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Mercedes-Benz A250 4-Matic Hatch

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A sporty new city-friendly Mercedes, the A250 4-Matic Hatch sets a new standard in compact luxury. Packed with an amazing array of new technology and features, it has a stunningly attractive ultra-modern cabin that’s absolutely three-point star worthy. Hatch is only sold north of 49, on our side of the Atlantic, and there’s a sedan version, which is sold in the US, called the A220.

“Hey Mercedes” will introduce you to MBUX, a new voice-activated multimedia system with intelligent learning software that’s designed to provide a more natural and personalized connective experience. Follow up with “I’m cold”, for example, and it will trigger an increase in cabin temperature.

The feeling of spaciousness within the cabin and its solidity on the road are remarkable and defy the A250’s exterior dimensions. A large panoramic sliding sunroof, which is a standard feature, also adds to that roomy cabin feel. Mercedes engineers are masters of comfortable ride and the A250 comes with a sophisticated four-link rear suspension. Its rear axle is also mounted in a subframe that’s isolated from the body with rubber bushings, to further dampen driveline and road vibrations.

A large dual-screen replaces both the conventional instrument cluster and multi-media display. It seems to float atop a sweeping dashboard that wraps into the doors and has a series of dramatically large circular turbine-like air vents. Features on the twin 10.25-inch (26.04 cm) digital displays in my test A250 were selected with steering wheel controls or via a centre console touch pad. In addition it came with an (LED) ambient lighting system throughout the cabin with up to ten “colour world” selections that were super cool. In fact, all lighting in my A250 was the LED type, including the headlights.

On the utility side, the A250 offers a very respectable 370 litres of cargo space that can be expanded to 1,210 litres when the rear seats are folded. The expanded cargo area has a level floor with a sturdy cover over the spare wheel. Occupants of the front seats have a surprisingly generous amount of headroom despite the panoramic roof. Life is more constrained in the rear seats, yet they still provide useable space for two adults.

The A250 may not be the hottest hatch on the market, but it can dart to 100km/h in about six seconds, so it’s certainly no slouch. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0 litre engine that can produce 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and it’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A super-hot (300+ hp) version of “Hatch”, from the AMG division and called the A35, should arrive here in early 2020, if there’s a greater need for speed.

The 4Matic all-wheel system is another standard feature on A250, in Canada. It’s a fully variable torque distribution system that provides sportier drive characteristics when a driver selects the “dynamic” drive mode, and includes power take-off to the rear axle.

On the safety front, A250 also has the very latest driving assistance system from Mercedes called Active Brake Assist. It’s designed to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a rear-end collision with another vehicle or an impact with crossing pedestrians or cyclists, by providing advance warning and automatic braking.

As they say, really good stuff can come in small packages. And that certainly holds true for the Mercedes-Benz A250 4Matic Hatch.

Price range: $38,300 to $54,000

Price as driven: $50,170

A-Class

Mercedes-Benz introduced the first generation A-Class back in 1997. Affectionately known as the “Baby-Benz” this fourth generation car is the very first edition offered for sale in Canada.

A Class Act

Is someone who possesses a combination of great style, intelligence and charm. And coincidentally, it’s also an accurate description of the Mercedes-Benz A250 4Matic Hatch.