A 200 T is the hot hatch for those who like their cars subtle
A 200 T is fast, but can't match more powerful rivals for pace
190bhp turbo 2.0-litre tops the A-class range
Twin pipes one of the few styling additions
AMG five-spoke alloys as standard with 215/40 ZR18 tyres
Turbo 2.0-litre provides 207lb ft of torque from 1800-4850rpm
Sports seats, chunkier wheel and aluminium trim for the cabin
Lowered sports suspension and 18in rims
Neat shape, but lacks GTI aggression
First DriveA mid-life refresh leaves the Mercedes-Benz A 200 d Sport looking little different on the outside, but how is it to drive on UK roads?
First DriveAMG’s attempt to create hot A-class to sit £10k below the A45 creates a potent but ultimately uninvolving VW Golf GTI rival
What’s new?The engine, mostly. This, it could be argued, is Mercedes’ answer to the VW Golf GTi and this is our first taste of it on British roads.Under the bonnet is a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with 190bhp, which gives it 46bhp more than a regular A 200 — so it’s similarly powerful, similarly priced and, on paper at least, similarly fast to the hot Golf. Spring and damper rates are revised and the anti-roll bars are a bit thicker than the A 200’s, too.What’s it like?Because peak torque comes in at just 1800rpm, and continues all the way to 4850rpm, this is a very flexible engine. The power delivery is then linear to the 6000rpm red line and free from turbo lag. Unfortunately, the engine doesn’t sound very special, lacking the aural excitement of hotter hatchbacks’.The uprated suspension gives more grip and less body roll than in an A 200, but not significantly more enjoyment. The rest of the driving experience also contributes to the mature feel, although there is some torquesteer if you’re liberal with the throttle in lower gears.At least the interior is well constructed and offers comfortable seating for five.Should I buy one?Probably not: this is the best-driving petrol-engined A-class, but the most expensive turbodiesel is still cheaper. And if you want a proper hot hatch, you’re still better off with a Golf GTi or a Ford Focus ST.