Mercedes A200 CDI: Hello

  • We take delivery of our new Mercedes A-Class
  • Packed with both standard and optional equipment
  • In AMG Sport trim our car costs £30,395

A new car has joined the Parkers long-term test fleet. Meet the Mercedes-Benz A200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport.

Despite the somewhat lengthy title, I’m quite looking forward to spending six months with the A-Class. If nothing else it certainly looks the part. Clad with AMG parts, it’s a real head-turner of a hatchback which promises much in terms of both equipment levels and driving fun.

In AMG Sport trim, walking into a Mercedes dealership and ordering an A200 will cost you £24,545. For your cash you get a 1.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine with 134bhp and 300Nm of torque. It emits 121g/km of CO2, which for 2013 slots it into a VED band D for road tax of £105 each year – although you’ll pay nothing at all in the first year.

Another cost worth considering is fuel economy. Mercedes claims the A200 should average 62.8mpg, which means in theory it’ll do 690 miles to a full tank of diesel.

Experience tells us that it’s unlikely the car will manage anywhere near that level of efficiency in the real world, however, so it’ll be good to see what it’s really capable of. My suspicion is that it’ll do around 50mpg, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on it to find out exactly how frugal it is. It’ll also be interesting to see how accurate the on-board computer is.

There’s a huge amount of kit fitted on our A-Class – some of it standard and some of it optional. If you order an AMG Sport-kitted car you’ll get the distinctive body-kit and 18-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension which has been lowered 15mm, cruise control and sports seats.

Our car has a whole bunch of optional extras, too. In fact, it has nearly £5,000 worth of additional equipment installed. It has a panoramic sliding sunroof and what Mercedes dubs the ‘Night Package’, which consists of bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and tail lights, headlamp washers, black door mirrors and run-flat tyres.

There’s also the AMG Exclusive pack, which nets you a black headlining, heated front seats and black leather seating with red highlights. The Light and Sight package is on there too, meaning illuminated door sills, lighting for the storage in the centre console, automatic windscreen wipers and reading lights.

Happily for me, there’s also an upgraded stereo system with surround sound and 11 speakers. Finally, we’ve got a sat-nav system installed which has the very latest in smartphone connectivity. We’ll explain more about that later as there’s a lot of interesting functionality to explore.

Phew. As you can see, there's a whole lot of stuff to talk about. The final on-the-road price for our car is £30,395 once all that's figured in.

Overall, I’m quite excited about running the A-Class for six months. It’s a good-looking car which should serve me well. It’ll be interesting to compare it to the other hatchbacks it competes with – namely the Audi A3 and BMW’s 1 Series. There’s also competition from Volvo with its V40 and the eminently impressive Volkswagen Golf, not to mention the ever-popular Ford Focus.

Can this Mercedes do enough to command premium pricing in a packed marketplace? Stay tuned over the next six months to find out.

Current mileage: 4,065

Average mpg: n/a