What is it?
This is the Mercedes A-class fitted with the least powerful version of the company’s recently revised 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit and a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission).
The gearbox has five ‘fixed’ ratio positions in its ‘manual’ model, but moves steplessly when left in automatic.
What's it like?
For my money, the A-class is one of the classiest superminis or small family hatches that you can get.
The interior is genuine Mercedes, albeit on a budget, and the fit and finish of our test car was excellent. My only reservation about the standard car is that there is no reach adjustment on the steering wheel.
The driving position is pretty good anyway, but there's no harm improving it.
Now, how much of an improvement is the CVT gearbox? The unfortunate answer is 'none at all'.
A gentle prod of the accelerator gets you tickling along smoothly in slow-moving town traffic, but that's about as good as it gets.
Push the pedal to the floor and the engine revs fairly freely to 4200rpm and stays there. Lots of noise, but little action: it would be misleading to suggest that there’s no acceleration, but it’s not far off the truth.