The Mercedes A-Class initially sported several ingenious features: from an upright profile, a sandwich platform that’s impact friendly, to front-wheel drive packaging. The first A-class had followed suit from the Audi A3, but it was able to compete well and stand out during the then Volkswagen trend. Nonetheless the Mercedes A-Class had its fair share of criticisms: the profile was too upright and the look not sporty enough for its intended market. Fifteen years later, the A-Class has been released in its third generation. Read on to know how this latest model performs in the contemporary market and this age’s new demands.
The first A-class had the signature sandwich floor that positioned the engine just under the cabin instead of the usual front position. This made the first generation a spacious yet short looking car. The current generation A-class follows convention once again by having proportions expected of its segment. The Mercedes assures its branding and quality with the styling cues seen in the current A-Class. The grille shape, side strakes, and lights are similar to the larger models of the Mercedes. The hardware follows suit, with MacPherson struts found up front and in the rear’s multi-link set-up.
The interior derives some elements from the Audi, catering to the target market but still delivering a look that is uniquely by Mercedes. The sports seats seated on the car bowels and the chiseled shape of the steering wheel show the hard work and effort of the team to assure this vehicle offers a high-end hatchback appeal. The new look is much more confident than the previous generation’s frumpy look. Such a look is necessary so that the car represents itself as a luxurious hatchback. The A-Class also measures in appropriate sizes: from the rear seat’s 60/40 split fold, to the spacious 1157 litres of load capacity. Form is complemented by function as the interior also features a 5.8-inch screen and Bluetooth connectivity that come as default equipment. No need to pay extra for the modern features. These can be upgraded by paying for the optional 7-inches media interface with navigation.
The A-Class features a lighter, slimmer 1.8-litre engine than the B-Class. The new engine is much faster too, reaching 60mph in just 8.9 seconds and able to accelerate to 100mph much faster as well. The revs also settle after going until the gearbox’s seventh ratio. Fuel economy is also impressive with the A180CDI at 190bhp, as its CO2 emissions become as low as 99g/km. For a quiet engine, we recommend the A250 at 211bhp. This quiet powerhouse can reach a 62mph sprint in just 6.6 seconds.
Unfortunately the A250’s promise doesn’t quite match up when it comes to maximizing this petrol engine’s capacity. Although swift and refined, the 168bhp A220 trumps the A250 when comparing the diesel and petrol lineups. The A180 is also just as quiet, but takes a bit longer than the A200’s more powerful 156bhp when making the 62mph dash. Overall, the engines are better read than heard on the road. Some engines tend to have intrusive induction noise and aren’t much of an upgrade from the B-class diesel engines.
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