Before we start, we would like to come clean: we are not a very big fan of hatchbacks.
They are small, they are not very fast and most of all, they are not very practical, especially when you need to ferry people around on a daily basis.
We need space in our cars to put rubbish, like our 101 pairs of shoes or those folders/bags we got from attending events, and a hatchback won't cut it.
So, when Mercedes Benz Malaysia contacted us and asked if we would like to take the new Mercedes Benz A250
out for a spin for the weekend, we were hesitant at first.
If they offered the 'big boys' like the Mercedes-AMG C43 or the Mercedes-AMG G 63, we would've accepted the offer in a heartbeat.
But it was because of our unfondness for a hatchback, we didn't really pounce on the offer immediately. We gave ourselves an hour or two before we replied the e-mail, and at the end of the day, we've decided to accept the A250.
Since it was the weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to pick up the car and drive all the way back to our hometown in a Mercedes.
The weekend came and went, so did it change our mind regarding hatchbacks? Let's just say those two days were enough to leave a pretty good impression.
#1 Sexy on the outside
No matter which angle you look at it, the Mercedes A250 is one sexy looking car. The A250 retains the classy diamond radiator grille and the giant three-pointed star emblem first introduced in the pricier Mercedes models.
The headlamps are also noticably narrower in the A Class, and coupled with the air intake inlets located just below the front bumper, it makes the A250 look like a very mean machine - especially when you see one on your rearview mirror.
Also, based on Mercedes' philosophy of 'Sensual Purity', they made the A250's bonnet flatter and with a more pronounced slope at the front, giving the car a sportier impression.
The A250's streamlined front end reminded us a little bit of the Mercedes AMG GTC's front end, which says a lot considering that the latter is a bona fide sports car and the A250 is just a hatchback.
We are a fan of how sexy the A250 looks. You don't get a lot of people singing such praises to a hatchback, but the A250 makes you say that instinctively.
And you know how we know we weren't the only ones who thought that the A250 is sexy? We legit caught other motorists staring at the car on numerous occasions when we were stuck at the traffic lights. While we want to believe that they were checking us out, we knew that they liked the car more.
Also, being a hatchback, we did not expect A250 to be that spacious inside. It may look small from the outside, but the car comfortably sits four adults (plus driver) with some extra space to spare.
#2 ...gorgeous on the inside
Our initial reaction when we first got into the car was: "Holy balls, what am I looking at?" - but in a good way, of course. The cabin in the A250 has been completely redesigned, and we seriously can't stress how gorgeous it looks.
The A250 now features a very futuristic-looking dashboard 'wing' that stretches all the way across the front of the vehicle. When you look at it, the dashboard is seperated into two different sections; the bottom part looking like it's seperated from the main body by a tiny longkang
With the top part of the dashboard gone, however, we felt that the cabin looks abit more spacious.
Also, we noticed that the entire front dash actually has a slight curve to it on the sides. According to Mercedes, it's part of their new design philosophy, to have the cabin 'hug' the passengers. They definitely achieved that with an interior design that features a seamless transition between the instrument panel, centre console and the door trims.
And we have to say, despite being the entry-level Mercedes, the entire cabin has a very modern and classy feel to it.
The carmaker definitely spared no expense when it comes to the A250. The leather used on the multicontour sports seats, the racing car-inspired steering wheel (which, according to Mercedes, was sourced from the much pricier S-Class) and the side panels feels very premium to the touch.
Of course, the biggest highlight of the redesign has to be the the twin 10.25-inch displays 'floating' on top of the wing dashboard. There's no cowl on top of the dashboard, which makes the whole look very minimalistic and less clutered.
The display on the passenger side functions as a multi-entertainment display powered by Mercedes' very own Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). You can display your car's performance gauges on that screen (like we did above), or use it as a live navigation map.
The best part about it? It's actually a touchscreen, so you can control the features in the car with a tap of your finger, or pinch in and out of a map just like you do with your smartphone.
The other screen on the driver's side, of course, houses the speedometer and other driver-related dials. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the screen panel is extremely vibrant and high-definition, something which we really, really liked.
There's also an option to choose what dial style you want displayed on the screen. We chose the Sport one, because, you know, it's the coolest.
#3 Crazy little speed demon
According to Mercedes, the A250 is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged engine that's capable of churning out 224 horsepower. When you put all of that together, the A250 can apparently go from 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds.
On top of that, the A250 comes with four DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes – 'Eco', 'Comfort', 'Sport' and 'Individual'.
While the power and the numbers sound good on paper, we, of course, would have to give it a try in real life because you know, we're responsible journalists; we're not going to say something if we can't justify it.
And after giving it a go, we can confirm that the A250 is one crazy little speed machine.
The A250 literally shoots forward the moment we stepped on the gas pedal. Often times, we didn't realise we were going 140km/h until we checked the instrument panel (sorry, abang polis
, we didn't mean to).
Actually, you can get a taste of how powerful the A250 is when you accelerate out of the traffic lights. Because the throttle response was almost instantaneous, a slight step on the pedal would propel you forward without breaking a sweat.
However, on the highway is where you can really experience the full power of the A250.
But here's the thing though: even at high speeds, we didn't feel like we were going that
fast. The handling and the control of the car played a very big part in that as we barely felt any vibrations or twitches on the steering wheel whatsoever when we're touching 140km/h.
Instead, if we're driving our own car and the steering wheel shakes, it's a sign that we're going too fast and we'll slow down. So, it's all your fault, Mercedes, for making us go over the speed limit.
Also, we would like to point out that we're not really a fan of the 'Sport' mode. The tighter steering, the stiffer suspension and the higher gear shift points made the drive quite uncomfortable, to be honest.
driving down a road that's quite bumpy - and there are A LOT of them in Malaysia - you feel every. Single. Bump! If you can't tahan
a bumpy steering wheel, the 'Sport' mode is definitely not for you.
We'll just stick to 'Comfort' mode, thanks.
#4 Party mode on!
Okay, Mercedes didn't officially call it that, it's just a name we made up for the gorgeous built-in ambient lighting. The previous Mercedes we test drove, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, has ambient lighting too, but it's nothing like the A250's.
While the GLC 43's ambient lights were subtle, the A250 wants you to notice them the moment you step into the car. The dashboard, the air-conditioning vents, the side panels on the doors and yes, even the leg well is fitted with light tubes.
So, when the sky turns dark, this is what it looks like inside the car:
Coupled with that vibrant instrument panel, we felt like we were piloting Gundam. Yeah, yeah, we know it looks a bit tacky, but we kinda like it.
The cool thing about the A250's ambient lighting is, you get to choose what colour you want it to be. Blue ambient lights for Monday blues? Sure. Red ambient lights to show the car behind you that you're driving angry? Why not? Pink ambient lights to tell people you're a fan of the Pink Power Ranger? Go for it.
Changing the lighting in the car is as easy as picking the colour you want by tapping on the colour wheel. According to Mercedes, you have a total of 64 colour hues
to choose from, which explains why it took us more than 10 minutes to check out every single colour.
You also have the option of choosing a single colour, or pick from their existing, pre-installed dual-colour themes like we did.
So, any time you wanna have some fun, turn on Party Mode™ to impress your friends.
Did the Mercedes Benz A250 changed our minds about hatchbacks? Well, a little bit.
Here's the thing though: the joy of driving the A250 made us want to buy the A250, but how many hatchbacks out there are made like the A250 though? Given a choice, we would still pick a bigger car.
But hey, at least we had tonnes of fun with the A250!
Thank you, Mercedes Benz Malaysia, for loaning us the Mercedes A250 for the weekend. For more information, you can check out their official website by clicking here.