Pre­mium pack­ages

Lux­ury brands are coming at more mod­est prices and in smaller sizes

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

BENZ’S A200 ticks all the boxes in the pres­tige small hatch class— by hav­ing fewer boxes to tick.

This isn’t a bat­tle about the quick­est car— that’s the do­main of the hot A250. It is a bat­tle about price and features, to the point where po­ten­tial top-end Golf own­ers will cross- shop with the baby Benz. As the new­est car on the lot, Mercedes has the edge. It matches the tac­tile feed­back of a BMW1 Se­ries with the build qual­ity and in­te­rior re­fine­ment of Audi’s A3, then adds three­p­ointed star badge snob­bery.

The big­gest prob­lem for Mercedes-Benz will be get­ting enough cars to sell. The range starts at $35,000, how­ever the A200 (start­ing price $40,900) is pre­dicted to be the vol­ume seller.

It’s fit­ted with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol en­gine and sev­en­speed dual-clutch trans­mis­sion that get you to 100km/h in 8.3 sec­onds and comes with Blue­tooth stream­ing, rever cam­era, self-park­ing softw cruise con­trol and auto ligh and wipers.

The en­gine is good with be­ing sen­sa­tional. It uses 5.8L/100km to put it on a p with the Audi and BMW pow­er­plants and the du­al­clutch auto rolls through th

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