Mercedes Benz A250 4MATIC 2014 Picture 1

Driven: 2014 Mercedes A250 4MATIC

Mercedes Benz A250 4MATIC 2014

Now this might appear a little ungrateful, given that Mercedes had very kindly loaned us their one and only, UK-spec A250 4MATIC, months ahead of its official 2014 sale date, but on first impressions, this non-AMG 4WD A-Class, just seemed a little pointless.

Details

  • Model: A250 4MATIC
  • Year: 2014
  • Other info: To begin with, the A250 4MATIC is virtually identical, inside and out, to the A250 Sport Engineered by AMG (not the most succinct title for a trim level, it has to be said), with exactly the same 2.0-litre 211bhp petrol engine and sports suspension set-up. The main difference between the two is the 4WD system, which is the same found in the A45 AMG.

    In effect, what you are really getting with the A250 4MATIC is a dumbed-down AMG. And, bearing in mind, it is destined to sit between the A250 with the stupidly long title and the A45 AMG, the pricing is unlikely to show any substantial savings. Granted, it’s still too early for Mercedes to announce exactly how much it’ll cost when it goes on sale in February next year, but it’s not going to take a forensic accountant to figure out it’ll most likely be around the £33k mark.

    On paper at least, the A250 4MATIC does appear to be completely superfluous to the Mercedes A-Class model line-up. However, those thoughts very rapidly disappear soon after it’s been driven. There’s no denying the A45 AMG is very accomplished but it’s not really a car you could easily use every day, it’s far too feral for that. The 4MATIC, on the other hand, is less raw around the edges with a much more compliant ride, and the power is delivered in a more manageable manner, rather than having it shoved down your throat, all at the same time. But that’s not to say it’s a slouch; 0-62mph is achieved in a respectable 6.5 seconds, with a top speed electronically muzzled to 149mph, and it’ll happily return 42.8mpg, too.

    Even though the 4MATIC 4WD system is considered a bit analogue by today’s standards, it is still very efficient with its deployment of power – from 100% front wheel drive to an even 50/50 split between front and rear axles. What this means in terms of sheer lateral grip and agility is that it remains heroically surefooted. You turn in, feather the throttle and then spend the next moments trying to second-guess the electronics, while they desperately try to match grip with power supply, which they always do.

    Standard kit is expected to be generous, and it will defiantly include the reinforced, race-derived, seven-speed twin-clutch auto ‘box, together with the AMG front and rear aprons and side skirts.

    Verdict:

    It’s a win-win situation. Admittedly, it’s going to struggle to appeal to purists or masochists, but for the ‘normal’ motorist amongst us, the A250 4MATIC is the best way to enjoy the attributes of AMG engineering without constantly wishing it wasn’t so hardcore. It’s still looks smouldering-hot, it’s cheaper than its AMG brother, yet still performs pretty much like it. What’s not to like?

    Model Tested:
    Mercedes A250 4Matic
    Price: £33,000 approx
    Engine: 2.0-litre, 4cyl, 211bhp
    Transmission: Seven-speed auto, 4WD
    0-62/top speed: 6.5 seconds/149mph
    Econ/CO2: 42.8mpg/154g/km

    Equipment: Dynamic Handling Package and Selective Damping system
    AMG front and rear aprons and side skirts, Speed-sensitive power steering with variable ratio,
    Run-flat tyres, Flat-bottomed multi-function three-spoke sports steering wheel in nappa leather with perforated grip areas, Carbon-fibre look trim, Artico artificial leather/Dinamica® cloth upholstery with contrast red stitching, 18-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels.