I ordered my car prior to it being officially launched in the UK and I have to say I took a bit of a flyer on it as the available information was poor. So that left me reading the various motoring reviews that were at best contradictory.
To cut to the chase overall I think this is a great car, lovely to drive, look at and live with.
My car replaces a 2010 318d BMW M Sport. The Merc for me is the better car, it handles just as well but is more roomy in all but the boot.
Here’s my view on some of the things I’ve read and now experienced:-
The car suffers with excessive body roll when cornering – No it doesn’t, it’s just fine. The suspension is way too hard – Yes it’s firm to hard but absolutely fine it’s badged as an AMG Sport for God’s sake, what did people expect? The windows are small – Agreed, visibility isn’t the best particularly when parking. The diesels are noisy – It’s fine and quieter than the BMW diesel. The auto gear change is too slow – No its not, gear shifts are seamless and it certainly whips through the gears quickly around town and can be instantly overridden with the paddles on the steering wheel. Some of the plastics are not of the quality expected in a Mercedes – The centre console does have a cheaper car feel to it. It does look like it may scratch easily but looks fine. Air conditioning controls are too low – they’re fine but I would question some of the instrument layout as it does appear a little spread out and fiddly to operate.
Well I don't know what road testers smoke these days but the banality of the 1-Series and A3 didnt attract me one bit. The A-Class is a very classy car indeed. In AMG Sport trim its a very sharp and sporty looking car. The interior is very "new" Mercedes design wise, with enough soft touch plastics to please. The standard "tablet" style info system with pre-wiring for the excellent and low cost Becker nav is excellent and very intuitive to work. On the road the car is as fast as it needs to be. The engine, like any diesel, is gruff on start up but super smooth and quiet on any road. I have the 7 speed auto which has a good kick down mode as well as a sports mode for faster gear changes. With zero road tax to pay for the 1st year, above 50mpg, great looks and rarity factor, I believe most journo's are giving the car an unfair hearing.
I would suggest the night pack as a must have option as well as parking sensors, heated seats and if you can stretch to it, the opening panoramic sunroof.
Finally Mercedes has some of the best finance packages available on the market today and are willing to negotiate. I got a great deal and am sure the residuals will hold up.
Dont be put off by negative reviews. Go to the dealership, test drive the car and make your own mind up.
I wanted to put in a review here after test driving an A class C200D auto, and reading What car knock it.
Let's get the negatives out first. Yep, the ride is firm, although it is not crashy, it's certainly no E-Class. Also, the change in shifts in the auto is really slow. The sales guy reckoned that can be sorted by switching the car to sport mode in gear changes (button on the dash - which I didn't know was there - I test drive the thing on my own). Oh, and due to the slow auto change, it feels a little slow on the pickup.
Hmm. That seems a lot.
Well, I'm going to put some seriously impractical comments in now. It looks bloomin' lovely (AMG model). Quality inside is really obvious. It feels like a real car, not a copy of all cars you get these days. This is a car you will enjoy owning rather than just being your a-b car. Drive for a decent length of time, and you feel this thing really has soul, not come across that in a car for some time.
That's why I gave it 4 stars overall. You may read all the other 3 stars and say, well that does not make sense.
Other things.... well the car is quite quiet for a diesel. The engine is a new one used in the A and B class, so slightly lower capacity to the C class 2.2 litre lump which certainly is a bit noisier. I see that in Europe there's a top of the range diesel which will use the C class engine and I must say I'll try that one - it may be just the ticket for me.
Drive it, take it for a good length of time. It'll grow
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