Just when you think Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) – after a thoroughly successful year in 2015 – is resting on their laurels, the company decides to prove once again why there’s no place for complacency with the launch of the facelifted Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
Unveiled not too long ago in July 2015, the facelift brings about subtle change, both externally and internally. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? So what’s new, then? Instead of the three variants formerly offered, a new entry-level A 180 is slotted below the A 200, A 250 Sport and A 45 AMG, expanding their A-Class range to four trim levels.
|Name||Mercedes-Benz A 180||Mercedes-Benz A 200 with AMG Line||Mercedes-Benz A 250 Sport||Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC|
|Engine||1,595cc; turbocharged inline-4||1,991cc; turbocharged inline-4|
|Transmission||7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission||7-speed Sports DCT, AMG Speedshift|
|Max Power||122 hp @ 5,000 rpm||156 hp @ 5,300 rpm||211 hp @ 5,500 rpm||381 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Max Torque||200 Nm @ 1,250 – 4,000 rpm||250 Nm @ 1,250 – 4,000 rpm||350 Nm @ 1,200 – 4,000 rpm||475 Nm @ 2,250 – 5,000 rpm|
|0 to 100km/h; Top Speed||8.6 seconds; 202 km/h||7.8 seconds; 224 km/h||6.4 seconds; 240 km/h||4.2 seconds; 250 km/h|
Its exterior tweaks are minimal to say the least, but the most notable differences here are the revised headlights and tail lamps. Full LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights are offered as standard across the range, but instead of having individual LEDs forming the ‘eyebrow’, a single LED tube is now in place. The internals for the rear lights are also redesigned, as are the front and rear bumpers, albeit very slightly.
All wheel sizes measure at 18-inches, except for the A 45’s 19-inch wheels. However, if you add just RM1,000 more for the A 180, you’ll get the multi-spoke gloss black AMG wheels – also 18-inches. Otherwise you’ll have to settle for the normal five-spoke design. That’s a steal if you ask us, but it’s only limited to the first 100 units. This time around for the A 200, the car will come with AMG styling (more aggressive front and rear bumpers) as well as the same multi-spoke AMG wheels as the A 180, but here it’s finished in chrome.
The A 250 Sport here is the most familiar of the lot, donning the same set of wheels from before. It also receives AMG body styling which includes the sportier front and rear bumper and some red stripes highlighting the lower portions of both ends. The only difference here is its sports suspension which lowers ride height by 15mm.
Inside, the cabin remains largely the same as before, but all variants get a sportier three-spoke 12-function steering wheel, new graphics for the dials and some redesigned buttons in the centre panel. The free-standing head unit is larger too, up from 7-inch to 8-inches when measured diagonally. Also included as standard is the seat cushion depth which is adjustable by up to 60mm.
Every trim level gets black roof liner and leather wrapped steering wheel. Seats in the A 180 are clad in a mix of synthetic leather and fabric. The same Artico leather is used for both A 200 and A 250 Sport trims, but the fabric is swapped with finer Dinamica cloth. Like before, the A 45 gets leather AMG Sport upholstery, heated front seats and red designo seat belts.
There’s essentially two engines on offer – a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre, both turbocharged. The smaller engine powers the A 180 and A 200, but outputs vary from 122 hp and 200 Nm for the former and 156 hp and 250 Nm for the latter. These numbers are good for a century sprint of 8.6 seconds and 7.8 seconds respectively, making it slightly quicker thanks to the updated 7G-Tronic dual clutch transmission.
Powering the A 250 Sport is the same 2.0-litre block from before, which makes 211 hp and 350 Nm of torque. It sprints from 0 to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds before maxing out at 240 km/h, and accelerates faster too thanks to the new gearbox. Last but not least is the Mercedes-AMG A 45, a RM349k offering that’s powered by the world’s most powerful production series 2.0-litre engine.
Boosted by a larger turbocharger (compression ratio reduced to 8.6:1), the updated engine produces 381 hp and 475 Nm of torque, about 21 hp and 25 Nm more than the previous model. It’s also just RM1,000 more than before! Power is sent to all four wheels through the AMG Speedshift seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, and this combination shaves off 0.4 seconds off its century sprint time – now done in just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is electrically limited to 250km/h.
For the price and what they (all A-Classes) offer, surely you’d expect MBM to opt out some of the safety kit, right? Not quite, because they all come with seven airbags as standard – eight for the A 45. To add to that, features like Attention Assist (drowsiness detection system) and Collision Prevention Assist Plus complete the list of safety equipment. None of them come with a spare tyre, but they are all fitted with run-flats and come with a tyre repair kit.
The entire A-Class lineup is fully imported from Germany and can be bought under the Mercedes-Benz Agility Financing Programme, except for the A 45. If you remember, these cars debuted alongside the Petronas F1 Motorsport Edition, a variant that will be making its way here at a later stage.
Mercedes-Benz A 180
Mercedes-Benz A 200 AMG Line
Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic