It's the smallest car to wear the Mercedes badge, and also the least expensive. It's not cheap by conventional measures, though, with its pricing putting it up against premium hatchback rivals such as the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. It does however exude clever thinking, as Mercedes has squeezed masses of room into its small and tall hatchback. Efficient engines should mean reasonable running costs, but the Mercedes A-Class prioritises practicalities over the fun its rivals offer.
- Stylish looks
- Economical engines
- Very hi-tech
- Smaller boot than rivals
- Options are expensive
- Sport models are uncomfortable
The Mercedes A-Class is taking a much more traditional approach to rivaling the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. The old car's mini-MPV proportions have been replaced by a lower, wider more normal small hatchback style that looks great. Those looks are helping the A-Class to reinvent itself as a sportier model – as the Sport and AMG Sport specifications suggest. Like other Mercedes models, the A-Class is fun to drive, but not with the same sports car feel of a BMW 1 Series. That means the suspension is slightly more forgiving over bumps, while the steering also errs on the side of comfort – it feels pleasantly weighted, but the reaction of the car to steering inputs isn’t as sharp. And much as the interior is as good looking as the exterior, some of the quality of the plastics is disappointing for a Mercedes.