1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Avantgarde 170cdi from UK and Ireland


A let-down


Rear tailgate windscreen washer inoperative - reconnected by Dealer.

Front anti-roll bar links worn - both sides replaced.

Front brakes started to seized (sticking brake pads) shortly after first dealer service.

Both rear suspension arms badly worn.

Front nearside tyre wear on outside edge since new.

Steering column replaced F.O.C. by dealer at first service.

General rattles and knocks from new.

Harsh ride and too low-geared steering and definite handicap to driving satisfaction.

General Comments:

A superb concept with excellent fuel economy and adequate power badly let down by numerous faults and poor driver satisfaction.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th May, 2003

29th Sep 2004, 07:36

Have now owned 2 Mercedes A Class. The first one, an early model was awful:

The was suspension replaced.

The steering column replaced.

The window winding mechanisms fixed and replaced on a number of occasions.

It developed a clicking clutch pedal.

The Interior rattled.

There was constant uneven tire wear on the rear tires.

This vehicle was eventually replaced by another newer model... the long wheel base version:

Within one week of owning the car the power steering failed. This was corrected and it eventually failed again. The tires wore unevenly at the rear and the steering has become horribly loose feeling and rattly. The windows in all the doors creak and rattle. The ride is just a jittery as the previous model, despite being a long wheel base version.

The only thing which seems to be OK is the lack of a creaking rattly interior.

The ride is harsh around town, but take the car out on a long motorway journey and it comes into its own. The diesel engine performs superbly and is economic.

For it's money I don't think that the vehicle represents good value and is certainly not up to the build quality of other Mercedes models I have driven. This is a pity because the concept behind the car and its design is fantastic. I really cannot recommend them.

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Avantgarde 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Classy, but at a price


Anti-roll links worn out at 35000

Rear electric window (Driver Side) broke at 33000.

Sony radio cassette player intermittently cuts out since 27000

Noisy Steering column (I hadn't noticed, but advised by MB Dealer) at 35000.

General Comments:

I've found this car completely reliable during the 3 year warranty period. But after that, and despite low per annum mileage (9K), things are starting to go wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2003

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Elegance 170 CDi from UK and Ireland


A clever design, over priced and poorly executed. Never again


Rear Trailing arms replaced at 42,000 miles.

Alarm intermittently malfunctions (goes off) whilst driving the car.

Electric window switches work inconsistently.

Gear lever has jammed in second gear.

Very poor build quality, rattles and squeaks.

General Comments:

Dreadful low-speed ride quality.

Woolly, imprecise steering.

The car has never delivered the sort of economy on longer runs that I've come to expect from a diesel; I typically get 45-48mpg.

Dealer servicing has long lead in times, is (in my opinion) very expensive (main deal major service: £400, independent specialist dealer: £163).

Horrendous depreciation (50% in 18 months)

If this car were built by Hyundai, it would probably be better built, more reliable and cost £8000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st January, 2003

28th Feb 2003, 16:23

THE A-class is rubbish, but then all mercedes are rubbish now. An important point about the A class is that the engine is not really a mercedes engine. Furthermore, this must be the riskiest car to buy ever. If you want to do 100,000 miles, you need to spend £10,000 on repairs!!!

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class CDI 1.7 from UK and Ireland


A fashionable liability.


Suspension Noises caused by Anti Roll Bar links (Replaced 3 times so far).

Steering Knocks and excessive play (Failed 1st MoT on this) cost £200 to replace.

Rear suspension knocking, Dealer took the car off the road as it was deemed "Dangerous" both rear trailing arms required replacement.

A Rear wheel cylinder failed.

I have a rolling harshness felt through the brakes and steering that starts at exactly 18mph then 36 etc etc sounds and feels like final drive or wheel bearings, but the dealers have been unable to trace it.

General Comments:

The A Class looks good and to a degree it drives well, the diesel is so economical 55mpg all the time.

I was smitten with the A Class when I bought it, but after 3yrs daily use it has deteriorated dramatically.

My last repair bill was over £1100 for a service MoT and the repairs to get it through. Mercedes contributed 50% towards the rear suspension failure, but declined to pay for the steering column.

I am now totally disapointed with MB and the car, it's disgraceful that a car like this should have such problems with it's Suspension Steering and Brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th October, 2002

13th Dec 2003, 08:39

I have an A-Class 140 1999 bought new.

Up to the end of 2002 (yes 2002) I have replaced rear suspension links and the Air Mass Flow/ECU.It sounds now that the links are gone again!

I find it very disappointing that neither Mercedes Benz or the dealers I deal with had the integrity or honesty to tell me that the faults are common to the A-Class.

I found out today (!) 13th December 2003 through hearing of similar experiences with this car and checking it on the internet.

Can anyone suggest a remedy?