Mercedes A-Class: A250e plug-in hybrid at Frankfurt 2019

Published: 10 September 2019 Updated: 05 October 2022

► The new 2019 Mercedes A-Class
► New engines, hybrids, tech galore
► CAR’s full lowdown on premium hatch

Mercedes has officially confirmed a new plug-in hybrid version of its A-Class family. Named A250e and available to order now, it’s just appeared at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show packaged into the A-Class Saloon body.

Mercedes A-Class A250e plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt motor show - rear view

The system, also available in the A-Class hatchback and B-Class, mixes the brand’s 1.3-litre turbo four-pot with a 15.6kWh battery pack and 75kW e-motor. Power (up to 215bhp in total) is sent through an eight-speed dual-clutch auto, and allows for a 6.6sec 0-62mph sprint and 146mph top speed. Mercedes-Benz claims it’ll do 87mph on e-power alone when in EV mode.

Along with the punchy performance figures, Merc also points to some rather heady fuel economy data: the brand says the new A-Class A250e can reach up to 168mpg if used properly, emitting 33-34g/km in the process. Mercedes says a 10-100% charge on a 7.4kW wallbox can be achieved in 1 hour 45 minutes, or around 25 minutes on a faster DC charge from 10-80%.

Mercedes A250e wallbox

The MBUX infotainment system in the hybrid A-Class has its own range of EV data graphics and info for the driver, while the rate of energy regen can be modified via the wheel-mounted paddles when the car is in electric mode.

In Europe, the A250e will cost you around €36,000, which is around £33,600 in the UK. We’ve already had a ride in the A-Class Hybrid – check out our thoughts here.

New Mercedes A-Class: everything else you need to know

The latest Mercedes A-Class is a significant step over the outgoing car. Featuring all-new styling on the outside, the new Mercedes interior sees the biggest changes: it’s more like its larger E-Class sibling than anything else. But is it a winner in the increasingly-competitive hatchback market?

Read on for everything else you need to know about the car, with all our news, tech specs, first pictures and more analysis from the car’s launch.

New Mercedes A-Class: design

Everything has changed; the 2019 A-Class has a new face, great new interior and fresh petrol and diesel engines. It still has that familiar A-Class face, albeit one that’s been smoothed out to get rid of those pesky creases of the old one, and manages to look a lot like a shrunken version of the new CLS coupe-saloon.

New Mercedes A-Class: specs and price

Prices for the all-new Mercedes A-Class hatchback were announced at the Geneva motor show 2018 – and it’ll cost from £25,800 in the UK. The order books opened during the show and you could place your order at dealers from March 2018 onwards. That entry price will bag you an entry-level A180d SE, while the cheapest petrol costs from £27,500.

The new updated line-up is as follows:

  • Mercedes A180d SE From £25,800
  • Mercedes A200 From £27,500
  • Mercedes A250 From £30,240
  • Mercedes A200d From £28,805
  • Mercedes A220d From £30,005

Spec choices are SE, Sport or AMG Line. Standard UK A-Class equipment includes a touchscreen with the new MBUX infotainment system, voice control, comfort suspension, 16-inch alloys (bigger rims on higher specs), DAB radio, keyless go, air-con, active lane keep assist and Artico faux leather upholstery.

More engines, trims and configurations joined the range later in 2018. Prices dropped below £25,000 once the cheaper manual gearbox versions arrived (every model at launch came with a seven-speed auto only).

New Mercedes A-Class: engines, 0-62mph and performance

The engine range is all-new, launching with a brand-new 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a heavily revised 1.5-litre diesel.

First off is the A200, which uses a 161bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol co-developed with the Renault-Nissan alliance under the M282 codename. You can have it with seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box or a six-speed manual that arrives later in the year, and is capable of an 8.0sec 0-62mph launch when fitted with the former.

The punchier A250 petrol is a DCT-only model with a 221bhp 2.0-litre petrol, while the only diesel option for now is the A180d with a 114bhp 1.5-litre oil-burner capable of 68.8mpg.

As for the diesels, the A200d makes 148bhp and 236lb ft from its 2.0-litre block, and returns up to 67.3mpg in fuel efficiency. Top speed is a limited 137mph, and you’ll get from 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds.

The A220d also uses a 2.0-litre engine but squeezes out 187bhp and 295lb ft of torque, and you get fuel consumption of 65.7mpg – which is pretty good considering the extra 40-ish bhp. It’ll do 0-62mph in just 7.0 seconds, and has a slightly faster, 146mph limited top speed.

Mercedes says both new cars are RDE-2 compliant on the new economy regs, and suggests the A220d would be especially good for company car users. Thank the removal of the 4% BIK diesel surcharge. Private owners will get a one-band saving, while company car owners who pay 40% income tax could see a cost saving of up to £460 over three years, compared to the old model.

Both models will come with an eight-speed DCT automatic transmission seen elsewhere on the range, and everything from the MBUX digital touchscreen and voice-operated infotainment, to semi-autonomous functions and keyless-entry comes as standard with the Sport trim.

AMG-line customers also get 18-inch alloys, a diamond grille, and AMG styling inside and out.

The new 2018 Mercedes A-class: prices, specs, on sale dates from CAR magazine

Fancy something hotter? The AMG A35 might whet your appetite with 302bhp, or the all-guns-blazing A45 S with 415bhp.

New Mercedes A-Class: interior 

The inside of the entry-level Benz resembles that of an S-Class more than ever, with additional tech, greater space and a far more premium feel. Mercedes is making bold claims about the tech on board, and it’s the car’s biggest, most appealing feature to mark it out against its rivals.

The cabin in top-spec models is dominated by two large 10.25-inch screens that sit in line with the divide between the dashboard’s two horizontal sections. Gone is the rotary knob controlling the central infotainment display, instead replaced by a large touchpad and leather pad for the operator’s wrist.

Even the steering wheel has been lifted from an S-Class, featuring the same design and button arrangement of Merc’s most expensive limousine.

Mercedes isn’t wrong about the levels of luxury on offer – for a car that will be the cheapest in the manufacturer’s range the 2018 A-Class feels every inch the premium hatch when we jumped behind the wheel at the car’s official unveiling. There’s a nice variety of plush materials, and a genuine wow factor when you get inside.

Mercedes A-class 2018 interior

The materials, technology and attention to detail were all up to the standards you’d expect from a premium saloon. Wood, brushed metals and soft-touch plastics fill the cabin, as does the ambient lighting available in a veritable rainbow of 64 different colour shades. Shrinking violets need not apply.

Previously controlled by dated rotary switches, the climate control now operates via horizontal rocker switches with changes in temperature reflected on the central infotainment screen. A choice of seats is available, with top-level cars benefitting from heated and cool massaging chairs.

An increased wheelbase of 30mm means more room inside, too, which is even better news for young families. It’s still a low car to get in and out of, but the larger rear doors make a big difference, and we didn’t struggle for space behind an average-height adult on first inspection. The boot is noticeably bigger too, and access is much easier thanks to a wider tailgate and lower sill. 

New Mercedes A-Class: MBUX

The new infotainment system in the A-Class is called MBUX, and seems to be heavily focused on touch-sensitive operation. The A-Class therefore has a touchscreen, a touchpad on the centre console, and there’ll also be touch-control buttons on the steering wheel, too. According to Mercedes, this should help with less driver distraction.

The huge free-standing infotainment screen is used to great effect, with incredibly crisp graphics and a very user-friendly interface. The choice of methods of swiping and scrolling helps here, as does the high-res screen and sharp graphics. 

The instrument cluster, on the other hand, will be used to show Assistance, Journey or Navigation information. 

In order to minimise distraction, the new A-Class will also feature a more intelligent voice control system, which Mercedes says will be capable of accepting more conversational requests. All you need to do is say ‘Hey Mercedes’ and it’ll talk back to you like Alexa in your home. On first try, it’s an intuitive system that also learns your habits and comes up with suggestions for your journey. 

Mercedes says it’ll update its Mercedes Me app ecosystem, and add more scope for personalisation in the new A-class interior.  New machine learning abilities also mean the new A-class will predictively suggest activities or tasks depending on what time of the day or week it is. For example, if you usually go to the gym after work, the A-class’s sat-nav will automatically suggest it as a destination when you finish work.

New Mercedes A-Class: trims, specs and variants

Mercedes says there are four trim levels available for the new A-Class, but they may or may not all make it across to the UK market. For now, the trims we know are standard include SE, Sport and AMG Line. The car was available to order from March 2018. 

All A-Class models have automatic air-con, MBUX infotainment system with two separate seven-inch screens, automatic headlights and wipers, keyless go and Merc’s Dynamic Select drive mode system.

Both SE and Sport models have their own design tweaks and feature comfort seats instead of sports ones, but AMG Line will be the biggest seller over here, seen here in white in our picture gallery above. 

Mercedes A-class 2018 to cost from around £25,700 for an A180d SE with auto

For the first year after launch, an Edition 1 trim is also available that dolls up your new A with yellow detailing and… not a lot else. AMG Line cars get their own specific body kit, 18-inch AMG alloys, lowered suspension and sportier detailing inside. An optional Night Package throws in a load of fresh black bits, as well as the usual choice of Premium and Premium Plus packages to boost the kit count significantly.

A-Class sedan model on the way

Earlier this year, Mercedes revealed an A-Class sedan for the Chinese market, but now it’ll be coming to Europe, too. The new car will be built in Mexico and Germany, and should enter the market in the latter half of this year.

Mercedes says the A-class sedan will be offered with A180d and A200 engines first, with both coming with a 7-speed DCT auto ‘box. As you’d expect, the new car will feature the same innovative interior as hatchback we’ve already driven.

Interestingly, Mercedes says the new A-Class sedan features the lowest drag figure of all production vehicles worldwide at just Cd 0.22. It beats the hatchback’s 0.25 figure thanks to a more streamlined rear end.

UK prices are yet to be released, but we’ll update this article when we know more. To our eyes, the new A-Class sedan looks well-proportioned, and a lot like the BMW 2-series. With any luck we’ll see an M2-equivalent in time.

The A-Class sedan in numbers

  •  Length/width/height: 4549/1796/1446 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2729 mm
  • Boot capacity: 420 litres
  • Headroom front/rear: 1024/944 mm
  • Elbow room front/rear1457/1446 mm
  • Shoulder room front/rear1400/1372 mm
  • Effective legroom front/rear: 1062/861 mm

Now we’ve driven the new Mercedes A-class. Read our full review here