The Mercedes-Benz A250 AMG Line was recently tried and tested by our partners at Route Hunters (RH), along with the country’s top Rally driver, the one and only Karamjit Singh. Starting things off is the A250’s demographics which our pips at RH pointed to the young execs with an upper mid-income level and 30 year-olds with an active lifestyle to justify the cost of owning this compact thrill seeker that carries a price tag of RM263,888.
They did a marvelous comparing between the A250 AMG and the Volkswagen Golf GTi, presumably an MKVII. Only true-blooded four-wheel aficionados could come with such a direct or pin-point comparison of desirable hot hatches. And to add icing on the cake, they had Malaysian rally champion and Asia Pacific rally winner Karamjit Singh to give his 2 cents about the A250 AMG. What a way to truly test run this beauty…
The Mercedes Benz A250 AMG Line is quite similarly proportioned to the Mk7.5 Volkswagen Golf GTi, with similar width and height. It’s actually 5mm taller than the current G20 BMW 3 series. However it’s a whopping 151mm longer than the Golf GTi, freeing some much needed legroom for both the front and rear passengers.
This makes the Mercedes feel like it’s got tonnes of space yet still feels snug on the inside. The additional AMG Line touches like the crossed drilled brakes, the AMG Alloys, those lovely Alcantara-leather seats add a sporting accent to the car’s image.
Where the Mercedes Benz A250 AMG Line really stands out from the Golf GTi is in terms of interior ambiance. With the MBUX infotainment system integrating everything from car, navigation, entertainment and connectivity systems to one interface, its relatively easy to manage each function once you get the hang of it.
The fact that all these is displayed on a 10.25 inch screen that runs from the driver’s door to the center of the dashboard truly revolutionizes the way you access the car’s info and functions.
For the current A class, you can navigate the functions using either a touchpad or the heptic sensors on the steering wheel. Not to mention the voice command system which is activated by just uttering “Hi Mercedes”
In comparison to all of this, the Volkswagen Golf GTi feels dated, like its lagging by 2 generations behind the A250.
Under the hood though both the Mercedes and the Golf GTi share similar outputs. Both cars put out over 220bhp, and both produce identical 350Nm of torque. However, unlike the 6 speed Golf, the Mercedes comes with a 7-speed double clutch gearbox. Therefore, it gets to 100kph in 0.2 seconds faster than the Golf GTi while returning similar claimed consumption figures.
Ride and Handling
Here’s where we test if the Mercedes Benz A250 AMG Line is a luxury hatch that’s been dressed up with AMG products or does it truly have any sporting potential. We bench marked it against the Golf GTi since it’s the undisputed class leader in terms of blending sporting performance and refinement.
We would like to see just how close the Mercedes can get to the driving dynamics of the Volkswagen Golf GTi, and that would tell us if the Mercedes is an AMG on pure cosmetic levels or does it do justice to the AMG Line badge.
For that, we headed out to the Berjaya Bukit Tinggi road and handed the keys of the Mercedes to rally champ Karamjit.
Based on Karamjit’s feedback, it’s not an out-and-out performance car, or specifically built to tackle the demanding twists of the Bukit Tinggi road. However, in the hands of Karamjit it did get up and down the mountain at an unbelievable pace.
The 2.0-liter engine provides plenty of power and the chassis keeps everything safe and predictable. There’s special praise for the brakes on their stopping power too!
The verdict by RH on the Mercedes Benz A250 AMG Line was that the car isn’t a purpose-built performance hatch despite sharing similar performance figures with the Golf GTi. The GTi Golf is simply built for being a hot hatch and pale when it comes to refinement against the A250. Also, the car is at the top of any in its class and you do get a whole of bang for the bucks. Although the A250 is RM20k more than the GTi, RH would recommend it for its MBUX user interface, accessible performance and of course, brand image.