Mercedes A-Class Saloon Review & Prices
Updates have improved the popular A-Class, which looks great as a saloon, but the boot is smaller than you’ll find elsewhere
Find out more about the Mercedes A-Class Saloon
As a more affordable way into a premium product, it’s a bit like buying clothes from an outlet store. It’s the same logo, same quality, but costs that little bit less than the likes of the C-Class or E-Class saloons.
For 2023, Mercedes gave the A-Class siblings a subtle makeover, with styling tweaks such as the sporty ‘power bulges’ in the bonnet, some new alloy wheel designs and a few bumper tweaks. The redesigned headlights and rear lights are all LED, and its flowing lines really suit its compact dimensions.
Inside, the A-Class looks a step above most of the small cars you might consider alongside it. Updates to the interior mean all models get a 10.25-inch twin-screen setup, which is quick and easy to use.
Some fancy new seat upholstery, trim designs and improved on-board technology complete the interior upgrades. With all this being said, although we love the way the interior looks, there are some cheap plastics here and there, while build quality isn’t brilliant.
As the smallest car in Mercedes’ range, it’s not hugely practical. Tall drivers might find knee space a touch tight around the steering wheel, but front seat passengers should generally find it roomy enough to get comfortable. It’s not so good for those in the back, though, as the high floor raises your knees up and the saloon shape makes headroom a bit tighter.
In the hatchback A-Class there’s 355 litres of boot space, but opt for the saloon and that increases to 395 litres (or 345 litres in the plug-in hybrid). That makes it less useful than the 2 Series Gran Coupe and A3 Saloon.
The A-Class’s cabin is a lovely place to be, but the boot capacity makes it a bit less practical than some alternatives
Under the bonnet there’s a choice of two petrol engines, one diesel and a plug-in hybrid. The two petrols recorded up to 49mpg on the official testing cycle, but it’s likely the lower-powered model would get better results in the real world. The diesel has 150hp and gets up to 58mpg and is best for long-distance drivers.
The plug-in hybrid is the most interesting choice, though it’s the most expensive, so you’ll have to decide whether the lower running costs and/or company car benefits are worth it. It’s the most powerful here with 218hp and has a ludicrous 350mpg-plus official economy figure – this would only be achievable if you kept the batteries charged and stuck to shorter journeys, though the impressive 50-mile electric range makes this easier.
Charging capacity is 22kW, which can take the battery from 10-80% in around 25 minutes, while AC charging is now faster, up to 11kW from 7.4kW in pre-update cars.
During our testing the hybrid proved itself to be smooth and refined, particularly around town where you can make the most of the electric range. It’s pretty comfortable at lower speeds, even if you really feel the odd pothole hit, and is happy to cruise on the motorway.
Point the nose down a twisty road and the A-Class Saloon holds on willingly, but it’s not as enjoyable nor capable as the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe in corners. If you do want better handling, you can get the A35 Saloon, which has more power and some mechanical upgrades that improve handling.
The Mercedes A-Class Saloon’s sleek looks and cool interior design certainly appeal, but it’s a shame it’s not as practical as alternatives and the cabin doesn’t totally back up its tech and design with quality materials and build quality. A comfortable driving experience is another positive, though.
If you’re interested, you can check the latest Mercedes deals or browse used A-Class Saloons from our network of trusted dealers. You can also check out the latest examples of a variety of used Mercedes models, as well as sell your current car through carwow.
The Mercedes A-Class Saloon has a RRP range of £32,500 to £46,590. Prices start at £32,500 if paying cash. The price of a used Mercedes A-Class Saloon on carwow starts at £26,278.
Our most popular versions of the Mercedes A-Class Saloon are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|A180 Sport Executive 4dr Auto||£32,500||Compare offers|
|A180 AMG Line Executive 4dr Auto||£34,600||Compare offers|
|A250e AMG Line Executive 4dr Auto||£41,340||Compare offers|
Prices for the Mercedes A-Class Saloon start at just over £30,000, and that represents pretty good value over the standard hatchback, as it’s only about £1,000 more to get the extra boot space, although less practical saloon-shaped access.
It also means it’s competitively priced with the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, which costs about the same throughout its range. However, the Audi A3 Saloon beats both, because it starts at less than £30,000, making it a mighty appealing prospect.
Comfortable and refined in town and on the motorway, but there are more fun alternatives for a country jaunt
For those spending most of their time in town, the A-Class Saloon will be a comfortable companion. Sharp edges such as potholes can send a prominent thud through the cabin, but aside from that the car smooths out lumps and bumps without much fuss.
If you can charge it, the plug-in hybrid is a great choice here. Its excellent electric range means that it’s easy to avoid using the petrol engine at all. Keep it in electric mode and the motors are punchy enough to get you out of junctions and the lack of a rumbling engine makes it feel nice and refined. If charging will be troublesome, stick to one of the petrol engines as they should offer better economy.
Visibility is decent looking forward, though the rear window is a bit small so you’re relying on your mirrors to look over your shoulder. Tight manoeuvres are helped by parking camera with a 180-degree view out the back, though you have to get the top-spec version for a 360-degree view.
On the motorway
The A-Class Saloon handles higher speeds with similar ease. The suspension is softer than older A-Classes so you don’t notice broken motorway Tarmac quite as much, while there’s little wind and road noise to contend with.
Although the plug-in hybrid isn’t as well-suited to long-distance driving, it copes happily enough, pulling well on slip roads and having enough poke to make overtakes easy. If you do a lot of motorway miles, the petrol or, in particular, the diesel engine will see better economy, though.
On a twisty road
Heading down a country road, the Mercedes A-Class Saloon handles well. It’s by no means exciting, but it doesn’t feel flummoxed by your attempts to have fun. The steering is light and quite direct, and while there is some body lean, it’s not unnerving. You just get the sense that this is a comfort-focused car indulging your attempts to have fun, rather than egging you on to continue. Both the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A3 Saloon are more fun on a twisty road.
Front seat practicality is pretty good, but rear seat space is tight and the boot is smaller than alternatives
The Mercedes A-Class Saloon is a compact car, so don’t expect to be able to really stretch out. However, it’s fairly spacious for those sitting up top. There’s good adjustment of the steering wheel and seat, so you can find a comfortable driving position, but taller drivers might find there’s not much room for their knees.
That’s one of the few downsides, though. You get pretty big door bins and a large cubby hole in the centre console where you can store larger items, while the glovebox is a fairly good size too. You get a couple of cup holders and ahead of them is a place to store your phone with wireless charging and USB-C ports. There’s also a shallow section in the centre console, but we haven’t quite figured out what it’s good for. Bank cards or some loose change, perhaps?
Space in the back seats
While those in the front should be reasonably comfortable, it’s not quite such a good story in the rear seats. You won’t need to turn yourself into a pretzel just to get the door closed, but it’s not the sort of place six-foot-plus passengers will want to spend too much time. Kneeroom is okay, but there’s less headroom than the hatchback version, and an Audi A3 Saloon has a bit more shoulder room when carrying three.
While space isn’t massive, the quality is at least pretty good in the back, as you get to rest your arm on soft material on the door tops. Door bins are another plus point, because they’re big enough for a large water bottle, and you get a USB-C slot between the seats in front.
If you want to fit a child seat in the back, the open ISOFIX mounting points make it pretty easy, though bulkier seats might be a bit of a squeeze.
The A-Class Saloon has 395 litres of boot space, or 345 litres if you go for the hybrid, where you lose some capacity because of the batteries stored beneath the boot floor. This is more than you get in the petrol or diesel hatchback (350 litres), though the saloon’s boot opening makes it slightly trickier to get large items in and out.
The bad news is that this extra space still lags some way behind the competition. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe gets a 430-litres capacity, with the A3 Saloon just behind on 425 litres.
Fold the rear seats down – you can split all three separately, which is useful – and you get 1,210 litres of space. With the low roof in the boot of the saloon, though, it’s tricky to store bulkier items and really make use of the space.
The A-Class has a good-looking interior and useful tech, but it’s let down by build quality in places
Interior style is one of the Mercedes A-Class Saloon’s unique selling points. We’re big fans of the way it looks, and while it does let itself down in some ways, we’ll deal with the positives first.
While the A3 Saloon and 2 Series Gran Coupe feel upmarket inside, the Mercedes is arguably the best-looking of the lot. Since the 2023 update you get the twin 10.25-inch infotainment and driver displays as standard, both of which look great sat atop the dashboard.
The infotainment system itself is one of the better ones, with crisp and clear screens, intuitive menus and great tech. The augmented reality navigation (standard on AMG Line Premium and above) is a particular highlight, displaying video footage of the road ahead with arrows overlaid to make sure you never miss a junction.
It’s a shame Mercedes has ditched the trackpad between the front passengers, because now you have to use the touchscreen – which works fine, but is not as easy on the move – or the voice assistant. Then there’s the touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, which are incredibly annoying to use and easy to accidentally activate.
That leads us nicely into our other complaint. While the tech is good and the interior looks great, the actual quality doesn’t stand up to scrutiny quite so well. It’s easy to find cheaper plastics, and if you poke and prod around you get the feeling something could easily break.
There are two petrol engines, one diesel and, exclusively to the saloon, a plug-in hybrid.
Both petrol options use a 1.3-litre unit. Called A180 and A200, they put out 150hp and 177hp respectively, though both have identical official fuel economy figures of 45.6-48.7mpg. The more powerful model gets from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds, exactly one second faster than the lesser-powered version.
Long distance drivers will likely be drawn to the diesel. Called A200d, the 2.0-litre engine puts out 150hp and promises 53.3-57.7mpg. Despite being down on power, its 0-62mph time is only a fraction behind the A200 at 8.4 seconds.
Most intriguing of all is the plug-in hybrid, because you can’t get this powertrain on the hatchback model. It, too, uses a 1.3-litre petrol engine, but it’s paired to an electric motor for a total output of 218hp. As such, it’ll do the fastest 0-62mph sprint of 7.5 seconds.
However, it’s all about the fuel savings here. Officially, the hybrid can hit 353mpg, but you’ll only manage that if you almost exclusively drive on electric power. That’s not hard to do, to be fair, thanks to a battery range of up to 53 miles. In mixed driving we saw about 60mpg even on longer trips where we couldn’t keep the batteries topped up.
In terms of both road tax and company car buyers, the plug-in hybrid is the best way to keep costs down thanks to its low CO2 emissions.
The Mercedes A-Class Saloon hasn’t been safety tested by Euro NCAP specifically, but the hatchback version has, and it received the full five stars – though this was before the criteria was updated in 2020 to be more strict. It scored really well across the board, managing 91% or higher in the adult occupant, child occupant and vulnerable road users section. Its 75% for safety assists isn’t bad, but it’s nothing to boast about either.
Standard assistance kit is fairly decent though. You get cruise control and lane-keep assistance as standard, as well as a parking assistance package that includes a 180-degree camera. This is upgraded to a full 360-degree view on top-spec models, which also have a system that can read traffic signs and display the message to you.
The Mercedes A-Class has an okay reputation in terms of reliability, generally getting average responses from customers. Some surveys see it scoring quite poorly, though, which would align it with Mercedes’ reputation for not building the most reliable cars.
As a premium brand, the A-Class can cost quite a bit to repair if something does go wrong, which could have a part to play in negative customer reports. Fortunately, new models come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. This is a typical length of time, but if you travel long distances, the lack of mileage cap could be very appealing.