The exterior of a red Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Combining a luxurious interior with a smooth drive, the Mercedes Benz A-Class is a spacious, four-door premium hatchback. This compact car offers a sporty and responsive ride with a high level of comfort.

Pros

  • Beautiful styling
  • Lots of great technology
  • Interior layout makes you feel you’re in a larger car

Cons

  • Expensive to buy but you get a lot for your money
  • Smaller engines can be noisy
  • It's not as sporty as rivals

Summary

“The A-Class is a brilliant, premium compact family car which looks great and is very good to drive.”

With four doors, decent boot space and ample legroom in the front and rear, the A-Class provides versatility and comfort. Inside, the spacious interior has been designed to sweep around the driver from door to door, giving a perfectly balanced and complete set up for the driver. 

The latest generation, introduced in 2018, gets much of its technology and style from the top of the range Mercedes-Benz models. 

The A-Class offers lots of specifications and a good choice of engines, from petrol to diesel. The range includes sensible entry-level cars right through to sports performance models, making it an interesting and exciting option to suit most tastes.

The exterior of a silver Mercedes-Benz A-Class

What's the interior like?

“The interior of the A-Class is a blend of style and technology.”

Combining a premium feel with stylish detailing, the A-Class also boasts an excellent level of technology. It features a high-quality dashboard and a Central Media Display, which is a smart infotainment screen with clear graphics. 

The driving position is comfortable and can be adjusted, while the seats, doors and other interior materials have been well chosen to give a luxurious ambience.

In terms of equipment levels, you’ll find features such as a reverse camera, sat nav and fully electrically adjustable seats. 

Also available is Mercedes-Benz’ MBUX Bluetooth solution with a personal assistant, which allows you to control features using your voice. 

It matches the tech of rivals like the Audi A3, but is more spacious and is also available as a saloon.

The interior of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“Comfort and refinement are a given and there’s a great feeling of control and security.”

You certainly don’t feel like you’re driving a compact hatchback when you’re behind the wheel of an A-Class. Everything about it feels larger and more luxurious. On the road, it’s a firm and solid ride. Noise is generally kept to a minimum and the result is an enjoyable and relaxed journey every time.

It’s a compact car so you might expect a lively drive that takes corners briskly. However, the suspension can also offer refinement. The steering is light, which is useful when it comes to parking. 

The ride is naturally improved in the latest generation with more of a focus on comfort, but at the same time, the A-Class offers plenty of dynamic motoring. Engines have also been upgraded to provide better response and improved fuel economy.

The exterior of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Fuel economy is a real strong point while servicing and running costs will be competitive.”

You’ll pay slightly more for a used A-Class because you’re buying a Mercedes-Benz. However, it's still competitive on price compared to rivals such as the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.

The engines are quiet, easy to drive and frugal. The diesels are especially good, returning 50-60 mpg but you need to be driving more than 12,000 miles a year to justify buying a diesel. The smaller petrols aren't far behind at around 50 mpg. Even the more potent-engined cars are economical.

Insurance is slightly higher than rivals, starting at a reasonable 13 for the SE.

The exterior of a silver Mercedes-Benz A-Class

How reliable and safe is it?

“The A-Class is packed with safety features and peforms well in tests, such as Euro NCAP.”

Mercedes-Benz hasn’t fared well in recent independent reliability surveys but it’s been on a par with its main German rivals BMW and Audi

The third generation car is well designed for safety and has all the usual features you’d expect from a premium car maker.

The most recent A-Class goes even further with high-tech features such as sensors that monitor the speed of surrounding vehicles and LED headlights that adapt to suit road conditions.

It also received the highest five-star accolade for safety from Euro NCAP.

Rear seat shot of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - A 180 d SE

Best for family - A 200 d Sport 150 hp

Best for fun - AMG A 35

The entry-level engines are the most frugal, while at the other end of the scale, the AMG-Line cars offer excellent performance but higher running costs. 

Something midway, such as the A 200 d Sport which comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a 150 hp engine, is more than enough for a brisk, enjoyable drive.

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