A luxury sedan, a crossover SUV, or a family-friendly MPV? I drove them all – here’s #MYUrbanHunting experience with them.
Two years ago, Mercedes-Benz first launched the Urban Hunting movement as part of the brand’s marketing campaign for their compact car family, mainly targeted at their A-Class, CLA and GLA models.
Embracing the art of urban living, the campaign has encompassed street art displays, night-club parties, music festivals, as well as local and international convoys with celebrities, media and Urban Hunting Club members since its introduction.
With the launch of the new-generation A-Class and GLA series under the #GrowUp tagline this year, the movement picked up with a convoy of about 120 cars from KL to Singapore to celebrate the 2017 Ultra Singapore Music Festival on 10th and 11th June.
Over the weekend, I had the chance to drive the C250 AMG, GLA 250 4MATIC and B200 models – here is a brief account of my #MYUrbanHunting experience with them.
The luxury sedan: C250 AMG
The Mercedes-Benz C250 AMG (swipe left for more)
I started my journey to Singapore with a classic black C250 AMG model, which although, doesn’t fall into the Mercedes-Benz compact car family, made for a smooth and comfortable 4-hour drive. Featuring a 155 kW (211 hp)/350 Nm 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the C250 AMG definitely has more than enough power for our Malaysian highways, regardless of the three modes I drove in (Eco, Comfort, Sport+).
The C250 AMG is characterised by a sporty interior, with its signature AMG body kit, contrasting white seats (I personally prefer the black variant), and black open-pore wood dashboard. The infotainment system also comes complete with a large 8.4-inch screen display linked to a COMAND Online multimedia system and a 13-speaker/590 W Burmester surround sound system to get me in the music festival mood ahead of my arrival.
The biggest peeve for me, however, was the suspension. But then again, that is understandable considering its AMG-tuned sports suspension is specifically made for handling agility rather than bumps on the road.
Overall: Call me biased, but I guess the bigger price tag on the C250 AMG speaks for the driving experience – it was my favourite of the three.
The crossover SUV: GLA250 4MATIC
The Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC (swipe left for more)
While in Singapore, I got to ride in one of the new GLA-class models which just launched in Malaysia last month. Though it was only a short drive to lunch and back, I noticed several prominent differences in the Cocoa Brown Metallic GLA250 4MATIC I had swapped for the earlier C250 AMG (aside from the obvious fact that it’s a compact SUV and not a sedan, of course).
For one, I liked the suspension on the GLA250 more, thanks to the new off-road suspensions in the 2017 model that ride 30mm higher than its predecessor to improve ground clearance. There’s also more headroom in the GLA250 compared to the C250 to accommodate taller drivers, though it didn’t really make a difference for my petite height.
One downside is that the interior may come off a little cheap for a Mercedes-Benz, but that’s the trade-off you get for a more affordable price. Also making up for the lack of interior appeal is the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, providing smoother handling; whereas the C250 shifts its power exclusively to the rear wheels to enhance its sports performance and provide better pickup.
Overall: I can’t speak for long-distance travelling, but from my brief contact with the GLA250 4MATIC, I daresay it’s a considerable option for city drives and light off-road excursions.
The family-friendly MPV: B200
The Mercedes-Benz B200 (swipe left for more)
Leaving the Lion City, I was given the keys to a silver B200 Sports Tourer model from the brand’s B-Class compact MPV line. While the bigger boot space was certainly more convenient for my expanded luggage bags, the passenger seats could use a little more room (so said my friends in the back).
On the engine and performance, the B200’s 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine actually performed better than my expectations, considering there were three other passengers plus our luggages in the car.
Generally, MPVs are usually not well-known for their exterior design and styling so there’s not much to comment on that, but I will say that the B200’s interior trim is comparative to the GLA250.
Overall: If you’re looking for a family-friendly vehicle that is not too big for narrow city roads and sharp corners, the compact B200 could be an option.