Eighteen inch 7Jx18 five-spoke AMG alloy wheels are clad with 215/40 ZR18 tyres; the radiator grille is finished in matte silver and there are two stainless steel tailpipes on the nearside. The car sits on lowered sports suspension to further improve its dynamic handling.
Inside, the appointments are equally attractive: sports front seats are trimmed in Artico outer edges with Zandvoort fabric centre panels; the gear lever is topped with a fillet of aluminium, similar to the rest of the interior trim. The instrument cluster is backed with silver, and the three-spoke steering wheel has thicker padding and a part-perforated leather grip. The foot pedals are stainless steel with rubber studs.
Swift and safe
As with every Mercedes Benz, the A 200 Turbo has a wealth of safety features as standard. Both front airbags have two-stage deployment, and front seat head-thorax side impact ’bags protect in the event of a lateral impact. The all-round disc brakes are fitted with ABS and brake-assist. There’s ESP electronic stability programme and ASR acceleration skid control. A tyre pressure warning system shows if the car is suffering from a puncture.
Inside, each of the five seats has a three-point seatbelt with the four outer occupants’ having pre-tensioners. Front head restraints feature active protection against whiplash injuries, while those in the rear fold down to improve rearward visibility when not in use. The front passenger seat includes a child seat recognition system, which deactivates the airbag when used with the appropriate Mercedes Benz child seat.
ISOFIX seat mounting points with top tethers are also standard in the rear, as is a seatbelt status indicator: when the driver first switches on the ignition, a graphic in the instrument cluster shows which belts are being used.
Five star rating
All these features - in addition to years of safety testing before launch - have contributed to the A-Class being awarded a five star Euro NCAP safety rating, as well as a best-in-class child protection score. The raised "sandwich floor" keeps occupants particularly safe in the event of an accident.