2001 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A170 CDi Elegance 1.7 turbo diesel from Spain


A good concept ruined by poor technical design


Gearbox clutch failed Dec 2009.

Gearbox stripped to find fault Nov 2010.

Gearbox blew up due to incorrect assembly Dec 2010. Rebuilt and still not 100% Oct 2011.

Front struts shot Feb. 2011. Replaced with Munro Reflex.

Tacho failed, Oct 2011.

Airflow sensor faulty, causing stalling Oct 2011.

Handle fell off driver's seat adjuster, 2010.

General Comments:

A great car, spoiled by a lousy designed gearbox that is notoriously weak and prone to failure.

Poor build quality reflecting MB association with Chrysler.

I could drive it all day, very comfy and lots of room, practically a van with the rear seats popped out. Good on fuel too, but harsh on the low profile tyres on bumps. Would prefer 60 rather than 40s.

Compared to my 1987 MB 2.3-16v, it's nowhere near MB build quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th October, 2011

2001 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Elegance 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Will never touch one again


I got this A Class a year ago in 2008. I bought it for £3500 from my old boss.

At first I thought this was a good little safe reliable car (how wrong can one be). It started with the electric powered engine sound, I thought it was the gear box, then came the metal grinding noise when I first started the engine. So I put it into my local garage who told me the engine needed a full strip down and rebuild.

The small bairn is away, and also a con rod needs replacing and the timing chain tensioner is needing to be replaced. The garage told me it £48 a hour for 12 hours to strip the engine, then parts costs, and another 12 hours at £48 to put back together.

I've been made redundant and can't afford this, now I'm left with a car worth scrap. Can I take any action against the car manufacturer? The car is not fit for purpose. I've been ripped off.

General Comments:

I should have stuck with my 1997 Pug 205 GTi 1.9. It had 127000 miles on the clock and never gave me any hassle, just years of pleasure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th March, 2009

11th Mar 2009, 12:51

How do you expect to take action against the car manufacturer for a car from 2001 which you bought used from your old boss? Maybe if you had bought it from a Mercedes dealer, I suppose. At any rate, if you read the other reviews of A-Class on this site, you'll soon realize how unreliable the older A-Class models were. It seems 06/07/08 ones are much improved. Maybe you could sell off the car as parts on eBay or to a local garage to get some money back?

15th Mar 2009, 22:05

Be careful, because I have the notion that mechanical service for these cars in the UK is way below the average quality - I don't know why. It is very surprising the case of the UK towards this fine Mercedes model, it is from the UK that these cars are receiving bad reviews; so, I would get a very good mechanic, expert in Mercedes and ask for his advice. I have a very large experience with these cars, with very high mileages (more than double the one you have), and without any problems, just normal servicing at scheduled mileages.

Best wishes, and I hope you will be able to solve this problem.

3rd Apr 2010, 03:39

I have had my 2002 1.4 Elegance A-Class for 3 years, and it's been the best car I have ever had. The seats come out in seconds, (I had a clear-out in my garden). My boys have plenty of room in the back. Car seats are easy to use because of the height of the car. 200 mile trip easy, good on fuel. Service under 200 pounds. 30,000 miles, still going well.

12th Apr 2010, 02:19

Mine is already 210,000kms, 11 years, and going very strong. Not a single problem, just normal service.