I was going to buy one of these for my wife a couple of weeks ago. We test drove a car similar to the one we were after and thought it was fantastic - it's an excellent little car, and a world away from the Mk1 machine.
The trouble is, Mercedes hasn't made the improvements to the dealer network that it has made to its quality control systems. We were lied to twice by the dealer and left to sit for ten minutes on three separate occasions while he went off to speak to the Finance Director to answer a question we had raised.
We were so appalled that this Sales 'Executive' wasn't capable of reading a stock list (which we'd already had a look through ourselves) or working a calculator that we were left with the certainty that he didn't want to sell us the car.
He then offered us a car that was the wrong specification with a terrible finance deal and said that's the best he could do. We didn't buy it, obviously, and walked out feeling like we were unwelcome. If I ever have the money to buy an S-Class or an ML, I'll go to a Jaguar dealer.
After owning a Volkswagen Golf GTi diesel, we wanted to get a car of similar size - we have a young daughter. We have owned a C-Class before and found Mercedes to be a good brand.
We looked at the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and new Golf but thought the A-Class was a cut above. The local dealer was also very good and we managed to get a price well below the What Car Target Price - haggle and go at the end of the month!
The performance is first class, build quality is excellent and the space is fantastic (most people think it is a 'small' car, but we find it bigger than our old Golf).
The turbo does drink fuel and also needs higher-rated unleaded which means more expense, but I suppose to get the performance it is a price worth paying - highly recommended.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine is more powerful and frugal, and the six-speed gear box is better for the motorway, but the clutch is heavy and power delivery abrupt.
The journalists rate this one better than the A150 - I think that version represents much better value for money at nearly £3,000 less. It is still a great car, and there are not many on the road. So buy a Golf, Focus or Civic - I'd still rather keep it that way.
We have just taken delivery of our A-Class. This one is my wife's (A150) ,and we are so impressed with it. The build quality is superb, and the engine is cracking - it's really flexible and never short on revs and power. Only on the motorway does it need a bit more (that's why I ordered a A180 CDI) - but it is by no means slow.
We had a 2005-model Volkswagen Golf last year, and in my mind the A150 is a much better car. Ours is the Avantgarde specification, so it comes with everything you would want. I had a Classic SE on loan from our dealer for a few days, and I do think that represents better value for money.
We also went for a manual gearbox instead of an automatic this time, and I was worried my wife would hate it - she loves it. I think the auto box would kill the performance of the A150. It's got a normal hand brake, which is much better than the foot one on the old models. Go for it - this is a remarkable car that will not disappoint you.
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