A250 SPORT AWD

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

A re­cent facelift brought mi­nor styling tweaks, up­graded tech and sus­pen­sion, more power and all-wheel drive. Am­ple lux­ury with leather sports seats and sports wheel. AMG gear in­cludes 18-inch al­loys and five-mode ride con­trol that has set­tings from Com­fort to Race. There is more driver en­gage­ment and sporty dy­nam­ics. Capped ser­vic­ing costs $1980 over three years. Sleek and an­gry-look­ing, with long snout, strik­ing and ef­fec­tive LED head­lights, di­a­mond grille and sharp high­light lines run­ning rear­ward. Small rear screen means less than ideal vi­sion. Front pews are snug but it’s tight in the rear. The dash looks classy and is fea­ture-rich. Func­tional items in­clude Ap­ple CarPlay. Peppy 2.0-litre turbo (160kW/350Nm) pro­duces peak torque from a low 1200rpm and im­parts a se­ri­ously sporty feel. Shared trans­mis­sion puts power to the wheels with rapid-fire pad­dle-shift changes or it can be a smooth as silk in Com­fort mode. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 6.3 sec­onds with a claimed 6.7L/100km (not achieved). Five stars with nine airbags and a raft of driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy like at­ten­tion as­sist, radar cruise, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot mon­i­tor, ac­tive bon­net. Pre-safe col­li­sion prepa­ra­tion gives some peace of mind. The re­spon­sive dy­nam­ics aid col­li­sion avoid­ance be­fore the fact — bet­ter than re­ly­ing on sur­vival tech. It’s a wor­thy, more af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive to the A45 AMG hy­per hatch. A far more re­ward­ing drive all-round — brakes, steer­ing, AWD, stir­ring ex­haust — than the Q30. Ac­cel­er­a­tion on the move is rapid and it cruises around town like an ev­ery­day hatch. Take it to the track and put it in Race mode. Tyre in­fla­tion kit is a pain.

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