An excellent small car with big car similarities
A rear brake disc warped, and both were changed, with pads, under warranty.
Uneven front tyre wear resulted in new tyres on the front at 25000 miles.
Front brake discs and pads required changing at 30000 miles.
It took four trips to a main dealer before they realised a faulty compressor was why my air conditioning kept losing gas, and subsequently changed it under warranty.
An intermittent rattle in the tailgate was never traced by the dealer, after asking them to investigate on two occasions.
I was very happy as a Volvo S80 owner, but a change in personal circumstances meant I needed to seriously reconsider my choice of car. Whilst my Volvo was a lovely car, it sat quite low, and with double knee surgery looming, I was due to spend nearly six months on crutches, and needed a car that I could get in and out of a lot easier.
The first time I checked out my A Class, I was on crutches and unable to drive or weight bear on my operated side. I figured that if I could get into any car like this, I'd be OK in the fullness of time. First impressions of the A Class were impressive, as I was able to get into the car with absolute ease, and the front leg room was nothing sort of outstanding. As soon as I was able to drive again, I part exchanged my Volvo for an A160 Avantgarde diesel CVT automatic.
Seat comfort is important for me, and the A Class did not fail to please. Bearing in mind this model did not have any lumbar or seat squab adjustment, I was really impressed at how well designed the seats were.
The cabin room in an A Class is very impressive, and I have sat in far bigger cars with far less usable space.
The quality of the interior was generally to a very high standard, with everything operating as it should, and feeling solidly assembled.
The boot was a very usable size, and the twin height floor a particularly useful feature. The split fold seats made the available load area cavernous.
My particular model could never be considered fast by any standards, but it was quick enough for me, and more than capable of keeping up with motorway traffic. 'A' road overtaking did require some careful thought and planning, though.
My only real issue with the A Class was the ride quality at low speed on poor road surfaces. Quite simply, it was dreadful. M/Ways, 'A' roads and good quality 'B' roads were absolutely fine, but, once the road service started to deteriorate the ride was little short of atrocious. On more than one occasion I found myself looking underneath the vehicle, as it sounded as if something was hanging so low as to be grounding - and nothing could ever be seen. My local dealer checked it, and all was found to be in order, but I remain unconvinced that it was as it should have been. This A Class was on 16" wheels and it did not have the sports suspension. I dread to think what 17" wheels with a firmer suspension on poor roads would have been like on some of the roads I travel. My partner's Toyota Aygo would drive over the same poor quality roads and give us no concerns whatsoever. I've driven other A Classes and they seemed vastly better in comparison. They were post 2008 facelift models which may be significant.
Fuel consumption was excellent, with just shy of 60mpg being attainable on occasions, but a regular and easy high 40's to mid 50's on all trips.
Overall, I was very impressed with my A Class. Whilst the local Mercedes Benz dealer may not have been the best at fixing things on the first visit, they were always unfailingly polite and helpful. Service prices were not what anyone would call a bargain, but they were not excessive either.
Finally, the heating system was without question the most efficient I have ever experienced. Last winter it was fantastic to be warm in the car in less than a mile of driving.
After a lot of very careful consideration, I decided that the best car to replace my current A Class with would be another one... and it now sits on my drive awaiting a review in the fullness of time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st August, 2010