What is it?
This is where the Mercedes A-Class range begins to get interesting, at least as far as keen drivers are concerned.
Below this A220 petrol option, there are only diesels and the duo of petrol derivatives powered by the frugal but decidedly unsporty 1.3-litre turbo four-pot that Daimler has recently developed along with Renault and Nissan. Above here, there is only the discretely sporty A250 AMG Line and the properly sporty Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic – along, ultimately, with a replacement for the properly nutty A45 AMG, due to come later.
So what chance this car has the perfect, premium-worthy blend of everyday pace, efficiency and refinement, then, all offered at an appealing price? A decent one, on the face of it. Unlike the lesser petrols, the A220 gets all-independent suspension by default. It’s available in upper-level AMG Line trim only, and only with Mercedes’ seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox; but, factoring in those things, it’s only £640 more expensive than an equivalent A200 – which is less than half the price of Mercedes’ cheapest options bundle for the A-Class.
Going for A220 rather than A200 would mean accepting the difference an 18g/km CO2 penalty might make to your annual tax return; also, a four-group insurance group hike – assuming you pay for your own cover.