1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Classic 1.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Extremely disappointing


Numerous electronic engine management system faults resulting in failure to start & instruments reading wildly.

Gearbox management system failed in transit.

Turbo not re-connected after repair by Mercedes approved body-shop.

Hesitation when pulling away.

Steering column needs replacing still under warranty.

Engine oil leaks from poorly fitted sump plug (twice)

General Comments:

Far too many faults for something as expensive as this was.

Fortunately it was bought on a personal contact plan and will be returned at the end of the contract.

I spurned the larger Renault Scenic for Mercedes reliability and kudos, but ended up having it delivered back to the dealer by recovery vehicles 3 times.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 160 Elegance 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Hugely versatile car spoiled by reliability and dealer


Bonnet paint chipped badly before the car had done 1000 miles. Resprayed, but will have to go back again.

Rear washer pipe came undone. Fixed free.

Front suspension bushes failed at 10k - common fault fixed (finally) under warranty.

Seat adjuster handle broke off. Fixed free.

Service indicator went off at 3000 miles. Reset, but caused all sorts of confusion with servicing.

Fuel gauge faulty - repaired under warranty.

General Comments:

Extremely versatile car, but reliability and service is not what you'd expect from Mercedes.

Semi-automatic gearbox is excellent as are the pop-up booster seats (why don't all cars have these?).

With all, but the driver's seat out, the car has loads of carrying capacity and, because the seats are so heavy, the performance increases to GTI standard.

We've also managed to fit 2 adults, 3 children and a tumble-drier in the boot - try that in a Focus.

Driver's experience is ruined by terrible understeer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A160 Elegance 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A good car spoilt by build quality and too high a price


Noisy steering column. Replaced under warranty - twice, when the dealership found they'd got the wrong part.

CD player overheated and replaced under warranty.

Clunky suspension (a "characteristic" of the car according to the dealership)

Too many squeaks and rattles.

Easy Rentacar and price drop has killed any residual value I had on my PCP contract. As a consequence, no more Mercedes cars for me.

General Comments:

I bought the car based on the marque, residual and build quality. About 10 months after buying the car Mercedes, even though assured otherwise, knocked £1500 off the price of the car.

The many squeaks and rattles point to poor build quality, although there are many nice ideas in the interior of the car.

Great visibility from the higher vantage spot, although front pillars can be a problem. Many passengers have commented on the amount of things they'd never seen before now they could see over the hedges!

Very comfy on long distances and rear passengers have commented on the amount of leg room for such a small car.

Surprisingly nippy and good fuel economy. Safety features are a winner and what actually swung me on the purchase, even though it was more than I wanted to pay for a car.

Certainly (was) a head turner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2002

1999 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Classic 1.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A wonderfully designed, but poorly built car


Front brake disks were diagnosed by the local dealer as being corroded beyond economical repair this cost £200 parts and labour. Not very good on a 2 year old 25000 mile car.

Engine exploded at 26000 miles. It actually blew a hole in the side of the engine casing. Mercedes replaced the complete engine and turbo assembly with a factory new engine under the UK 3 year warranty. They also paid my taxi expenses and provided me with a new E-class for 3 weeks while the work was being done. All this was without argument or any cost to me.

At 28500 miles the steering column failed. The wheels would still turn, but with a loud knocking noise. This was replaced under warranty, again a free loan car and no cost to me.

General Comments:

This is an amazing little car with more room inside than many other much bigger cars.

The handling is excellent and most surprising for a short and tall car. The standard electronic stability protection really sharpens up the handling and has saved me from wet and greasy road accidents several times.

The diesel engine is great and works well with the 5-speed automatic gear box. I get 55mpg from this car which is impressive considering I drive in London traffic every day. The car is a bit slow pulling off from standstill, but accelerates like a rocket when overtaking. Strangely the car is at its best on the motorway where it is both quiet and smooth.

This car has been exceptionally well designed, but very poorly engineered and assembled. It has been the most unreliable car I have ever owned. However thanks to an excellent local Mercedes dealer and an impressive warranty the unreliability has not been a problem. Well done Mercedes dealers.

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

Review Date: 14th April, 2002

16th Sep 2006, 22:45

Since Chrysler company took over Daimler and Mercedes, both their reliability have dropped.