This car has been very reliable. I wanted to comment about it because it has turned 201,000kms now. Everything works properly. I have only done preventive service at indicated intervals and it is very good. The interiors finish are not as refined as C Class or even modern A Class, but it is rugged and it ages well. Rarely there have been some little noises on the middle section of the dashboard, but it has been eliminated with some liquid my mechanic applies to it - twice in 10 years.
I can take this car to top speed as I could when it was new. Front shock absorbers will have to be changed soon as my mechanic pointed out, but at 201,000kms, I think this is normal, and I take it very often on unpaved routes...
This car is very sturdy, well constructed. It is above other -bigger- cars of other brands. I prefer it much more to VW Golfs or others of the sort.
I like the handling, stability, braking, always in control, and acceleration is also very good. Top speed is near 185km/hr, and I have done that in Germany. I have done many long trips with this car: Spain, Germany, Denmark, Italy -many times-, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg... So, I have taken this car everywhere. I would recommend this car without any doubts to any in search of a used, not expensive to buy or to maintain, car. I have seen problems with automatic transmission, and semi-automatics are okay too, but you have to take a little more care with those. Mine is a simple manual model.
When you have to change something, it is expensive, but you rarely have to change anything.
My Citroën BX was a very good car, but I remember I had to change many more things and when something was wrong it was dangerous - as everything depends of hydropneumatic suspension, and brakes where like all or nothing - without ABS.
This car -A Class- is very safe, you always have good control even in curves or emergency braking.
That is my experience.