Review

Mercedes A-Class hatchback

Price  £20,715 - £30,910

Mercedes A-Class hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish looks
  • Economical engines
  • Very hi-tech
Cons
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Options are expensive
  • Sport models are uncomfortable

At a glance

The greenest
A 180 CDI SE ECO 5dr £21,965
The cheapest
A 180 SE 5dr £20,715
The fastest
A 250 BlueEFF Engineered by AMG DCT 4MAT 5dr £30,910
Top of the range
A 250 BlueEFF Engineered by AMG DCT 4MAT 5dr £30,910

"The Mercedes A-Class is one of the most stylish premium family hatchbacks on the market and is a real rival to the likes of the BMW 1 Series."

The Mercedes A-Class is the cheapest model in the Mercedes range and offers buyers an alternative to premium hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and BMW 1 Series. It has smart looks and a practical hatchback body.

The interior finish is excellent and, while it doesn’t match the quality of the Audi A3, it looks more stylish and has sporty touches such as a trio of circular air vents. It also borrows features from more expensive Mercedes models, such as the infotainment screen that sprouts from the dashboard.

While Mercedes is known for building luxury saloons, the A-Class’ hatchback body shape makes it very practical thanks to five doors and a boot that offers a taller load bay than a saloon can offer.

Though the Mercedes isn’t as fun to drive as a BMW 1 Series, it can still put a smile on your face thanks to its plentiful grip and suspension that reins in body lean in corners. AMG models have stiff suspension that can be uncomfortable on poor roads, but some drivers will prefer the sportier feel.

Counting in the A-Class’ favour is an excellent range of engines. The most economical diesel version can return more than 70mpg, while the A220 CDI offers a superb balance of economy and performance. The Mercedes A45 AMG offers more power than any of its competitors, and is fitted with four-wheel drive for excellent grip in all weather. The A180 CDI SE model offers the best fuel economy and is also very well equipped, so it's our pick of the range.

As hatchbacks go, the Mercedes A-Class isn’t cheap, but even the basic SE model comes equipped with a 5.8-inch colour display, 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows, a Bluetooth phone connection, air-conditioning and leather seats. Sport models add cruise control, automatic wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels and twin exhaust pipes. Both the top-of-the-range A45 AMG and the Engineered by AMG model offer sporty looks, but the latter has much lower running costs and more modest performance.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4 / 5

The Mercedes A-Class diesel has the best fuel economy in its class

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

Good to drive, but the Mercedes A-Class doesn’t engage its driver like the BMW 1 Series

Interior & comfort

2.9 / 5

Mercedes A-Class has a stylish interior, but can’t match the Audi A3 for quality

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

Sloping roofline makes Mercedes A-Class feel less spacious than it is

Reliability & safety

3.8 / 5

Mercedes A-Class offers five-star safety and decent build quality

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"Great to look at, wide range of engines and lots of clever tech, but a narrow boot, firm ride on sport models, and expensive options."
5 / 5
"Although running costs are competitive, the A-Class isn't anywhere near as comfortable or refined as the Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series. Ultimately, it's a disappointment because of this."
8 / 10
"If you're looking for a snappy rival to the BMW 1-Series, look elsewhere; this is a superbly built, cosseting little hatch. Lovely."

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What owners say

4.0203389830509
4 /5 based on 118 reviews
55%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
14 Nov 2014
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