Mercedes-Benz A-Class MPV (98 - 05) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

I've been BMW for the last 10 years, and traded in my gas guzzling expensive to own X5 for the A180 CDI sports with the auto gearbox, lights package and sat nav. I've had the car 3 weeks now and am very pleased with it, its surprisingly generous for the driver with regards to room and you dont feel enclosed. Once you have got to grip with all the menus there is a lot of information available to the driver very quickly and the turn by turn sat nav is excellent (along with the god send that is 7 digit postcode recognition), the bluetooth audio streaming is superb so i stream my offline spotify playlist from my iphone. The car info has a lot of information on mileage and how you are driving, this is excellent as it does allow you to make the most of the efficiency of the car and i regularly top 60MPG when on a reasonably long run. the car isn't fast, it isn't slow either, but it's no comparism to my wife's 330d. The auto gearbox is very smooth and negates any need for the paddles. Moving the car into sports mode makes it a bit more responsive for overtakes but i haven't found the car sluggish at all. There is a slight amount of noise at cruising speed on the motorway, this comes from wind resistance around the mirrors and the road surface. The handling of the car around corners is very good when compared to the X5. All in all its a nice car to drive and don't be deceived by the size, it certainly doesn't feel like a small car.

Mike Medici, Wiltshire, April 2nd 2015

0 CDI Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG61.4 mpg

I've been BMW for the last 10 years, and traded in my gas guzzling expensive to own X5 for the A180 CDI sports with the auto gearbox, lights package and sat nav. I've had the car 3 weeks now and am very pleased with it, its surprisingly generous for the driver with regards to room and you dont feel enclosed. Once you have got to grip with all the menus there is a lot of information available to the driver very quickly and the turn by turn sat nav is excellent (along with the god send that is 7 digit postcode recognition), the bluetooth audio streaming is superb so i stream my offline spotify playlist from my iphone. The car info has a lot of information on mileage and how you are driving, this is excellent as it does allow you to make the most of the efficiency of the car and i regularly top 60MPG when on a reasonably long run. the car isn't fast, it isn't slow either, but it's no comparism to my wife's 330d. The auto gearbox is very smooth and negates any need for the paddles. Moving the car into sports mode makes it a bit more responsive for overtakes but i haven't found the car sluggish at all. There is a slight amount of noise at cruising speed on the motorway, this comes from wind resistance around the mirrors and the road surface. The handling of the car around corners is very good when compared to the X5. All in all its a nice car to drive and don't be deceived by the size, it certainly doesn't feel like a small car.

Mike Medici, Wiltshire, April 2nd 2015

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG61.4 mpg

I've just picked up an A45 AMG with pretty much all the extras ticked and I have to say I am really enjoying it so far. It is a very sport focussed car and the seats and the AMG sports steering wheel leave you in no doubt that of that. I had been looking at the new Audi S3 (8V) to replace my S3 (8P3) sportback, and wanted something that offered great performance while still being a practical 5 door hatchback. I love the Audi interior but I have to say that the materials and the equipment in the A45 are top class. Almost everything is easy to use, intuitive and ergonomically ideal - all except for the indicator stalk / windscreen wiper controls all being in the one stalk - cluttered. Oh - and opening the bonnet, which doesn't have hydraulic arms (weight saving gone mad?) is an exercise in locating stealth switches! The space in the back is good, the forward visibility is superb with only the chunky B pillar getting in the way of sight lines when over-taking.And then you turn the key and the engine fires up....... well... it is amazing! The sound from this little 4 pot engine resonating through the AMG sports exhaust is fantastic! It's like a mini V6 - it's spits and crackles on the down-shift and parps it's way through the 7 speed gear box when you find some open road. It is a joy! The steering is very well weighted, and the brakes are fantastic. the ride is a little hard but the pay-off is worth it. Fuel economy is great and as for Racestart and general performance - amazing!

Neil Mackinnon, March 24th 2015

4Matic 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG31 mpg

I change my car every 6-12 months as I get bored easily . I have owned most models of BMW and Audi and had my share of Mercs VW etc so the A Class had a lot to prove to me. Well after a few test drives And comparisons to BMW 1and latest A3 I traded my E350 AMG coupe for the A Class 180CDI AMG in Grey with privacy glass and Pan Roof. Let me tell you that this is one of the best cars I have owned and in my top three. It's not the most powerful but when coupled with the manual box is fun to drive and quick enough once you find the power band of the turbo. Comfort is excellent and on the motorway it's quiet and bobs along nicely, you can hear the engine round town but its not offensive. I heard reports of a crashy ride but I have not found this...the Ride is sporty but it doesn't crash about like the 1 Series. The finish is great and it is actually much bigger than it looks. For me this was a safe place to put my money. MB have been slated in the past for the C Class Coupe and CLC as both borrowed parts from saloons but both were good cars . This time MB have given us a brand new vehicle which is a real peach with a engine for everyone. Well done MB! There are lots of good cars in this class but this is different and classy & sporty. I get around 55MPG but have enjoyed 70mpg on long journeys. Best bits are drive,roof and Becker map pilot. I have covered 5k from new and love this car!

Steve Walker, Cheshire , January 12th 2015

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I change my car every 6-12 months as I get bored easily . I have owned most models of BMW and Audi and had my share of Mercs VW etc so the A Class had a lot to prove to me. Well after a few test drives And comparisons to BMW 1and latest A3 I traded my E350 AMG coupe for the A Class 180CDI AMG in Grey with privacy glass and Pan Roof. Let me tell you that this is one of the best cars I have owned and in my top three. It's not the most powerful but when coupled with the manual box is fun to drive and quick enough once you find the power band of the turbo. Comfort is excellent and on the motorway it's quiet and bobs along nicely, you can hear the engine round town but its not offensive. I heard reports of a crashy ride but I have not found this...the Ride is sporty but it doesn't crash about like the 1 Series. The finish is great and it is actually much bigger than it looks. For me this was a safe place to put my money. MB have been slated in the past for the C Class Coupe and CLC as both borrowed parts from saloons but both were good cars . This time MB have given us a brand new vehicle which is a real peach with a engine for everyone. Well done MB! There are lots of good cars in this class but this is different and classy & sporty. I get around 55MPG but have enjoyed 70mpg on long journeys. Best bits are drive,roof and Becker map pilot. I have covered 5k from new and love this car!

Steve Walker, Cheshire , January 12th 2015

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Car is a 200CDi Sport bought new in September 2014. Negative points: Suspension is hard, Engine is "Gruff", small boot, no spare wheel, no standard DAB Radio,. Good points : Economy, already achieving sixty mpg average after 1000 miles. I have mentioned the engine as a negative however this power unit is the same 2143cc as in the new C Class so it must be how Mercedes wish it to sound / run. I like the engine actually, it is something you get used to, it is flexible and economical whilst providing adequate power and torque. My car has a manual gearbox and is good, we did try the auto box but preferred manual. Build quality is high with no rattles or squeaks as I have experienced in previous BMW Models. The Bluetooth connectivity and USB connections etc. are good, the cabin quality is first class and I like the information screen which I find easy to use. I did look at the BMW 118d before making this choice and I am please with what I have. The dealers at Stockton were excellent to communicate with and I received a free three year service deal so running costs should not be a problem for the foreseeable future. The steering has been an area of concern to some reviewers, I find it good however, very positive and the body roll that some mention is not really evident in my experience. Having had a BMW 120d sport in the recent past I would say that I prefer the Mercedes overall and I am pleased with my purchase, to date.

Mike METCALFE, Durham, December 22nd 2014

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Car is a 200CDi Sport bought new in September 2014. Negative points: Suspension is hard, Engine is "Gruff", small boot, no spare wheel, no standard DAB Radio,. Good points : Economy, already achieving sixty mpg average after 1000 miles. I have mentioned the engine as a negative however this power unit is the same 2143cc as in the new C Class so it must be how Mercedes wish it to sound / run. I like the engine actually, it is something you get used to, it is flexible and economical whilst providing adequate power and torque. My car has a manual gearbox and is good, we did try the auto box but preferred manual. Build quality is high with no rattles or squeaks as I have experienced in previous BMW Models. The Bluetooth connectivity and USB connections etc. are good, the cabin quality is first class and I like the information screen which I find easy to use. I did look at the BMW 118d before making this choice and I am please with what I have. The dealers at Stockton were excellent to communicate with and I received a free three year service deal so running costs should not be a problem for the foreseeable future. The steering has been an area of concern to some reviewers, I find it good however, very positive and the body roll that some mention is not really evident in my experience. Having had a BMW 120d sport in the recent past I would say that I prefer the Mercedes overall and I am pleased with my purchase, to date.

Mike METCALFE, Durham, December 22nd 2014

0 [2.1] CDI Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Car is a 200CDi Sport bought new in September 2014. Negative points: Suspension is hard, Engine is "Gruff", small boot, no spare wheel, no standard DAB Radio,. Good points : Economy, already achieving sixty mpg average after 1000 miles. I have mentioned the engine as a negative however this power unit is the same 2143cc as in the new C Class so it must be how Mercedes wish it to sound / run. I like the engine actually, it is something you get used to, it is flexible and economical whilst providing adequate power and torque. My car has a manual gearbox and is good, we did try the auto box but preferred manual. Build quality is high with no rattles or squeaks as I have experienced in previous BMW Models. The Bluetooth connectivity and USB connections etc. are good, the cabin quality is first class and I like the information screen which I find easy to use. I did look at the BMW 118d before making this choice and I am please with what I have. The dealers at Stockton were excellent to communicate with and I received a free three year service deal so running costs should not be a problem for the foreseeable future. The steering has been an area of concern to some reviewers, I find it good however, very positive and the body roll that some mention is not really evident in my experience. Having had a BMW 120d sport in the recent past I would say that I prefer the Mercedes overall and I am pleased with my purchase, to date.

Mike METCALFE, Durham, December 22nd 2014

0 CDI Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Mountain grey, night pack, privacy glass its a real peach! If you can afford it, this larger engine is much better than the Renault derived unit in the A180 cdi. The fit and finish of this car is excellent far better than your equivalent BMW 1series and Audi A1, both of which I test drove before purchasing. If you can't find a good driving position in this car, you're not human as there is so much adjustment which really gives you confidence on the road. Options wise, I wouldn't go too crazy otherwise your better of using that cash for a c-class; the night pack is a must as it gives the car a really sporty look as you get a great set of alloys included in the pack and the bi-xenon headlights with LED brow sets the front off fantastically. My car has the automatic option which is a well matched companion to the engine and the steering wheel paddles are a lot of fun. Going back to the engine and gearbox arrangement, they are well suited to each other as they are both quite sluggish to get going! Unless in sport mode (eco is the norm for some reason) she is a machine that doesn't like to be rushed and to be quite honest that suits me just fine. If you want a drivers car, the equivalent BMW 116d (my weekend car) is a much better bet. Other bad points: -ride is a bit crashy at lower speeds -it has the road manners of barge through the twisty bits -the engine is a bit rough on idle -the gearbox likes to have a discussion with the engine before changing gear Overal

James Little, ESSEX, December 15th 2014

0 BlueEFFICIENCY 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG51.3 mpg

My Mum recently took delivery of this and has already covered 2000 miles in it in little over a month. She loves bing in it and driving it so much. This is the replacement car to a Golf7 1.6BlueMotion she bought late last year and was riddled with faults and reliability issues from day 1. She had 3 monobox A classes before, but thought she would try out the Golf which was getting rave reviews. The delivery of the A Class was a little delayed but well worth the wait. First, compared to the Golf, the ride and handling is much more surefooted and even though the suspension is firmer, it deals with bumps and road imperfections with much greater finesse. To add, she had the Golf with the archaic suspension fitted to lower powered variants. Rumble strips are dealt with smoothness and near silence compared to the Golf. Handling is sharper, it doesn't feel ponderous like the Golf. The engine seems more powerful and zesty than that fitted to the Golf. I have driven this several times now and it feels more eager. The Golf felt like a little engine was lugging a dead mass around. Economy is amazingly good and she regularly gets over 65mpg which can only improve. This little Renault sourced engine is a real gem. Yes it is a little clattery on first start up, but no worse than VW's 1.6TDi. Once it has warmed up it is barely audible in the cabin. Quality is great, no rattles and the seat trim feels expensive unlike the Golf. It's a cabin you warm to with great detailing.

Martin Jones, November 12th 2014

0 CDI ECO SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG65 mpg

I decided on the A class purely on looks and paper spec, without a test drive - what a mistake that was - if you are thinking of having one of these, please drive it first, it will probably put you off and then you can buy something else that you will be happy with. Firstly, comfort. Seats look great, but you will forever be messing about with the position to try to get them comfortable - the alcantara material grips your clothes and you will never sit in exactly the same position twice. Secondly, suspension. Gosh it is hard, even with the standard comfort fitment (god forbid what the uprated one is like). Thirdly, engine. Quiet at speed, really noisy around town, and the stop start comes in with a thud and a rattle. Fourthly, gearbox. Just never seems to be in the right gear, always bogging down unless you kick down to get it to shift. Also can catch you out if you start to go and then have to hesitate for any reason - the car can try to push forward for several feet, requiring a good shove on the brake to stop you hitting the car in front. Fifthly, consumption. Nowhere near what they advertise, expect 50 (maybe 52) on a long run if you take it really gently. Around town reality is mid to high 30's unless you creep around, then you will get low 40's. (when I mean creep around, I mean slower than a Prius !) Sixthly (if there is such a word), it is frustratingly slow off the mark unless you totally boot it. Perhaps the Prius spoilt me in this reg

ROBERT James, west midlands, March 6th 2014

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I decided on the A class purely on looks and paper spec, without a test drive - what a mistake that was - if you are thinking of having one of these, please drive it first, it will probably put you off and then you can buy something else that you will be happy with. Firstly, comfort. Seats look great, but you will forever be messing about with the position to try to get them comfortable - the alcantara material grips your clothes and you will never sit in exactly the same position twice. Secondly, suspension. Gosh it is hard, even with the standard comfort fitment (god forbid what the uprated one is like). Thirdly, engine. Quiet at speed, really noisy around town, and the stop start comes in with a thud and a rattle. Fourthly, gearbox. Just never seems to be in the right gear, always bogging down unless you kick down to get it to shift. Also can catch you out if you start to go and then have to hesitate for any reason - the car can try to push forward for several feet, requiring a good shove on the brake to stop you hitting the car in front. Fifthly, consumption. Nowhere near what they advertise, expect 50 (maybe 52) on a long run if you take it really gently. Around town reality is mid to high 30's unless you creep around, then you will get low 40's. (when I mean creep around, I mean slower than a Prius !) Sixthly (if there is such a word), it is frustratingly slow off the mark unless you totally boot it. Perhaps the Prius spoilt me in this reg

ROBERT James, west midlands, March 6th 2014

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

At motorway speeds (70-95 mph) it's very quiet, very minor road and engine noise. It's extremely comfortable for long journeys. It's very comfortable on bumpy country roads. 'A' roads are a pleasure to drive down with body roll very much kept under control - steering is a bit light and a touch vague near full lock but no car if perfect. The engines are remarkably flexible - OK it does sound like a diesel... but it IS a diesel. If I wanted my car to sound like a petrol car, I'd buy a petrol car.. Make sense?? The auto gear box is incredibly smooth, you barely notice the gear shift, it kicks down when required for overtaking/blowing-off-steam and far superior to others I test drove. Top points for MPG on this as well - I get around 58mpg on average with a driving style that means I spend most of my time in the fast lane. More importantly than all of that, it looks like the sort of car that someone who cares about their image would drive. VW and Audi are for fleet drivers, sales reps and Captain sensibles. I chose this car over an E class and the Jag XF, so to beat those 2 this car HAS to have something special. I also drive a 2011 Porsche Boxster PDK and 2006 Cayenne Auto and I rate this little merc above them !! My favourite car in what is a very dull time for car design

Stuart Messer, East Sussex, February 20th 2014

0 BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg

At motorway speeds (70-95 mph) it's very quiet, very minor road and engine noise. It's extremely comfortable for long journeys. It's very comfortable on bumpy country roads. 'A' roads are a pleasure to drive down with body roll very much kept under control - steering is a bit light and a touch vague near full lock but no car if perfect. The engines are remarkably flexible - OK it does sound like a diesel... but it IS a diesel. If I wanted my car to sound like a petrol car, I'd buy a petrol car.. Make sense?? The auto gear box is incredibly smooth, you barely notice the gear shift, it kicks down when required for overtaking/blowing-off-steam and far superior to others I test drove. Top points for MPG on this as well - I get around 58mpg on average with a driving style that means I spend most of my time in the fast lane. More importantly than all of that, it looks like the sort of car that someone who cares about their image would drive. VW and Audi are for fleet drivers, sales reps and Captain sensibles. I chose this car over an E class and the Jag XF, so to beat those 2 this car HAS to have something special. I also drive a 2011 Porsche Boxster PDK and 2006 Cayenne Auto and I rate this little merc above them !! My favourite car in what is a very dull time for car design

Stuart Messer, East Sussex, February 20th 2014

0 Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg

Having owned two bigger Mercedes cars before this one I was nearly put off even test driving the car by the What Car reviews. Luckily I did try it and the car drives and feels just like my previous cars. The major differences are the bills – road tax down 90%, diesel down 40%, tires down 60% and insurance is down 35%. While the car is smaller there is still enough room with the seats folded down to get my bike in the back with only removing the front wheel. The only minor issue is with the seat belt holder which sometimes rattles.

Andrew Hinder, August 29th 2013

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Having owned two bigger Mercedes cars before this one I was nearly put off even test driving the car by the What Car reviews. Luckily I did try it and the car drives and feels just like my previous cars. The major differences are the bills – road tax down 90%, diesel down 40%, tires down 60% and insurance is down 35%. While the car is smaller there is still enough room with the seats folded down to get my bike in the back with only removing the front wheel. The only minor issue is with the seat belt holder which sometimes rattles.

Andrew Hinder, August 29th 2013

0 CDI SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Having owned two bigger Mercedes cars before this one I was nearly put off even test driving the car by the What Car reviews. Luckily I did try it and the car drives and feels just like my previous cars. The major differences are the bills – road tax down 90%, diesel down 40%, tires down 60% and insurance is down 35%. While the car is smaller there is still enough room with the seats folded down to get my bike in the back with only removing the front wheel. The only minor issue is with the seat belt holder which sometimes rattles.

Andrew Hinder, August 29th 2013

0 CDI SE 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Having owned two bigger Mercedes cars before this one I was nearly put off even test driving the car by the What Car reviews. Luckily I did try it and the car drives and feels just like my previous cars. The major differences are the bills – road tax down 90%, diesel down 40%, tires down 60% and insurance is down 35%. While the car is smaller there is still enough room with the seats folded down to get my bike in the back with only removing the front wheel. The only minor issue is with the seat belt holder which sometimes rattles.

Andrew Hinder, August 29th 2013

0 [1.5] CDI SE 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

I have owned this car now for 25 weeks and during this time it has been returned to the dealer on 7 occasions, totalling 20 days for a number of build quality issues. The main, ongoing issue being with an irritating clicking noise from the seat belt mounting. It has had a number of repairs & even 2 x seat belt & height adjustment mechanism replacements, without success. Now been told this is a known problem on the A class! My car has also suffered from a number of rattles / vibrations to the Info Screen, instrument cluster, centre console & the rear heating vents becoming detached. The latest issue been the intermittent failure of the eco start / stop system and after investigation a replacement battery was fitted. This car certainly does turn heads & I often get stopped by people wanting to have a look & information, but is sadly let down by the issues mentioned.

Gary Dawson, Durham, August 17th 2013

0 Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg

I have owned this car now for 25 weeks and during this time it has been returned to the dealer on 7 occasions, totalling 20 days for a number of build quality issues. The main, ongoing issue being with an irritating clicking noise from the seat belt mounting. It has had a number of repairs & even 2 x seat belt & height adjustment mechanism replacements, without success. Now been told this is a known problem on the A class! My car has also suffered from a number of rattles / vibrations to the Info Screen, instrument cluster, centre console & the rear heating vents becoming detached. The latest issue been the intermittent failure of the eco start / stop system and after investigation a replacement battery was fitted. This car certainly does turn heads & I often get stopped by people wanting to have a look & information, but is sadly let down by the issues mentioned.

Gary Dawson, Durham, August 17th 2013

0 BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg