We cannot leave this section without mentioning the sandwich concept.
We cannot leave this section without mentioning the sandwich concept. This invention from Mercedes Benz improves occupant safety in serious frontal collisions by allowing the engine and transmission to slide downwards and to the rear. This concept also proves advantageous for collisions from the side.
The A-Class is protected by an alarm system with immobiliser and interior protection as standard. The A-Class also benefits from drive away locking, where the doors are automatically locked as you drive off.
The Mercedes Benz A-Class has scored the best result in itS-Class for the European NCAP standard (New Car Assessment Programme) and has been awarded five stars. The A-Class also excelled in child protection achieving an outstanding four-star rating. For more information [ click here ]
Comfort and Refinement
The cabin is spacious with more than adequate room for 5 occupants. Head, leg and shoulder room is excellent and the interior of the new A-Class feels more like a medium-size saloon.
Both the driver’s seat and steering wheel are adjustable for height, so finding the ideal seating position is trouble-free. The seat height and recline adjustment is via two rotary dials which are excellent for fine tuning your driving position. On Classic models the steering wheel is plastic and didn't feel good to use although you do get used to it.
The multi-function steering wheel incorporates the stereo controls and also features the trip computer controls which enable you access information such as the exterior temperature, fuel consumption and Satellite Navigation information (where fitted).
The seats are large and comfortable and offer the degree of support that the previous model lacked, especially under the thigh. We drove from Derbyshire to Devon via Wales, pretty much non-stop, choosing a mixture of ‘B’ and unclassified roads and we did not really feel fatigued, even after 14 hours of continuous driving.
A lot of thought has been put into the ergonomics of the new A-class' dashboard with easy to operate switchgear. The selection of materials used in the interior is based on scientific studies conducted in the 'Touch and Feel' laboratories of DaimlerChrysler's research department. The result is an interior that is in keeping with more expensive Mercedes Benz models.
The standard air-conditioning system is easy use and uses rotary dials to control the temperature, fan speed (5 settings) and direction. The system was efficient and during a mini-heat wave in May managed to keep the car cool throughout, which is good news bearing in mind the large expanse of glass.
The glove compartment is illuminated and air conditioned, but one serious oversight is that you cannot lock it. Classic SE models and above are fitted with a handy CD holder located in the glove compartment.
Our 3-door test car featured electrically operated windows which were one shot down - but not up. We couldn't understand why this was the case as the original A-Class featured one shot up and down windows all round.
We cannot understand Mercedes’ policy of steel wheels with wheel trims on a car costing nearly £14,000 - yes it is the entry-level model, but in our opinion alloy wheel should be standard. We can only assume that it makes the higher specified models more desirable.
The exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable and heated with integral indicators, something that we have always liked and now many manufacturers have implemented. They also have safety benefits, as people can see the direction you are turning from the side.
The level of refinement is high and includes: powerful map reading lights, courtesy lights front/rear, bottle holders in doors and a cup holder in the centre console, outside temperature display, rear windscreen wiper with intermittent wipe and and one-touch control, tinted glass all round, large front and rear door bins, 2 x vanity mirrors (not lit).
How It Looks -
We liked the exterior proportions of the original short wheel base A-Class and have to say that when we first saw the new A-Class we were disappointed. We thought it had lost its distinction but on reflection car design has moved on and you can no longer think of the A-Class as cute, it has grown up. The new A-Class features the one-of-a-kind body concept and the eye-catching one-box design which clearly sets the A-Class apart from other cars in this segment.
The new A-Class looks more purposeful and dynamic with restyled headlamps, a bolder radiator grille, contoured wings and sweeping side lines. The new model is an evolution of the original car which works very well.
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