I purchased an A140 and have had it for 5 years.
I must say at the time, although I had another larger Merc, I was influenced by the badge!!! (I know shallow git)
This model was a fairly high spec. avantegarde, ie slatted sun roof lots of toys etc.
If you want to know what motion sickness is like take it for a drive on a country road. What's unnerving is the yaw unit sorting out sideways motion, that's something to really behold.
Germany, well where this car comes from, obviously has super smooth roads, this one had 4 broken springs at its first MOT together with wheel bearings. busted back wiper motor, leaking screen bottle.
I really grew to dislike this car and hated driving it back and forward to work, it also rusted nicely, strange considering the areas that did not were plastic.
I nearly gave it away for nothing when trading it in for a Mini Cooper but common sense prevailed despite my anxiousness.
Perhaps the new ones are better - at least they look less like a biscuit tin and really... drive it and think carefully before buying.
Mine has CVT along with other extras when bought new from a dealer in Dec 2005 (saving 10% from list). The CVT makes for v. smooth driving in town & small country roads, while 116bhp is fine for 7-speed manual on m/way. Driving position is great (as expected, since ran previous model A160 for 3 years as co. car) & parking easy, but be careful when opening wider doors. Service at M.dealer at 14k miles (15 months) cost £150 - ok by me!
I chose this car as I wanted one which was automatic, does 0-60mph in less than 10sec and does more than 40mpg. Also, it had to seat 4-5 people, be reliable and have a low depreciation rate. I purchased the car as an ex-demo from a main dealer - this was a pleasant experience and the sales experience was efficient.
The car has been a bit of a disappointment, though. It has had the following faults or issues in the last 18 months: poor fuel consumption (28mpg town and 40mpg motorway); poor paintwork, which is very susceptible to bird lime or stone chips; rattling seat belt adjusters (replaced under warranty); and a loose drivers' seat runner (replaced under warranty).
The engine management went into 'safe mode' three times, too - it was found by chance to be a split hose between the turbo and waste gate. The doors have been adjusted to stop rattles. The most serious fault was a driveshaft snapping - fortunately I was only doing 20mph and not 70mph on the M25.
The dealership is very good to deal with, but the servicing is very expensive - around £450 on average. The engine oil alone is £85.
On a positive note, it's a very nice car to drive, has a comfortable ride and has a Tardis effect. The CVT gearbox is very good and is best in sport mode, which, for some reason is more economical.
I have had the 2005 A180 Avantgarde automatic for 3 months having previously had a 1999 A170CD1 Elegance manual for 6 years and 70,000 miles. The new A class is in a differant class to the old one. Very solidly built, lots of power and a very good ride, far better quality.
The fuel economy of the automatic is disappointing at 40mpg. Other than that I am very happy with the car. I wouldn't buy new, they're too expensive, however second hand values have dropped such that they now are very good value, and there are lots to choose from.
Go for the top of the range models with all the little extras, it's well worth it. A great load carrier, the seats fold flat, or if you pay extra they come out altogther. The Comand sat nav is very good but an expensive extra. Go for telephone pre-wiring if you want a car phone as it is very very expensive to have one fitted retrospectively - circa £1 to £1.2k!
A great town car, easy to park and a lot shorter than an estate but with the carrying capacity.
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