Aggregated reviews, user reviews, videos, photos and stats
- Good looking
- Desirable badge
- Overly-firm ride
- Poor rearward visibility
However, early reviews suggest it’s a marked improvement, especially in the way it drives. That said, some of the usability and practicality of the old car has been lost. .
The A-Class’s plush cabin is largely befitting for a modern-day Merc’, although there are a few dodgy plastics on the dash’ (one review went as far to say they were a bit ‘Korean’ in terms of quality!). The rest of the interior is well screwed together, as befitting of something wearing the three-pointed star on the front grille
Although the boot is 94-litre smaller than the original car’s, and rear-seat passengers benefit from marginally less head and legroom - interior space is broadly comparable with Audi’s A3 and the BMW 1-Series.
The original A-Class wasn’t all that popular with keen drivers. It had a propensity to roll over if the you attempted a high-speed emergency maneuver, say on the motorway, and the ride was overly-firm.
The latest A-Class is refreshingly good to drive, if not quite as poised as the rear-wheel drive BMW or Ford’s class-leading Focus.
The high-speed ride and refinement make it a decent long distance cruiser, while the sharp steering makes it feel nimble down twisty roads and around town.
Rearward visibility is severely compromised by the thick C-pillars, and the low-speed ride was a cause for concern among testers - as it gets a bit fidgety on anything but the smoothest of road surfaces, even without the optional sports suspension.
The A-Class is available with three petrols and three diesels, all of which come with turbochargers and green tech’ like stop/start. All are adequately smooth, refined and frugal, with only the fiery A250 motor returning less than 50mpg.
Of the diesels (Mercedes expect the majority of A-Classes sold here will be oil-burners) the one to go for is the 74mpg A180 CDI, as the sub-100g/km CO2 emissions means it just about dips into the free road-tax band. Until the 350bhp, four-wheel drive A45 AMG super-hatch is released, the pick of the petrol models is the range-topping 211bhp A250.
As far as transmissions go, most models are available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DCT). Some engines, like the A250, are only available with the ‘DCT’ ‘box. Although the auto’s decent, the critics reckon you’ll be better off with the manual. Not only does it come as standard on most models, but it’s also the nicer of the two to use and allows for better fuel economy.
Value for money
A decently spec A-Class will set you back more than £20k - maybe even over £30k if you go really mad with the options list. That said, it should hold its value rather well, and won’t cost the earth to run, especially if you go for a diesel. Despite the fact most of the really nice toys are optional extras, it’s by no means ‘pared to the bone’ in the A-Class, standard equipment is generous.
The new A-Class is safe too, the 2013 model scored a full five out of five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests.
As the A-Class has been engineered to accommodate all-wheel drive, we may well see four-wheel drive versions of the more popular models, like the A250. Whether they’ll make it to the UK is another matter entirely though...
It may not be the sharpest drive, nor is it the cheapest buy in most cases, but the Mercedes-Benz A-Class does make a very convincing case for itself, and is certainly a viable competitor to the new Volvo V40, Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series.
If you’re in the market for a new premium hatchback, then we reckon it’s worth taking a good look around the new A-Class.
- Price range:
- £20,370 - £29,520
- 44 - 74
- Safety rating (NCAP):
- Date released:
- Replacement due:
- Not for many years
- Model history:
- This is the 3rd generation A-Class, codenamed the W176. There haven't been any updates to this new model yet.
- Engine to go for:
- The A180 CDI is set to be the best seller, thanks to free road tax and great mpg figures
- Other variants:
- A fast A-Class AMG model is rumoured to be coming soon. There is also the CLA saloon, which is based on the A-Class.
- Engine naming:
- CDI engines are diesel, the rest are petrol
Official Mercedes video showing some of the highlights of the new A-Class
AutoExpress review the new A-Class in this useful video review.
YouCarPress test the new A250 AMG Sport, see what they made of this top of the line engine.