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Mercedes-Benz A 200

A FOR ADVANCED (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class raises its game in fourth generation form, as Jonathan Crouch discovers at the wheel of the popular A 200 variant.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 60

The fourth generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class offers an even stronger proposition to buyers in the premium compact hatch segment. If you define luxury in terms of technology, you're going to like it a lot. The engines are all new this time round and one of them is the 1.3-litre petrol unit we decided to test in the A200 variant featured here.

Backgroundword count: 180

This fourth generation A-Class model, according to its maker, 'completely refines modern luxury in the compact class' - quite a claim. The brand thinks that this 'modern luxury' is now partly defined by technology, so that gets a key focus thanks to the introduction of a completely new 'MBUX' ('Mercedes-Benz User eXperience') infotainment set-up, built into sophisticated cabin design that instantly makes rivals look dated. There's an all-new range of efficient petrol and diesel engines too, all of it sat on a fresh 'MFA2' platform that will underpin a whole future generation of compact Mercedes models. This makes possible the 30mm wheelbase increase needed to release extra cabin and luggage space. Plus there's autonomous driving tech, a new era of headlamp technology and another step forward to terms of safety provision. This then, is the compact hatch that Audi and BMW feared Mercedes might build. But both will be developing products to beat it. What kind of benchmark will this A-Class set for them to aspire to? Let's find out at the wheel of the popular 1.3-litre A200 petrol variant.

Driving Experienceword count: 217

This fourth generation A-Class builds on the sporty-handling legacy of its predecessor. We don't think the 'Direct-Steer' steering system's quite as feelsome as it was before, but it still enables you to place the car where you'd want through the curves and really enjoy this Mercedes if you're a keen driver. Body roll's kept well in check and you're favoured with prodigious grip that's impressively untroubled by mid-corner bumps. Thanks partly to this model's slightly longer, slightly more sophisticated MFA2 platform, ride quality is a match for the premium segment competition - but could be better. And would have been had Mercedes not decided to equip all mainstream variants with low-cost torsion beam rear suspension rather than a more sophisticated multi-link rear set-up. As for engines, well the popular versions get engines developed by Mercedes in conjunction with its European Alliance partner Renault. As before, there's a 116hp 1.5-litre diesel for the popular A 180d derivative - or a couple of 1.3-litre petrol units: either the 136hp engine fitted to the base A 180. Or the variant we've decided to try, the 163hp A 200, which features cylinder deactivation technology. That's with a manual gearbox, but it's the 7G-DCT automatic that most buyers will probably choose. This self shifter improves the 0-62mph sprint time slightly to 8.0s.

To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

Pictures (high res disabled)

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Compact Family Cars

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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