Mercedes-Benz A Class
2L AMG A35
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.