see it go.