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Car trim reviews

Mercedes A-Class Sport

"The Mercedes A-Class Sport is a more tempting proposition over the spartan SE model."

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The Mercedes A-Class Sport adds some key luxuries over the rather basic SE model. The Sport trim is probably one of the better trim levels in the A-Class range and the hatchback has the desirability factor too. Also, unlike the Audi A3 Sport, the A-Class Sport doesn't come with stiff sports suspension, so the Mercedes should be more comfortable on the road.

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The A-Class Sport has air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. To ensure buyers know they've bought the Sport trim, stylish sports seats are also included. The trim is similarly priced to the Audi A3 Sport, but it's arguable that the A-Class is more stylish than the Audi.

The range of engines include a 2.1-litre petrol engine with a paddle-shift automatic gearbox which launches from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds. At the other end of the scale the A180 CDI has a 1.5-litre diesel engine capable of up to 76.4mpg. The diesel has emissions of just 102g/km, so road tax is just £20 per year, but it is one of the slowest-accelerating engines, taking 11.3 seconds to reach 62mph.

Good points

The Mercedes A-Class is a very stylish car to look at. The Sport trim may not have the additional decorations seen on the AMG-derived versions but it's a very sleek looking hatchback compared to the more conservative Audi A3.The smallest diesel is very economical and the low running costs can help to offset the "premium" purchase price.Although it's a Sport model, this version of the A-Class does without firm sports suspension, so the ride is more comfortable than the Mercedes A-Class AMG Sport, for example.

Bad points

Despite having direct steering, the A-Class can't compete with the BMW 1-Series for driving dynamics. The rear-wheel-drive layout and sharper handling properties of the BMW will suit keen drivers more than what the A-Class has to offer.The interior looks good, but can't match the Audi A3 for overall build quality. The 2015 Driver Power survey agrees: the A-Class scored a dismal 184th for build quality, while the A3 took 6th place in the category.For similar money, buyers could go for a Volkswagen Golf GT, which has equipment like satellite navigation and all-round parking sensors as standard. Tech like that is either optional or not specified at all on the A-Class Sport.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Automatic wipers
  • Sports seats
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Reversing camera

Our choice

The 1.5-litre diesel engine in the A180 CDI is a very enticing proposition with its 76.4mpg fuel economy. The low emissions also mean cheap road tax too.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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