- Sporty looks
- Comfortable ride
- Advanced safety features
- Expensive to buy
- Rivals are more fun to drive
- Boot space is below average
What's the Mercedes-Benz A-Class like?
It was very much a case of all-change for the third generation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and what a difference there was between the old and the new.
Not only did the latest A-Class have buyers queuing up to get their hands on one, it also proved something of a match for main competitors such as the VW Golf, Audi A3, and BMW 1 Series, thanks to its radical styling, high-tech, and safety on-board features.
Out went the square, top-heavy, boxy bodystyle the German marque had stuck with for the previous models, and in came a sleek, conventional-shaped styling, more in tune with what buyers are looking for.
Driving Experience and Practicality
Lower and longer, squatter, and more purposeful looking, it certainly looked the part, while inside the cabin there was much more space for greater passenger comfort.
The high, upright driving position of the old car was also ditched for a coupé-like driving position that’s perfect for any journey, be it a short one around town or a high-speed, long-haul motorway dash.
Inside, the design team got things spot on first time with the on-board fittings and fixtures of the finest quality.
Mercedes also went for a modern tablet-styled centre display to replace the somewhat dated colour screen where on-board information was usually to be found.
This up-to-the-minute look gave the A-Class something of a march on the competition, but sadly the tablet is part of the fixtures, so can’t be removed to be used elsewhere.
A new engine range was introduced for the A-Class, including a highly-economical, sub-100g/kg diesel. This 108bhp gem was designed and built by Renault especially for the A180 and with emissions coming in at just 98g/km, it made a great choice for business drivers and private owners alike.
Confusingly, a larger Mercedes-powered 1.8-litre model is also badged A180. It pumps out 133bhp and pulls 221lb/ft of torque. Emissions for this engine come in at 118g/km, so there's annual road tax to pay.
However, top choice in the used car stakes is the A200 BlueEfficiency CDI. It's powered by a 133bhp 1.8-litre engine, which delivers a nicely-balanced compromise between performance and economy. Top speed comes in at 130mph, and it has a 0 to 60mph dash time of approximately 9.3 seconds, along with an official combined fuel economy figure of 62.8mpg, so is also worth looking out for.
As with all Mercedes passenger vehicles, safety features are given high priority, making the A-Class a pretty safe place in which to travel, especially when fitted with optional Collision Prevention Assist, which brakes the car if the on-board computers sense a crash is imminent.
Other options to look out for are Attention Assist, which calculates when you need a break, Blind Spot Warning, and Active Cruise Control, which prevents you getting too close to the vehicle in front. There’s even Park Assist, which will find a suitable space and automatically park the vehicle for you.
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Premium comfort, attractive sporty looks, and top-of-the-range interior features set the Mercedes-Benz A-Class apart from its rivals. For those who can afford the higher prices, the A-Class is a well-equipped used car buy that will no doubt serve you well.