A superb car to own and drive. Better built than the current Golf which now has a chequered build history. It is no racing car but for normal roads and normal loads it beats the opposition hands down. An ingenious use of space to provide maximum carrying capacity in a compact, occupant-friendly package.
I have submitted reports before, so I thought I would follow up after 37k miles of driving. Clearly you either love or hate this car and I suspect that if the latter, you have had a bad experience either with quality, or after sales service. A wake up call for MB?
My wife mainly uses the car and loves it. It is roomy, practical and was excellent in the recent bad weather. Frankly, she doesn't want anything else.
From my own point of view, I retract my comments about the using the tiptronic in manual mode. In high mountain driving, or similar challenging environments, it is brilliant as the ratios are so close, and better than allowing the auto to choose ratios; not that this is a criticism of the very effective CVT transmission.
All other comments still apply; it is quiet, the seating is excellent, (I have a serious back problem), although the ride can be a little firm on poor roads. On the other hand, the handling is very secure as the centre of gravity is very low and you will have to be driving at very dangerous speeds to provoke any kind of misbehaviour in terms of grip and stability.
As regards reliability and running ocsts, we have had three software downloads and one replacement key fob, all under waranty, and no breakdowns or other unexpected failures. This is important as it is my wife's only means of transport to her school. Labour costs are on the high side, but parts are comparable to VW and BMW and we have no complaints about dealer support.
I was not a fan of the old A-Class and I was not really expecting to be overly impressed when I took a test-drive of the new model. However, I was converted straight away.
The build quality and ride are excellent and worthy of the Mercedes badge. The only minor quibble is a very slight vibration through the accelerator pedal at 1500-2000rpm, which the dealer tells me is normal.
The cabin is like the Tardis - small on the outside, but has all the room you will ever need for five adults on the inside. The interior is now unmistakably Mercedes. The performance of the A200 is impressive, as is the over-50mpg diesel consumption, even when driven with some enthusiasm. It's not cheap but who wants cheap? It's great value.
I had a 2006 A200 CDi Avantgarde as a courtesy car while my C-Class estate was in for warranty work (again).
Interior space and seating position is good. The CVT transmission took getting used to but was good, although the engine noise was noticable. Wind noise over 60mph was loud, especially by the driver's B-pillar.
However, the interior quality was a let-down: there was shiny plastic on the dash, large interior panel gaps, rattles from the rear, doors that shut with a tinny 'twang,' complete with wobbly windows. See how many bare screw heads you can count... my wife likened it to a cheap Korean car (though their quality is much better on some models, to be honest).
To sum up, it is an average car with a premium badge and nothing more. This allows Mercedes to charge you the premium and the eye-watering service costs (my humble C180K's 'B' service was £1220) which they rather you did not ask about. However, if you do, get a response in writing.
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