The Mercedes Benz A150 is powered by a 1498 cc, 4-cylinder, 8-valve engine which produces 95 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 140 Nm @ 3500-4000 rpm (an improvement of 7.5 bhp over the outgoing A140 model) enabling the A150 to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 12.6 seconds and continue to a top speed of 109 mph.
The official combined fuel consumption figure for the A150 Classic SE is 45.6 mpg. On our test week, which included a long cross country journey from Devon to Derbyshire and around the Peak District we obtained just over 35 mpg, which isn’t too bad considering our enthusiastic driving style and of course the A150 will still being run in.
We cannot describe the A150's engine as rapid, on steep hills we found ourselves having to change down, a little too often, so we were left feeling that the A150 is a little underpowered. If you agree you can always opt for one of the other six engine variants, including a 2.0 litre - 193 bhp petrol engine. To be honest if you are only using the A150 in an urban environment with the occasional long trip, you will most likely be happy with performance.
The five speed manual transmission fitted to the A150 is derived from the outgoing model. Slight modifications have been made to mate the gearbox to the new engine. We found the gearbox light and easy to use, although we felt that the clutch had little feeling to it.
If you prefer an automatic transmission then the AUTOTRONIC continuously variable transmission is for you. This is Mercedes first in-house developed CVT transmission and is available as a £1,160 option.How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The new A-Class' wheelbase is 145 mm longer than the previous model and it has a 53 mm wider track. New developments have enabled Mercedes Benz to to make considerable progress in terms of handling and stability.
Body roll is limited, especially bearing in mind its elevated centre of gravity; this combined with good levels of grip should keep all but the most enthusiastic of drivers happy. Mercedes have developed a revolutionary new parabolic rear axle and selective damping system which is able to adjust the shock absorber forces as the driving situation changes. Under normal conditions, soft shock absorber characteristics translate into tremendous ride comfort, while the full damping force takes effect when cornering at speed in order to stabilise the A-Class as effectively as possible.
Both ride and handling have been vastly improved over the previous model, even to the point of calling the ride cosseting. The new A-Class rides pot holes and uneven road surfaces exceptionally well remaining composed at all times.
The speed sensitive parameter steering is well weighted and direct - the level of assistance is dependent on engine speed.
All-round disc brakes with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and BAS (Brake Assist) are standard on all A-Class models ensuring that it brakes reassuringly well.
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