I have an A-Class CDI semi-automatic and so far have been reasonably happy with it except for the harsh suspension making back seat passengers especially uncomfortable. I am very pleased with the low mpg (mine does over 50 mpg).
However at 25,000 miles, the car developed knocking in the back suspension and the dealer found two broken springs and a warped trailing arm. The car was stated to be unsafe to drive until repaired.
I am wondering if it is unusual to have suspension problems at such a low mileage (we are "careful" drivers and drive gently). We have had other makes of cars not one has had broken springs (A cavalier even had mileage of over 100,000 miles).
Has anyone else encountered similar problems with "A Class" cars?
I have had a 2000 A170 CDI for 25,000 miles and bought it when it had 20,000 miles on it. It is true that this car is way short of Mercedes build quality of the past. I have had two 300TEs and a 190 before this.
This car suffers from being first as a radical concept. The 1998/9 models do have many faults. They get less (it seems) as the newer cars come along. My 2000 model gives nearly 60mpg all the time and an amazing 50mpg at 90mph!
However it too has eaten through one set of trailing arms, though these were replaced FREE by Mercedes. This was impressive as it was a parallel import and not under warranty.
This car hammers tyres. Do not lower the tire pressures though as this destroys the side walls. The rear tires are especially liable to this and they have a large negative camber. Swap the tires front to back after about 5,000 miles.
This car is expensive to run compared to bangernomics, but no way costs £10,000 per 100,000 miles as one comment made. I reckon the real cost is around £3,000. This includes services and tires, but not fuel!
I have considered swapping this car for one of the last 190s, especially the Cosworth engined one, but the A-class is just so practical. Shorter than a Ford Ka with very clever use of space. It is just such a shame the car shakes itself to bits.
Of course the engine in the A-Class is a Mercedes engine and the high cost commentary for a 100k miles is completely unreal. I have had 4 A-Class (and I still have 2 at this moment: both from 1999 and one with 62000kms and the other one with 160000kms -100k miles-) and they have never given me a single problem, just normal services. The only things I have changed on the one with 100,000 miles -and 8 years- have been three light bulbs, one rubber of a frontal wiper and two from the rear one, and nothing else, not even the battery.
It is a great car, very durable and dependable machine.