A-Class 2019 Awards

Mercedes-Benz A-Class review

Cost & verdict
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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 a bit 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 A-Class currently doesn’t have an equivalent to entry-level petrol rivals. However, less powerful petrol engines 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, A180 and A200 are all good choices.

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 rivals Audi and BMW.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback safety and security

Euro NCAP gave the A-Class a top five star rating with higher scores across the board than the A3 and 1 Series. That’s 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.

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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
Entry-level SE trim gets you most of the basics, including (relatively small) 16in allo...View trim
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AMG Line
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A 35 AMG
The A35 hot hatch gets 18in bi-colour wheels, AMG bumpers front and rear, a sports exha...View trim
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