The original Mercedes A-Class was frankly a big disappointment.
Road Tested By Hugh Maguire
From the very start of its existence and almost before it got to market it had achieved unwanted notoriety when one of them rolled over during an avoidance test which was part of a Swedish motor magazines way of assessing its handling and agility.
Apart from that bad start many felt that this car was not a real Mercedes in the quality department, and so the A-Class had mixed fortunes but sold reasonably well, the badge image carrying it through no doubt.
After a few variations on the original we now have a completely new Mercedes A-Class and I can tell you this is one impressive new car.
This week I am road testing the A180 CDI Urban
The new A-Class is just that, completely new!
It looks fantastic, and is a real breath of fresh air. Its stunning lines will attract the younger buyers who may before have seen a Mercedes as a car driven by more mature owners.
Not this one! It looks very much a Mercedes and its good looks set it out from many rivals.
Behind The Wheel
The cabin is impressive. The new A-Class boasts the latest in automotive technology and even has as standard an iPad type central screen for the cars multi media system which allows your smart phone to be extensively integrated into the car.
Standard specification is excellent and includes, the usual electric windows and so forth but of more interest is the 5 spoke light alloy wheels, twin rear tailpipes, air conditioning,
Auto Stop/Start, half leather sports seats, leather multifunction steering wheel and gearshift, the aforementioned centrally mounted 17.8 cm screen which via the rotary controller activates a number of functions, such as the excellent audio system (with Aux and USB ports), trip computer, navigation (if fitted) and Bluetooth phone directory.
Safety is to the fore with a host of airbags, ABS, EBD, Stability Control, Collision Prevention Assist (which warns the driver if you are about to collide with something) and Attention Assist.
Accommodation is also very good.
It’s a full four seater and will seat five adults at a bit of a squeeze.
The boot which is accessed via the large rear tailgate is a good size too however unfortunately no spare wheel not even a space saver. Just a compressor and tyre sealant. Not great for Ireland.
Powered by a 1461cc four cylinder diesel which produces a healthy 109bhp and is mated to a slick 6-speed manual gearbox.
I was impressed by the overall performance of this new A-Class. It proves a lively willing unit and is refined too. With just 102g of C02 emitted it costs just €190.00.
Over my weeks test it proved very frugal too burning just 5.5 litres of diesel per 100km....excellent.
The suspension set up is a very nice blend of comfort and sporty handling.
The ride is very good over all road surfaces and yet drive it in a more “press on” manner reveals a car that handles like a a nimble sports hatch.
Overall levels of refinement are high too with wind, road and engine noise all well suppressed.
I really like the new A-Class, There are a variety of models and specification packs to choose from.
This is a stylish, well equipped, beautifully built motorcar which has all the street cred that comes with the Mercedes badge wrapped up in a compact 5-door hatchback shape. it is not a Mercedes built to a budget, it feels as good as an E-Class.
Prices start at €29,180 for the A180 CDI Urban.
The car on test which had a few options costs €29,885.