Review and Test Drive: 2020 Mercedes A 220 4Matic Sedan

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One of the most notable things Mercedes has done is virtually eliminating the need to learn specific voice commands in order to use your vehicle to its full potential.  Commands start with “Hey, Mercedes” and can range from “Hey, Mercedes, lower the temperature” to “Hey, Mercedes, find me a Biergarten.” It’s important to note that summoning Mercedes doesn’t replace summoning Siri as, while Siri can’t change the cabin temperature in the vehicle, she can look up facts and figures online.

Once underway, the A 220 was the model of comportment.  Smooth power delivery from the four banger provided via a perfectly mated 7-speed transmission made driving fun, as did sporty hallmarks such as precise steering and just enough oversteer to make it interesting.  On the winding highways and country lanes outside New York City, it made its case for being a fun Autobahn cruiser.  In town, it behaved like a gentleman.

Speaking of city streets, a feature that impressed was the augmented video for navigation, which uses a live image of the road ahead from a forward-facing camera to superimpose house numbers, street names, and guidance arrows on a real-time view.

Augmented video for navigation

 

For the most part, I tended to let the car drive itself on the Autobahn, I mean highway, thanks to the rather capable Active Distance Assist Distronic radar-based cruise control that keeps tabs on the traffic ahead and adjusts speed accordingly, while Active Steering Assist kept the car centered in the lane for the most part.

I only ran into difficulty when Active Lane Keeping Assist guided me back into my lane in two instances where I was changing laneswith correct signaling and a clear point of entry yet the car overrode my decision.  On the other hand, Active Lane Change Assist executed flawless lane changes for me when I activated the turn signal for several seconds.

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