I bought a new A140 Classic almost three years ago. The good points are that it is nice to drive, nippy, easy to park, and the fuel economy is good. Unfortunately, the bad points outweigh the good. Here are some of the minor faults. Within a few hours of picking it up from the showroom, numerous bits of plastic fell off the bottom of the seats. The windscreen wiper snapped off a few months later whilst driving on a motorway, the driver's seat height adjuster came off, and the speakers go on and off when they feel like it. Also, it gets blown about a lot at high speeds and the boot has to be slammed shut or else the inside light stays on.
The major faults are as follows. There's a blind spot caused by driver's side pillar (a nightmare when approaching roundabouts) and the other ongoing problem since the moment I bought the car is that it only starts when it feels like it. My dealer cannot find a problem.
Most of the time it happens when I've started the car and then realise I've forgotten something from the house, or when I go into the garage to pay for petrol. I get back into the car and it will not start, not even attempt to turn over. I keep trying and 20 minutes later it will suddenly start up! It's very annoying when there is a queue of cars behind trying to get petrol.
All in all, it's been a nice car, but I('m beginning to think it's time for a change.
I have just sold a four-year-old A-Class bought new in 2001. Within the first week it had to be recovered due to problems with the auto gearbox. It took three years to resolve the problem andfinally our dealer replaced it just as the warranty was due to expire (by now it had been recovered twice more for the same problem). The four-year service cost £1400 and the car broke down a week later in London. The car was recovered to a London dealer who had it over a week but couldn’t find anything wrong. We went back to London (Mobilo Life will NOT return your car no matter where it is recovered to) to collect it. Three days later it broke down on us again. This time we were out in the evening again with two tired children. It was recovered (but took two hours) and we were told by our dealer that it would cost £1000 to fix. We had had enough and have traded it in for a VW Touran. I haven’t mentioned countless other niggles. I don’t think I could buy another Mercedes. As an A-Class owner I felt Mercedes and the dealer thought of me as the poor relation. They were never able to identify and resolve the recurring problems. I wrote to Mercedes but it referred me back to the dealer and no one took ownership or accountability for the continuing problems. I bought a Mercedes thinking it would be reliable. Perhaps we were just unlucky. However, I know of other people with similar problems. We couldn’t expect trouble-free motoring any more…
Regrets about buying this? Yes, definitely. I had to change cars following an illness which left me with mobility problems. I needed an automatic and had two young children. I had been used to driving a Vauxhall Zafira and liked the space and comfort it gave. Looking at my priorities, I needed a car that was reliable, safe and practical. I opted for the A-Class as it seemed to satify these criterias and bought a two-year-old with 21,000 miles. All was fine for about a year and then I started experiencing niggles with the brakes and steering. Took it back to the dealer and was assured all was fine. The crunch came in April this year when the gearchange and throttle seemed to be unresponsive. Back it went to the dealer, and the outcome was that it needed a whole new gearbox and torque converter with costs totalling £3500. I pointed out to the dealer that with a car less than five years old and only 41,000 miles on the clock, this should not have occured. After a lengthy dispute lasting six weeks the dealer and DaimlerChrysler met half the cost. Still, I had to have a new battery and having just had a service, have been advised that it requires an additional £600 of work. I have lost all confidence in Mercedes even though I was told this was just a one-off. Well, it was one too many for me, and on Saturday I'll be swapping it for a Toyota Corolla Verso and I won't be shedding a tear.
Just an update - I recently part-exchanged this lump of lard/metal for a new Mercedes C240 Elegance.
It's goodbye to no acceleration, harsh and, above 65mph, unstable ride, uncomfortable motorway journeys, pathetic brakes, huge turning circle and finally the engine cutting out due to a 'flat spark' problem.
I got £5000 for my 02-plate A160 auto Elegance with full service history and 37,000 miles on the clock. My local Mercedes dealer saw it and laughed: 'Another one of them,' he said, 'these are a nightmare to maintain and don't hold any resale value.' That says it all!
If you have any logic (or pride), then stay away from the 98-05 Mercedes A-Class.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
After having several larger engined prestige cars I wanted a car that was just that: a car. Not a status symbol, not a racing machine, just a…
Bought a 2003 model 2.0 HDi diesel second hand in 2004 and still running it in 2012. 11,000 miles at purchase is now 113,000. Never broken down, but…