Without question, the front is the place to be when travelling in the A-Class. The front seats have integrated headrests, are nicely supportive, and adjust for height. Head room is on a par with the best in the class, and the seats slide back far enough to accommodate even the tallest drivers.
The door pockets are a decent size, but aren’t as large as those in, for example, a Volkswagen Golf, which also has a classy flock lining in its storage cubbies. The armrest has enough space for several loose items, and the glovebox is big enough to swallow most loose things.
Shoulder room isn’t great, though, which means the A-Class feels quite narrow compared with other cars in the class. Access to the front is easy enough, though, via wide-hinged doors that open generously.
There’s an optional storage pack that includes luggage nets in the front seat backs, storage drawers under the two front seats, a sunglasses holder up front and an extra 12V charging socket in the boot.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class rear space
Small rear windows make it feel tight
Most premium hatchbacks are better suited to carrying four people instead of five, but the A-Class offers less space than most. Part of its problem is the sloping roofline. It cuts into head room in the back so that anyone approaching 6ft in height will find their head brushing the ceiling.
Knee room is better because the front seats are curved to give those in the back a bit more space. The actual shape of the rear doors is an issue, though; the opening is narrow and it’s harder to hop through the gap than in, for example, an Audi A3 Sportback.
Combine this with a narrow middle seat, which is raised and quite firm, and it’s clear there are better cars for families. The rear doors do at least have deep pockets, and there’s the option of a central armrest with cupholders.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class seating flexibility
Nothing particularly clever
The A-Class is quite conventional when it comes to moving and rearranging the seats. The two front ones are on runners so slide back and forth, and have a decent range of adjustment. The rear seats are a fixed bench but they at least fold in a 60/40 split when you want to increase the luggage area and carry more than a week’s shopping. Push the plastic buttons on the tops of the rear seats and they tumble easily enough, but it’s easier to do this through the rear doors, rather than the boot.
Unlike the BMW 1 Series, there is no option for a 40/20/40 bench, which is useful when you need to carry awkward items such as skis or other sports equipment. Even so, once the A-Class’s rear seats are folded, they lie almost flat, helping create a decent load surface.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class boot space
Awkward shape and not as deep as rivals’
With the rear seats in place the A-Class’s boot is smaller than, for example, the one in the Seat Leon. Meanwhile, although it’s relatively wide, it’s also shorter and shallower than those in most of its direct competitors. It also has a high lip, making it awkward to load bulky items.
There’s some useful additional luggage space under the boot floor, but the rear lights intrude on the boot opening, so it’s a bit narrower than is strictly necessary. Other cars in the class offer clever, double-layered floors to give greater flexibility, but in the Mercedes what you see is what you get.