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SCORES ON THE DOORS (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The A-Class Saloon offers an interesting proposition to buyers who'd like a compact four-door Mercedes but have no need to stretch up to a C-Class. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at what's on offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 58
Mercedes wants its A-Class to meet a wide cross-section of customer needs. That's why as part of this fourth generation model line-up, the company has brought us this Saloon body style. To compensate for the lack of a hatch, you get a little extra rear seat room and a big 420-litre boot. And arguably, a little extra style.
Backgroundword count: 155
You'd have thought that the market for really compact premium brand saloons might be a little bigger than it is. Normal 'D'-segment premium brand four-door models like the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class have, after all, become fairly expensive in recent times, with prices starting at well over £30,000. Think £35,000 in fact, to get what you probably want. If in contrast, you could get much the same thing for around £28,000 fully kitted-out, that'd have to be an interesting proposition for middle managers. Wouldn't it? Audi thought so, launching its A3 saloon in 2015. But BMW didn't respond at all and Mercedes fielded only its CLA four-door Coupe - which wasn't quite the same thing. Now though, Mercedes has done the job properly, taking the opportunity represented by the introduction of the fourth generation A-Class range to bring us a proper notchback four-door A-Class Saloon. Let's check it out.
Driving Experienceword count: 332
The A-Class Saloon range is based around nine engines. In the petrol range, the entry-level A 180 variant is likely to be popular, featuring a 1.4-litre 136hp unit available with either 6-speed manual or 7G-DCT dual-clutch auto transmission. This same engine's offered in the A 200 with 163hp, which manages rest to 62mph (in the manual model) in 8.2s. Next up is the A 250, which uses a 2.0-litre petrol powerplant in a 224hp state of tune, manages rest to 62mph in 6.2s and is only offered with a 7G-DCT auto 'box. Mercedes also offers an A 250e petrol plug-in hybrid variant, which uses a 1.33-litre petrol engine mated to a 75kW electric motor linked to a 15.6kWh battery and offers 44 miles of WLTP-rated electrified driving range. There are three diesel alternatives, all offered only as automatics. The first is the A 180d, which puts out 116hp and uses the 7G-DCT auto gearbox. Next up is the A 200d which has a 2.0-litre 150hp engine. Beyond that lies the top A 220d, which tunes the same unit up to 190hp. The A 200d and A 220 use an 8G-DCT auto. At the top of the range are the two Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre petrol turbo hot hatch variants. There's the A 35 4MATIC which offers a potent 306hp. And the A 45 S 4MATIC+, which has 421hp. What else do you need to know? Well the suspension is the usual torsion beam rear set-up on most models, but if you go for a variant with 4MATIC AWD, you'll get a more sophisticated multi-link rear set-up. The 'DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes system is standard, as usual enabling you to tweak steering feel and throttle response. At extra cost, adjustable damping can be added into it. Some of the autonomous driving capability from larger Mercedes models has been built into this one, meaning that, in certain situations, you're a-Class, if appropriately equipped, will effectively be able to drive itself on dual carriageways at cruising speeds.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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