2002 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A210 Evolution LWB 2.1 petrol from UK and Ireland
Reliable, very practical, rare family car. Recommend a full service history, and check the electrics
Alloy wheel repair.
I first saw this limited edition A210 Evolution whilst I was on holiday in Germany and really liked it. It has AMG side skirts, 17 inch AMG alloys, unique black and white leather/alcantara heated seating, upgraded drilled front brakes and Bilstein sports suspension and cruise control that cost £20,000 when new. This limited edition production run on this A210 model ended in 2003, and is a rare sight to see on the roads in the UK, and looks very classy and sporty for its age. I was lucky enough to find the long wheel base version, which has more leg room in the back than much bigger, more expensive saloon cars for its small exterior size.
AMG reworked the 1.9 engine to 2.1 and 140bhp and fitted a sports back box exhaust, but it can easily achieve 30 to 40MPG+ on a run. They could not call it an AMG as it was not powerful enough, so it wears the Evolution badge.
Mine has an automatic gearbox (which adapts gear changes to driving style), and had its gearbox ECU control module and some other sensors replaced before I bought it. I would recommend if you buy any early A Class automatic, to get the gearbox control module and electrics checked, it is a weak point - and is a well documented problem. They do a manual version, which is a little quicker if you prefer a manual gear change.
Overall in my experience it's been reliable, safe and practical family car, but the interior cabin and switch gear are not as well built as an Audi of the same age. I would recommended to buy one with a full service history and well looked after. Its engine positioning is very restrictive for maintenance, remember to replace a starter motor or alternator, you have to remove the engine first! Parts are expensive too, but the engine is chain driven so no timing belt to replace and no expensive supercharger repairs since it doesn't have one. So do your homework first, take your time and find a good, well maintained one like mine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th October, 2016