Mercedes A-Class 4x4 review

We take a spin in the Mercedes A250 4MATIC – a cut price version of the A45 AMG

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The A250 4MATIC’s ride is more supple than the A45 AMG’s but is still quite firm, although there’s nothing wrong with the way the car delivers its power or grips. Look at it as a cut-price A45 AMG, and it’s good value. Compare it to the standard A250, and its case unravels.

For now, the Mercedes A250 4MATIC is the only four-wheel-drive A-Class besides the ballistic A45 AMG. It’s still not officially confirmed for the UK (although likely to go on salein the coming months) but we grabbed the key to an early car that’s over here for assessment.

It’s virtually identical, inside and out, to the £29,025 A250 Sport engineered by AMG, with exactly the same 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and sports suspension set-up. In effect, what you get with the A250 4MATIC is a dumbed-down AMG for around £5,000 less.

There’s no denying that the A45 AMG is blindingly fast and very accomplished in corners, but it’s far too feral for everyday use. The 4MATIC, on the other hand, is less raw around the edges. It has a much more compliant ride, and the power is delivered in a more manageable manner.

However, that’s not to say it’s a slouch; 0-62mph is achieved in a respectable 6.5 seconds, with a top speed that’s electronically limited to 149mph. Plus, it’ll return 42.8mpg economy.

Four-wheel-drive systems always affect fuel economy, but the 4MATIC system does everything to reduce its impact. It can switch between 100 per cent front-wheel drive and an even 50:50 split with the rear axle when it senses slip.

What this means in terms of sheer grip and agility is that the car remains sure-footed. You turn in, feather the throttle and then try to second-guess the electronics while they attempt to match grip with power supply – which they always do.

Standard kit is generous, and includes the reinforced, race-derived, seven-speed, twin-clutch automatic box, together with AMG front and rear aprons and side skirts.

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