Cost & verdict

Mercedes-Benz A-Class review

Manufacturer price from:£22,850
What Car? Target Price:£20,928
Search new deals
2018 Mercedes A-Class front cornering
Review continues below...
17 Dec 2015 16:41 | Last updated: 19 Sep 2018 10:37

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback running costs

The starting price of the A-Class is probably enough to make you raise more than an eyebrow; it’s several thousand pounds more expensive than its two key rivals, the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

However, there are mitigating circumstances, not least the fact that the recently launched A-Class is currently only available with three engines and an automatic gearbox. Less powerful petrol engines and a manual gearbox option are on the way and will bring down the starting price considerably. The A-Class will also hold onto much more of its value after three years, so you'll recoup some of that initial outlay come trade-in time.

Of course, the vast majority of A-Class buyers won’t be paying cash; they’ll be signing up to a PCP finance deal. If you’re planning to do that, then the A-Class will generally cost you more per month than its premium rivals.

If you’re a company car driver, the A180d and A200 are both good choices, although they do emit slightly more CO2 than equivalent versions of the A3. This knocks the car up one company car tax band.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback equipment

Entry-level SE trim gets you most of the basics, including (relatively small) 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and keyless start.

But since budget motoring isn’t really what the A-Class is about, we’d recommend stumping up a bit extra for mid-rung Sport trim. This gets you more attractive 17in wheels, more powerful LED headlights, dual-zone climate control and various styling enhancements.

Range-topping AMG Line is also tempting, but pushes the price into the territory of larger cars, such as the Audi A4. For that reason, we’d stick with Sport trim and add the Executive package, which gets you the larger 10.3in media screen, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats. If you’re feeling flush, the pricier Premium package adds all of that and more, including a 10.3in instrument cluster, keyless entry, an upgraded stereo and cool-looking ambient lighting.

2018 Mercedes A-Class infotainment

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback reliability

This version of the A-Class is too new to feature in our most recent reliability survey, although the previous model had an average number of faults per 100 cars by class standards. The 1 Series and A3 were both found to be slightly more dependable.

It’s a similar story if you look at Mercedes as a whole, because the brand finished 23rd out of 32 manufacturers in the same survey, ahead of Volvo but behind key German foes Audi and BMW.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback safety and security

 

Euro NCAP is still finalising its safety appraisal of the latest A-Class. There’s no reason to suspect anything other than a good showing, though, because even the most basic versions come with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, seven airbags, a system that monitors the driver’s alertness and a pop-up bonnet to cushion any impact with pedestrians.

Meanwhile, traffic sign assist (a camera that scans the road for speed limit signs and displays them on the dashboard) is on the options list.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

 

open the gallery9 Images

Verdict

Classy, good to drive and packed with technology. One of the best premium hatchbacks you can buy

  • Stunning interior
  • Class-leading infotainment features
  • Good to drive
  • Not cheap
  • Restrictive and pricey options
  • A200 petrol engine is a bit noisy
There are 4 trims available for the A-Class hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
Entry-level SE trim gets you most of the basics, including (relatively small) 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and keyless start. We'd still recommend paying a bit extra for Spor...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,928
Average Saving £1,922
View Trim
OUR PICK
Sport
Mid-rung Sport is our favourite trim. Over and above SE trim, you get more attractive 17in alloy wheels, more powerful LED headlights, dual-zone climate control and various styling enhancements. Co...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£22,296
Average Saving £2,054
View Trim
AMG Line
Range-topping AMG Line is tempting, but pushes the price into the territory of larger cars such as the Audi A4. For that reason, we’d stick with Sport trim and add the Executive package – and the P...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£23,391
Average Saving £2,159
View Trim
AMG
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£35,580
View Trim