We highway take a look at the up to date Mercedes-Benz A-Class – the entry-level mannequin within the three-pointed star line-up…
Priced from £31,905 and out there as a hatchback or saloon, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been an enormous success, delivering a comparatively inexpensive, but trendy and upmarket household automotive.
The most recent mannequin was launched in 2018 and rapidly change into one of many best-selling vehicles within the UK (it was the fourth hottest automotive after the MINI in 2021).
Now in its fourth technology, the A-Class continues to shine in a sector not with out robust competitors – suppose BMW 1 Collection, Audi A3, Peugeot 308, DS 4 and MINI Clubman.
So, what’s new for 2023? Effectively, there’s tweaked styling, upgraded gear, added delicate hybrid petrol engine know-how and a wider color alternative.
The outside adjustments are refined with revised lights entrance and rear, and LEDs as customary. There at the moment are a few slim bonnet bulges and the entrance grille is greater than ever.
The massive change is inside the place the most recent MBUX infotainment system has been fitted.
As seen on Mercedes-Benz vehicles greater up the vary, it’s a slick and trendy set-up that includes two 10.25-inch screens.
In the meantime, it’s extra comfy than ever with four-way lumbar help on each seats up entrance, whereas the general high quality of supplies within the cabin and end is great.
There’s a alternative of three petrol engines, a diesel and a plug-in hybrid.
All new Mercedes-Benz A-Class petrol engines now have 48V delicate hybrid tech.
A 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo is on the core of the petrol and hybrid engine choices, whereas the diesel will get a 148bhp 2.0-litre unit, delivering 57.6mpg financial system.
We examined the entry-level A180 (petrol) and A250 e (plug-in hybrid) variations.
The previous produces 134bhp, delivering a 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds and a prime pace of 134mph. Able to as much as 48.7mph, its CO2 emissions are an affordable 134g/km.
The PHEV possibility, which sadly is barely out there on the saloon model of the A-Class, pairs the 1.3-litre petrol engine with an electrical motor, giving a complete output of 212bhp.
The small 15.6kWh battery provides a pure EV vary of as much as 51 miles with on-paper gas financial system of as much as 353mpg, and CO2 emissions of simply 23g/km.
With a 0-62mph time of seven.5 seconds, it has a prime pace of 143mph. If you would like much more tempo, then take a look at the performance-orientated Mercedes-AMG A-Class line-up.
First the A180. The delicate hybrid system is designed to make the engine begin course of quieter and permits the automotive to ‘sail’ with the engine switched off when cruising or coasting to a halt.
On the highway the A 180 feels swifter than the official figures recommend – greater than sufficient for on a regular basis driving.
The delicate hybrid tech works effectively, with easy ranging from a standstill and additional oomph while you get going. Mercedes claims the battery provides the automotive a 14bhp energy enhance when pulling away or throughout acceleration, and I can effectively imagine this. What’s extra, 50mpg could be very achievable on a sensibly-driven longer run.
You too can select from 4 driving modes (Eco, Consolation, Sport and Particular person). As ever, Consolation is simply high quality, with Eco dulling the driving the expertise. Sport will increase throttle response and livens up issues a little bit, however the A180 is at its finest cruising alongside.
The engine is refined, solely changing into vocal below heavy acceleration, whereas the seven-speed dual-clutch computerized gearbox is easy and responsive.
If you happen to desire a low driving place, then you definitely’ll just like the A-Class. The steering is fast and it may be hustled by means of corners with well-controlled physique roll.
It’s not a Ford Focus or BMW 1-Collection, nevertheless it feels planted and the experience is an effective mix of consolation (on the agency facet) and driving engagement.
The A250e PHEV is the extra highly effective and slicker of our take a look at vehicles. Beginning off in whisper-quiet EV mode, it’s some time earlier than the petrol motor kicks in.
Once more, most at house in Consolation mode, it switches from petrol to electrical and vice versa easily more often than not. It’s a little bit heavier than its delicate hybrid sibling, nevertheless it nonetheless manages to ship an fulfilling experience.
The eight-speed computerized gearbox isn’t finest at school, however goes by means of the motions, whereas the accelerator pedal is a little bit on the delicate facet.
The A250e may be charged from 10-100% at an AC charging station in 1 hour and quarter-hour, or 1 hour 45 minutes utilizing a house wallbox.
Given the tax advantages, the A250e makes absolute sense for enterprise customers. Non-public patrons needs to be postpone although. If you happen to can handle with out the hatchback, you will have a house charger and also you don’t cowl excessive mileages, your visits to the petrol station might be few and much between since you’ll be working your A-Class in EV mode more often than not.
In the case of house, the A-Class has lots up entrance, and except you’re over six foot, it’s high quality within the again too. Baggage capability is a helpful 355 litres within the hatchback, increasing to 1,195 with the rear seats folded. Battery storage means the PHEV takes a small hit (345/1125 litres).
In the end, the A-Class isn’t fairly as sporty because it appears, however there’s nonetheless enjoyable available, it drives effectively, and it’s sensible.
Verdict: Mercedes-Benz has performed simply sufficient to maintain the A-Class related within the premium household hatchback sector. Trendy, simple to drive, comfy and effectively outfitted, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class oozes high quality.