No one can begrudge the 2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class its spectacular sales figures. That hunkered stance with its swooping bonnet have both gone a long way in altering our perception about hatchbacks. I daresay this is the best looking hatch we have in the market at the moment. And for that reason alone, Mercedes-Benz haven’t chipped away at the gorgeous visage of the 2015 update.
What they have done however is give it a more powerful engine; a classic move that has never been met with disapproval in the history of the automobile. They’ve done this only for the diesel version which sheds the 180 CDI motor for a 2.1 litre turbo-diesel dubbed the 200 CDI. This means that the car now packs 134 bhp as opposed to the 107 bhp powering the 180 CDI. This also means that it has the same power figures as the diesel GLA, and the CLA minus the added weight.
The effect of the extra 5.1 kgm of torque and 27 bhp isn’t subtle. The car makes a smooth beeline to 4000 rpm. If the transmission lag from its 7-speed automatic gets to you, just switch to the paddle shifters to unleash the full bounty of the engine. Brace yourself for some cabin noise, although this motor revs with a refreshingly raspy note. Power is available from the bottom of the rev-range, but you’ll find most of it between 2000-3500 rpm.
There are a few changes made to the interior as well, but none of them are lifestyle altering. Suffice it to say that the car is available only in the top trim and so is fairly well equipped. With that enormous panoramic sunroof, and the well-grooved steering this is a decidedly premium cabin. There’s plenty from Merc’s multimedia goodie-bag here to keep you comfortable, safe and well connected. In other words, 6 airbags, bluetooth, USB connectivity et al give you company for what is a significantly more comfortable ride.
This is partly due to the new 16-inch alloys the car sports. While they may not be as visually appealing as the low-profile ones found on the previous model, their effect on the ride quality is more evident, given that Mercs have relatively stiff suspension. For the A200 CDI however, Mercedes has softened the suspension a bit, making the car a lot more city friendly.
All this added goodness isn’t exactly cheap. At Rs 26.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) the car costs about Rs 1 lakh more than the model it replaces. However the added changes ensure that the A-Class is a far more wholesome package; one that isn’t lacking in any way. It’ll make you promptly turn around for a second or third glance before urging you to get back in and drive away.
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