Straight As

Education | C Hung 11 Jul 2018

Debut events for new Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the city rarely disappoint. And the latest one held recently for the new A-Class was cut from the same cloth of some of the most amazing Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong-organized activities over the years.

Held at the Central Harbourfront event space - Central being a preferred space of the company - the BAM festival was a multidisciplinary show combining music performances, sports and leisure activities, as well as more serious workshops with a focus on future mobility for participants across age groups.

Of course, taking center stage at the festival was the fourth-generation A-Class compact hatch.

The A-Class may be the smallest and least expensive Mercedes model available, but at least from the look and feel of the interiors it is all about technology and luxury. Potential buyers will be attracted by the layout and design of the cabin, which looks more than a touch similar to its more mature siblings, the E- and S-Class.

And there are new ideas too. The MBUX multimedia system with touchpad is a new infotainment system that is controlled via a dash-top standing touchscreen, a center-console touchpad and a touch-control interface on the steering wheel.

Those who have experienced the system say it offers high-definition graphics and user-friendly interface.

The local distributor emphasizes the artificial intelligence aspect of the system, saying the A-Class is able to "learn the preferences and habits of the driver" in order to "enhance the overall driving experience" offered up in the new A-Class, which benefits from a platform that sees an increase of 30 millimeters in the wheelbase.

Underneath the metal is a choice of new and proven engine options.

A new 1.33-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is to be found in the A200 (HK$349,000). The 163PS entry-level A-Class is excellent in fuel consumption and emissions.

Standard equipment of the A200 includes power driver seat with memory, man-made leather upholstery, leather multifunction steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and a number of active and passive safety features.

For now the most premium choice in the rank is the A250 (HK$419,000).

Featuring a familiar two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 224PS, it has got enough firepower to keep other more performance-oriented hot hatches honest.

The A250 features a lowered suspension, 18-inch AMG wheels and AMG-Line trims, digital instrument display with a 10.25-inch media display.

Like other Mercedes-Benz models, the new A-Class offers customers plenty of opportunities for customization.

The long list for optional cost features include more sophisticated driver-assistance package, Burmester surround sound system, active damping suspension and many more.

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