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What do we think of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class?

It’s hard to believe that the A-class has been on the market for over 20 years. Since its introduction in 1997, Mercedes have ditched the mini MPV in favor of a sleek and sporty hatchback that in recent years is responsible for over a third of UK car sales for the brand. Not too shabby eh? There’s good reason for this; the newest generation has some of the best technology out there and its affordable monthly leasing payments make it a perfect choice for many. Here’s all you need to know about it:

What we drove:

Colour: Mountain Grey Metallic
Interior: ARTICO man-made leather / DINAMICA microfibre upholstery black
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Model Line: AMG Line Premium
Wheels: 18-inch AMG 5-spoke alloy wheels
Engine: 200d – 2.0 Litre Diesel
0-60: 8.1
Power: 150bhp
Emissions: from 101 g/km
Price: OTR from £23,710 Price of model driven: £32,440

Engines

Design

The newest generation of A-Class is wider and longer than the previous generation model, with softer lines that make the car appear a lot more stream-lined. AMG Line models get a more aggressive bumper and a diamond grille with chrome pins, as well as privacy glass, electric folding door mirrors and 18” alloy wheels. Some might be disappointed to know that Mercedes have phased out the light interior, so unless you have the budget to go for either an A35 or A45, your options are black or… black.

The Experience

Get in the drivers seats and you’re treated to a view that beats the likes of the Ford Focus, or the VW golf… in my opinion anyway. The cockpit is designed to make you feel like you’re in a luxury car, and you do. There’s a widescreen display inspired by the E-Class and S-Class. Although this is model dependent. Those who go for anything less than the Sport Executive get 7” displays rather than the 10.25”, and the result isn’t nearly as impressive.

Our car was an automatic. Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with their automatic gearboxes and the one in our car was no exception. The car was refined on the motorway and picked up speed well. The only bug bare I had was when travelling at slower speeds I found the car would stay in a lower gear for longer than necessary, and the result was a slightly frustrated noise from both the engine (and myself). As soon as you picked up speed the car really came in to its own, however.

Any of the AMG Line variants are geared towards a sportier drive and therefore the ride is firmer than you’d get in an SE or Sport model. You also get sports seats, and a flat bottomed steering wheel which add to the overall sporty feel. Those who also go for the AMG Line Premium Plus are treated to a panoramic glass roof, which opens up the whole space to a shedload of light.

All of the models get a choice of driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual) and luxuries such as cruise control and speed limiter, which to put in to perspective is only available on the highest spec’d Discovery Sport!

Technology and Connectivity

The A-Class is a class leader when it comes to tech. In actual fact, it has the sort of tech that you’d expect to find in a £100,000 S-Class, rather than the brands entry-level car. All A-Class models come equipped with the industry favourite infotainment system – MBUX. It’s a system that can be controlled completely by voice to change temperature, radio station, driving modes etc for a totally hands-free experience whilst driving. Connect your phone and as long it can access the internet the question possibilities are endless. It can also be controlled via a central touchpad, replacing the dated small dial of previous models, or via the highly responsive touchscreen with crystal-clear graphics.

Try asking the car “Hey Mercedes tell me a joke”, and be treated to a witty retort.

A feature called 'Augmented reality' is available on Premium and Premium Plus models, which uses a camera on the windscreen to record the area in front of the car and superimpose this information on to the media display in real time – a really clever piece of kit that means you'll never fall foul to misinterpreting sat nav instructions again!

Space and Comfort

The microfiber has a lovely suede-style finish on the seats and doors which is a really nice and soft touch material that also looks really premium. Electric windows in the back go all the way down, which is nice for the passengers looking out. Leg and head room is really good, and AMG Line Premium models also get a centre armrest with cup holders. There’s netting storage on the back of the two front seats, which make a secure place to keep your iPads etc. and heat insulated privacy glass to hide them! This one also has dual-zone climate control with vents in the back, so overall it’s an incredibly comfortable experience. One thing to note, you get charging points in the front and back, but they’re USB C, so those without a new iPhone or an adapter are a bit stuffed!

Mercedes have also increased the boot space in this latest model, thinking about both design and practicality. The previous models light clusters had a massive impact on the width of the boot entrance, but Mercedes have fixed that. It’s wider, and there’s a minimal boot lip, which means that dogs can get in without the risk of scratching the paintwork massively, and luggage can be lifted in and out with little to no effort.

Boot capacity with the seats up in 360 litres, and 1,200 litres with the seats folded down, although similarly to the Audi A1, there’s nowhere to store the parcel shelf. The seats also can split in 3 ways, which is really handy, it means 4 people can still travel comfortably and you can carry … I don’t know, Ski's, or a really narrow tree in the space of the middle seat.

Safety

Euro NCAP judges have dubbed the A-Class one of the safest, most technologically advanced smaller cars ever – better than the likes of the Audi Q3 or Volvo XC40. You get a really decent amount of safety functions as standard, features such as Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist. Attention Assist and Speed Limit Assist. There’s two isofix points in the back, and unlike some other cars, the isofix points are super easy to access, with no removable cap or latch, which makes it really easy to install a child seat.

Model Lines - What you'll get

SE (hatchback only)

  • 16” Alloys
  • Two 7” touchscreen displays
  • Cruise control and speed limiter
  • Halogen headlamps with integral LED daytime running lamps
  • 180 degree reversing camera
  • Climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • KEYLESS GO

Sport

  • LED High Performance headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights
  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Two-zone climate control
  • Chrome weather strips

Sport Executive

  • Parking package – Active Parking Asisst, front and rear parking sensors, visual and audible obstacle warning,
  • Mirror package – electrically folding mirrors + auto dimming side mirror & rear view mirror
  • 10.25 inch touchscreen
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless charging

AMG Line

  • 18” AMG Alloys
  • AMG bodystyling
  • Diamond radiator grille
  • Heat insulated privacy glass
  • Sports seats
  • Flat bottomed sports steering wheel

AMG Line Executive

  • Wireless charging
  • Parking package
  • 10.25 inch touchscreen

AMG Line Premium

  • Keyless entry
  • Augmented navigation
  • Illuminated front door sills with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering
  • Ambient lighting
  • Advanced sound system
  • Rear armrest with cupholders

AMG Line Premium Plus

  • MULTIBEAM LED headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • Electrically-adjustable front memory seats with lumbar support
  • Traffic Sign Assist

Want to know more about our current A-Class offers? You can see our latest personal lease offers here.

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Posted on 16th January 2020 at 4:04 PM

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