With the UK the biggest market for Mercedes-benz’s A- Class, this new hi-tech, hi-spec fourth-generation hatchback’s more grown-up feel is set to make it an even bigger hit Cheshire Life: November 2018 Cheshire Life: November 2018 299
We love the baby Mercedes-benz A-class in the UK – its largest market globally with 43,717 registered here last year, nearly a quarter of total sales. This fourth-generation model gets a more grown-up feel and equipment including automatic transmission across the board for launch models – manuals will follow – and sat-nav, more safety kit and debuts the Mercedes-benz User Experience (MBUX) touchscreen interface and excellent ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recognition. Hence, therefore, the price hike... LOOKS AND IMAGE It’s an evolutionary look outside, but the interior is more upmarket with a hi-tech fascia, work-ofart air vents and twin seven and 10.25in instrument and infotainment displays operated via responsive touchpads on the steering wheel. This is the future of fascias.
UNDER THE BONNET Efficient new engines are 116hp 1.5-litre turbo diesel A 180d, developed with Renault and Nissan, 224hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol A 250, but the star is the 163hp, 1.3-litre turbo petrol A 200. The little cracker’s 250Nm of torque is almost as strong as the diesel, but peaks lower at 1,620rpm. It spins freely at high revs for perky performance, the seven-speed automatic box responds readily and returned 47mpg.
HOW IT DRIVES Designed to be better to drive and more comfortable, the petrol A 200 feels crisper turning into corners with better steering feel than the heavier diesel. Petrol AMG Line models, with multilink rear suspension rather than torsion beam, feel even livelier.
With either set-up the new A-class is more of a driver’s car without sacrificing comfort, but AMG Line’s bigger 18in wheels create more tyre noise.
SPACE AND COMFORT The new A-class is wider and longer and you feel the benefit inside with more shoulder, elbow and headroom, and rear legroom is adequate for tall passengers.
Boot space has grown to 370 litres, with a wider opening, and 40/20/40 split rear seat backs fold flat. TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHT The A-class debuts MBUX with intelligent voice control – wake up your ‘ virtual valet’ with the keywords ‘Hey Mercedes’ and simply say where you want to go, who you want to phone, music choice, weather forecasts, writing and hearing messages and convenience functions such as climate control and lighting. It’s enough just to say ‘Hey Mercedes I am cold’ to change the temperature. Active lane keeping assist is standard to steer the car back if drifting off course.
FINAL SAY The latest A-class is even more desirable – more grown up with innovative big-car technology that will appeal to drivers downsizing. The higher price is one many will pay, especially on monthly finance packages.
SPEC AND TECH Mercedes-benz A 200 PRICE: A 200 Sport £27,500, AMG Line £28,700 ENGINE: 1,332cc, 163hp, fourcylinder turbo petrol with sevenspeed automatic gearbox PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 8.0 seconds; top speed 139mph MPG: 51.4 to 53.3 combined CO2 emissions: 123g/km
Porsche Centre Chester’s annual road trip to Cologne, Germany is something many of our customers look forward to. With an unrivalled itinerary for fans and enthusiasts of motorsport, it isn’t hard to see why our event is continuing to become more of a success year on year. Now into its fifth consecutive year, the event welcomed 16 guests and nine cars. This year’s event was held over six days and has been the most anticipated trip to date, and with good reason; this time we were taking part in a very special full track day at Spa Francorchamps circuit. This track is home to the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix and is a firm favourite for racing drivers and fans.
The trip began with a ferry crossing from Hull, where guests met on board for dinner and welcome drinks before sailing overnight across the North Sea. Unbeknown to everyone beforehand, the crossing coincided with the arrival of Storm Bronagh, which made for an aggressive yet memorable crossing for everyone.
The following day we arrived in Rotterdam where we journeyed in convoy through the Netherlands to Cologne; Germany’s fourth largest city which sits either side of the River Rhine. The line-up of Porsche models this year was a sight to see, with models including the Porsche GT2 RS, 911 Carrera 4 GTS, 911 GT3, Boxster S, Panamera 4 E-hybrid and Cayman GT4 to name just a few. The Porsche Centre Chester road trip brings together Porsche drivers for a rare opportunity where they can be in the company of likeminded people and experience their cars in a manner they are rarely able to find in England.
The road trip is a fantastic experience for customers and includes an exciting mix of road driving, track driving and socialising. Each day brought a new adventure and there was always a group dinner each evening where guests could reflect on their day and enjoy a drink or two in a relaxed and friendly environment.
A major talking point on each Porsche Centre Chester Cologne road trip is the go karting competition. Taking place at the Michael Schumacher go kart centre, this activity never fails to bring out the competitive streak in all drivers, including the hosts from Porsche Centre Chester. The karting is indeed a highlight on the trip and with each year that passes, more friendly controversy is introduced as each driver battles for a podium position. This year Carl Hazelton, Centre Principal at Porsche Centre Chester finished in first place, followed by James Pritchard and John Edwards in second and third place. That evening, everyone dined at Ponchos Steakhouse in the centre of Cologne which is a renowned favourite on the trip.
The next day we began our journey down to Spa, Belgium. Spa is a beautiful town in the Ardennes region of Eastern Belgium and is the home to the F1 Spa Francorchamps circuit. The drive down to Spa was stunning and the changes in architecture going from Germany and into Belgium made for an interesting drive.
The following day was the event that everyone had been waiting for. The Spa circuit was peaceful in the early morning mist, which left us with thoughts of the great drivers that had driven this historic race track. We had a fantastic view of the famous ‘Eau Rouge’, stretching out into the distance and marked by the distinctive red and yellow kerbs.
We parked all nine cars neatly in our own F1 garages and they sat majestically poised. The drivers briefing only added to first timer nerves, with stories of track recoveries and expensive barriers, but three sighting laps helped to calm any anxieties. The green light indicated the start of a full day where our customers would push their cars to their limitless ability. The day was, for many, a dream come true.
As with our previous road trips, this year was another unforgettable experience and we are already looking forward to next year!
Developments are well underway at Guy Salmon Land Rover Knutsford who are pleased to announce the opening of their refurbished showroom in October with their new state-ofthe-art showroom, bringing customers more convenience, luxury and space...
The new refurbishment of the Guy Salmon Land Rover retailers will mean customers will benefit from more display cars, more customer parking, lounge style waiting areas, interactive colour and trim display, free WI-FI and even a coffee bar!
The new Land Rover showroom design is being rolled out globally, characterised by a timeless design and a host of luxurious materials. New handover bays are also being created, where customers can have their vehicles revealed to them before driving out of the showroom doors.
The new showroom concepts were designed and are being built around Land Rovers corporate identity, which puts customers at the heart of the retail experience with exciting architectural innovation and a stylish, eye-catching scheme.
To find out more about the new spacious showrooms for both Guy Salmon Jaguar and Land Rover retailers watch the video at