The A-Class' doors are large with wide openings, allowing easy access to both the front and rear seats.
Ease of Use
The A-Class' doors are large with wide openings, allowing easy access to both the front and rear seats. The front seats of the 3-door model have a mechanical memory and return to their original position after they have been tilted forward for access to the rear seats. The seating position is relatively high, which makes getting in and out of the car very easy - unlike most cars the A-Class doesn't have door sills which means that you can just swivel around and drop your legs out.
The high seating position allows for a commanding view of the road ahead, enabling you to interpret hazards before you might see them in a saloon car. The large steep windscreen and deep side windows offer good all round vision making parking and manoeuvring easy.
When driving the A-Class you feel like you are in a much larger car, it is only when you come to park that you realize how small the exterior actually is. We found that when parallel parking we always had far more space at both ends than we had first imagined.
On the 3-door model you can fold down the rear seats on a 60:40 split. Although the rear seats folded down, they did not fold flat to the boot floor - to achieve this you need to specify the optional EASY-VARIO system at the cost of £120 on the 3-door model, to get a truly flat luggage area with the seats folded down.
The boot capacity is 395 litres with the rear seats up, 1485 with the rear seats down and 1955 If you specify the optional EASY-VARIO system. The new A-Class features a hard parcel shelf which slides into side runners ensuring that there are no gaps down the side of load area for prying eyes - something that we wished our original A-Class had been equipped with. There are also two storage pockets one on either side of the boot interior. Also standard on all A-Class models is a first aid kit, jack and warning triangle. The A-Class also features a load compartment light.
Parameter speed sensitive power steering is standard which makes light work of parking and offers good feedback at speed. You can specify parking sensors for £450, if you feel that you require assistance.
Night driving was aided by good headlights, you can opt for Bi-Xenon headlights (£660) - should you wish. Mercedes have even thought of country dwellers that need two powerful reversing lights when reversing on country lanes at night.
The handbrake niggled us as it was positioned too close to the driver’s seat, we are assuming this set up is for left hand drive markets. We also had an issue with the wiper pattern of the wipers which on right hand drive models didn't clear the extreme right hand side portion of the windscreen fully.
Safety and Security
The A-Class is fitted with an impressive array of safety equipment as standard, which we only have space to briefly outline.
All round disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and brake assist (BAS). Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Acceleration Skid Control (ASR).
The front seat passenger and the driver are protected by active head restraints which are adjustable for height and angle. Front airbags and head-thorax side airbags for driver and front passenger. Rear seat passengers can be protected by rear side airbags and window airbags - available as cost options.
All seat belts except the centre rear have pre-tensioners.
Automatic child seat recognition for the front passenger seat available for Mercedes Benz approved child seats equipped with transponders. Manually operated childproof locks for the rear doors.
Mercedes Benz A-Class Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mercedes Benz A150 Classic SE|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Saturn Red Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||52.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||Three-Year Unlimited mileage warranty|
MobiloLife is Mercedes Benz guarantee to keep you mobile for up to 30 years. Renewed after each service performed by a Mercedes Benz authorised repairer and remains valid until the next service is due
|Price (when tested on the 29/06/05)||£ 13,955 OTR|
Car as tested £14,675
Includes the following options:
Ashtray with cigarette lighter - instead of stowage compartment and 12v socket in front - No cost option
Telephone pre-wiring with hands-free facility and telephone aerial £390
Metallic paint £330