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Mercedes-Benz, that's one of the first names that comes to mind when you ask somebody to name a luxury automobile brand. The day for me to finally get my hands on the all new 2013 A250 AMG Sport had arrived and I was nothing short of ecstatic! I arrived at the showroom in Deira where I was briefed about the different versions and then handed over the keys.
As I made my way through the parking lot, a beautiful silver Mercedes A250 starred right back at me. It wore impressive 18 inch AMG rims, had a panoramic sunroof and was going to be coming home with me. The trademark of the new A250 is the wonderful diamond radiator grille and striking red trim on the front and rear bumpers. However, strangely enough this doesn't come fitted on the range topping model which explains why our test car didn't have it.
I opened the door and really liked the look of the bulky black leather bucket seats completed with red stitching. The steering wheel was thick, extremely well designed and flattened on the bottom just to remind that you were seated in something sporty. The 7 inch infotainment screen is neat and well positioned but sadly it isn't touch screen. Once I managed to turn down the blaring Hindi music and was ready to set off, I realized something. The gear stick was missing. It took me a while to realize that Mercedes had shifted the gear stick up where most other automobile manufacturers keep their wiper controls.
Though the interior is generally neat and well designed, I submit the aesthetic could improve in some areas. For instance the cross hatch design on the dashboard that Mercedes have tried to give a carbon fibre look to feels like it was made from a picnic basket. More importantly, I couldn’t get my head around why the A250 AMG Sport came equipped with ONLY seat heaters, especially in the Middle East market! Though the driver and passenger seats are comfortable, the same cannot be said for the rear seats especially on long drives. Due to the sloping roof line and a completely black interior, rear passengers could feel claustrophobic relatively quickly. When compared to the options in its rival, the Volvo V40 R Design, the A250 Sport is a letdown since it does not come equipped with blind spot indicators, power seats or an auto-dimming rear view mirror even in the range topping model.
Each time the car is switched on, by default it will start in Eco mode. However, a simple tap of a button and drivers can choose if they want to switch into the Sport or Manual mode. The A250 AMG Sport is equipped with a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 211 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. The A250 AMG Sport will propel you from a standstill to a 100 km/h in an impressive 6.6 seconds with minimal wheel spin in the process. The exhaust note is deep and has a nice rumble to it in the low rev range; however I would have liked it to be louder since the turbocharger does overpower it at higher revs. Handling, both with the traction control switched on and off is simply brilliant. The rear suspension raises and drops itself to shift weight depending on the direction of your turn; this provides phenomenal handling ability and makes the car feel like it’s stuck to the road. Outstanding grip combined with exceptional braking really allow the driver to throw this car around corners with a high level of confidence.
Even though I didn’t push the A250 Sport hard continuously, my average fuel economy over 3 days clocked in at 14.4 litres / 100km which I found excessively high for a 2.0 litre engine. One of the unpleasant things that caught my attention was the extremely loud road noise that could be heard in the cabin even with the windows rolled up. Another drawback to the A250 Sport is the massive C-Pillars that create huge blind spots for the driver and require extra attention when changing lanes. Lastly, the engine does feel a little underpowered as it takes noticeably longer to gain speed once you’ve passed 150 km/h.
To wrap it up, if its luxury, refinement and utmost comfort you’re looking for, then the A250 Sport is a car you should stay far away from. However, if you’re looking for a compact sports car that looks great and handles even better, then the A250 AMG Sport is the right choice!