New Mercedes A-Class (2018-present)

Mercedes’ latest small car sets itself apart from others with technology and quality

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Technology
Stylish
One of the best interiors in class

Weaknesses 

Expensive
Only three engine choices
Not as good to drive as competitors
Best New Discount

Mercedes-Benz A Class Hatchback a250 amg line premium plus 5dr auto

Total RRP £33,830

Your quote £32,544

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Mercedes A-Class prices from £15,000   Finance from £187 per month

Mercedes’ A-Class is firmly aimed at people who don’t mind paying a bit more for a premium package.

And Mercedes is hoping to replicate the massive success of the old car. In the UK last year, Mercedes sold more of its A-Class than Jaguar did saloons, sports cars, and SUVs.

It’s the cheapest way into a Mercedes ownership (barring Smart) and goes toe to toe with the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3.

Inside is where the biggest improvements have been made. Some of the technology in bigger more expensive Mercedes cars has made its way into the A-Class, making it feel like a shrunken S-Class on the inside.

Top-spec (and most expensive) cars get twin 10.25-inch screens, making a massive entertainment system which is light years ahead of its competitors. The screens sit next to each other to make a widescreen, housing advanced software which offers more to the user than rivals, including a voice control system which works in a similar way to Amazon’s Alexa.  

But even basic models get digital dials and the same advanced software which ‘learns’ your behaviour. For instance, if you regularly tune into Radio 2 on your way home from work, it will eventually do it for you. The rotary dial that controlled the entertainment of the old A-Class has gone too - replaced with a touchpad with haptic feedback that replicates the feeling of a dial.

Once all the monitors are arranged as you’d like them (speed, RPM,sat-nav can all sit in front of you in whatever way you’d like), you soon get used to its various functions, as well as the touchpad.

An optional extra, but something worthy of the £495, is the extremely helpful augmented reality navigation display. If you’ve ever come off at a wrong exit because the nav isn’t clear (we’re looking at you Apple maps), this should put an end to it. It overlays navigation instructions over realtime images from the car’s front camera. It’s easy to use and is a serious game changer if you regularly use navs.

Other technological advances mean the new A-Class gets autonomous tech that will keep you in your lane, as well as change lanes for you, once you hit the indicator in the direction of the lane that you want to go in. This is called Active Lane Change Assist and is an optional extra.

In the back, there’s room for three, and enough head and leg room for six-footers. The boot has also been improved - it’s not as big as a Volkswagen Golf, but it’s much improved from the narrow boot of the old A-Class.

Up front there are three engines for now. The cheapest is a 1.3-litre turbo petrol that feels like the cheapest. There's a diesel that's economical but a bit gruff, and there's also a bigger, faster, and more expensive petrol engine too. More about the engines can be read in the engine section below. However, there is a new AMG hot-hatch which will go on sale in early 2019, with an advanced 2.0-litre petrol unit.

All cars come with a new seven-speed automatic which is smooth, and has manual paddles that feel solid and premium when you use them. In sport mode it can hold on to gears a bit longer than you'd like. Expect a manual ‘box later on.

Cars with standard suspension ride comfortably in most situations, rarely allowing bumps to offput the car’s direction. Wheel size makes a difference though - 18-inch optional AMG alloys look the part, but the smaller 17-inch wheel feels more comfortable. Cars specified with adaptive suspension are worthy of the premium. This options allows you to select which kind of setting you’d like. In comfort, the car glides along poor English roads better than the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3.

A saloon version is also available, with new prices starting from £28,095. It’s only available in Sport and AMG Line trims, and only comes with the A180d and A200 engines. It's longer but the biggest difference compared to the hatchback is in design: the extended boot at the back gives it a longer, lower and sleeker profile. Rear headroom is best in class according to Mercedes, while the boot holds 420 litres - 60 litres up on the hatchback.

Altogether, the A-Class is a small car with some high-end rechnology that's more than a match for its main rivals. But it is pricey. Basic cars start at £27,280, but if you want the premium twin screens, that’s another £2,395, and the clever augmented sat-nav costs an additional £495.


Last Updated 

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 13:00

Key facts 

Warranty : 
3-years / Unlimited miles
Boot size: 
360/1,210 litres
Width: 
1,796mm
Length: 
4,531mm
Height: 
1,440mm
Tax (min to max): 
£165-205 in the first year, £140 thereafter


Best Mercedes-Benz A Class for... 

Mercedes A180d
From launch there’s only one diesel, a 1.5-litre that’s quite slow, and best for cruising. However, official figures say that it will do 68.9mpg on a combined cycle.
Mercedes A200
From launch there’s only one diesel, a 1.5-litre that’s quite slow, and best for cruising. However, official figures say that it will do 68.9mpg on a combined cycle.
Mercedes AMG A35
The hot-hatch version of the A-Class makes just over 300hp and can do the 0-62mph dash in 4.7s. But if you think that's impressive, keep an eye out for the 400hp AMG A45 version, due in late 2019.

Mercedes-Benz A Class History 

  • March 2018 A-Class makes first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show
  • March 2018 Dealers start taking orders  
  • May 2018 first models arrive in the UK
  • September 2018 A-Class Saloon goes on sale
  • Early 2019 First deliveries of saloon
  • Early 2019: AMG A35 versions go on sale in UK

Understanding Mercedes-Benz A Class car names 

  • A Class
  • Trim level
    AMG Line
  • Engine
    A200
  • Gearbox
    Automatic
  • Trim level
    Mercedes offers three trim levels – SE, Sport and AMG Line. SE is the cheapest, Sport is the mid-range, and AMG Line is the most expensive. 

  • Engine
    From the launch there are only three engines available, two petrols and a diesel. The A200 petrol is a 1.3-litre, and the A250 is a 2.0-litre. The A180d is a 1.5-litre diesel.
  • Gearbox
    There is only one gearbox option at the moment, a seven-speed automatic. Expect manual options to come later on.

Mercedes-Benz A Class Engines 

A200, A250, A180d, AMG A35

The A-Class is currently available with three engines, two petrols, and one diesel.

The entry level is the A200 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It makes a 116hp, and never feels that quick. It's also pretty loud when being thrashed. Fuel consumption officially is 51.4mpg, which is pretty strong for a petrol engine, and it can shut off two of its four cylinders when they’re not needed to cull energy consumption. Combined CO2 emissions of 133 g/km also ensures that its cleaner than the other petrol engine.

In terms of sporting engines, the best bet is the A250, a 2.0-litre engine making a strong 224hp. This is easily the most enjoyable engine to use of the three, and gets from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. This is just as fast as some hot hatches like the Ford Fiesta ST. But it’s also the least economical, with an official figure of 47mpg. From launch, the saloon A-Class will not be available with this engine.

The A180d is the only diesel option available at the moment. The 1.5-litre engine is the most economical of the lot (68.9mpg). On paper this is the slowest engine, and in real life, it is also by far the slowest. Great for motorways, not great for overtaking on B roads.

The AMG A35 is the hot-hatch version of the A-Class. It has a 2.0-litre turbo engine making 306hp and it will despatch 0-62mph in 4.7seconds, as well as hit an electronically limited 155mph. This is fast, if not faster than other hot-hatches, but, expect there to be an even hotter AMG model along in the future. 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

A200

petrol

51.4mpg

163hp

8.0s

140mph

A250

petrol

47mpg

224hp

6.2s

155mph

A180d

diesel

68.9mpg

116hp

10.5s

125mph

AMG A35

petrol

38.7mpg

306hp

4.7s

155mph

Mercedes-Benz A Class Trims 

SE, Sport, AMG Line

There are just three trim levels for A-Class owners to pick from. However, it’s not quite as simple as just picking a trim.

Mercedes is concentrating on technology with the latest A-Class, so even the base specification SE gets a touchscreen display including a ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recognition system, plus, twin seven-inch displays. On the outside there are 16-inch alloy wheels, DAB Radio, artificial leather seats, Active Lane Keeping, Speed Limit Assist, Keyless Go, air conditioning, and sat-nav with real time traffic, and climate control. Active brake assist is also standard. Note that the saloon is not available in SE spec.

Upgrading the Sport adds LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and automatic climate control.

And the AMG Line gets 18-inch alloy wheels, an AMG-branded bodykit, and a three-spoke AMG steering wheel.

Mercedes also offers additional equipment.  The Executive equipment line adds £1,395 to the price and includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen media display; Active Parking Assist, heated front seats; and Mirror package.
 
For £2,395 you can get the Premium equipment line, which adds a 10.25-inch cockpit display – creating a widescreen effect; 64-colour ambient lighting; illuminated door sills; Keyless Go; mid-range sound system; and rear armrest.

Premium Plus equipment line (£3,595) adds memory function for the driver and front passenger seats; multibeam LED head lights with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus; and a panoramic sunroof.

And finally, for £495 you can get the very good augmented reality navigation display, as long as you cough up for the Exclusive, Premium or Premium Plus equipment lines. It overlays navigation data with real images from the vehicle’s cameras, making navigation easier. If you’ve used Pokemon Go, it works in a similar way.

Mercedes-Benz A Class Reliability and warranty 

The A-Class is a new car and was launched too late to be considered for the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power survey.

However, the previous A-Class came 56th in the Auto Express Driver Power Survey, and the Mercedes C-Class tends to fare well in these surveys too.

In terms of warranty, the A-Class is covered for three years, with an unlimited mileage. This is especially good for business users.

Used Mercedes-Benz A Class 

These latest models are already beginning to surface on the used market - but don’t expect any significant savings.

Any reductions tend to be in the hundreds of pounds rather than thousands - however - with these nearly new models, you are looking at cars that are in stock and ready to be driven home. With a new car, you’ll inevitably be put on a waiting list.

There are, however, significant savings to be made on previous generation models, as dealers look to empty reserves in anticipation for the new models coming in.

2017 models start from £16,000 for A180ds with relatively high-miles (30,000), and petrol powered cars starting at around £18,000.

You can read more about the previous-generation Mercedes A-Class here

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