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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Mercedes A-Class is a versatile, roomy, well built car that's affordable to run

Against Not great value for money, and plenty of other cheaper cars drive better

Verdict Scores well for space, safety and image, but it's pricey for a car this size

Go for… A150

Avoid… A200T

Mercedes-Benz A-Class MPV
  • 1. Three passengers can easily fit on the rear bench, and the boot is bigger than many larger cars'
  • 2. The A-Class doesn't hold its value as well as other Mercedes, so it's quite a cheap way into owning one
  • 3. The previous A-class had problems with its suspension and electrics, so it would be sensible to get these looked over on this version
  • 4. There are plenty of fine engines to choose from, and even the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol is good
  • 5. Classic SE is the cheapest trim with standard air-conditioning
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Mercedes-Benz A-Class MPV full review with expert trade views

Much better than the previous A-Class. Although the ride on this version is still firm, it's less choppy, and the handling is vastly improved. However, this model still isn't as much fun to drive as other cars of this size.

Packaging is its strongest point. The A-Class is shorter than some superminis, but it still provides good head and legroom throughout, even for tall adults, and three passengers can easily fit on the rear bench. Its boot is better than many larger cars', and the split folding rear seats add extra versatility.

The cabin of the old A-Class wasn't classy enough to make it feel like a proper Mercedes, but this version's is much more like it. High-class materials are used, and the build quality feels generally solid. Safety is good, too, because every A-Class has stability control and a host of airbags.

Entry-level Classic models have electric front windows and a CD player, but you have to step up to Classic SE for air-con.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Prettier than previous model but a lot more expensive used. 1.5 Classic SE best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are plenty of engines to choose from, and if you want a petrol unit, you can choose from a 1.5, a 1.7 and a 2.0. The 1.5 is refined and never feels out of its depth, so it's perfectly adequate for the car. This makes the 1.7 largely pointless, but the 134bhp 2.0-litre provides some extra performance.

There's also a turbocharged version of the 2.0-litre, but it isn't that much quicker and it doesn't feel like a proper 'hot' version.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine comes in three forms - A160 CDI, A180 CDI and A200 CDI. The A160 feels gutless, but the A180 is much better. Anbd, while the A200 is more powerful still, it's not worth the extra cash over the A180.

You can pick from three- and five-door cars, but the latter is the better bet because the three-door version sacrifiices too much practicality. In terms of trim, we'd recommend Classic SE, because it's the cheapest version to come with air-con as standard.

Trade view

James Ruppert

More around, five-door better and A160 CDI Classic SE best for sale

James Ruppert
Used car guru

In comparison to other Mercedes, it won't be too costly to run. Being the cheapest and most basic way into Mercedes ownership, the A-Class isn't as desirable as other Mercedes, and so it doesn't hold its value as well. However, that's good news, as it will have shed much of its value by the time it hits the used market, making it cheaper.

Compare the A-Class to other cars of a similar size, though, and it's a different story. A VW Golf Plus or a Seat Altea may not have the same image, but they're better to drive and they'll cost you less to buy than an A-Class.

The Mercedes will also cost you significantly more to service than most small family cars, because of the company's hefty parts and labour charges. On the other hand, insurance costs should be broadly similar to rival cars, with ratings running from group 6 to group 14.

Fuel economy is excellent, too. Only the range-topping petrol and diesel models fail to reach an average of 40mpg.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Prettier than previous model but a lot more expensive used. 1.5 Classic SE best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The latest A-Class hasn't been out that long, so its reliability is hard to judge accurately because there's still very little data on the car.

We can say, though, that the old A-Class had a shocking record, especially when you consider that it is made by a premium brand. Faults were incredibly common, and at over £500 for the average repair bill, it was also very pricey to fix.

We've seen a marked improvement in Mercedes reliability in the last couple of years, though, so hopefully the new A-Class will continue the improvement. It needs to.

Because the old car had problems with suspension and electrical faults, it would be wise to get these looked over on the new version. However, there's just not enough data at the moment to say whether these are problem areas on the new one, so the best advice for now is to have a pre-purchase inspection.

Trade view

James Ruppert

More around, five-door better and A160 CDI Classic SE best for sale

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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