We highway check the up to date Mercedes-Benz A-Class – the entry-level mannequin within the three-pointed star line-up…
Priced from £31,905 and obtainable as a hatchback or saloon, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been an enormous success, delivering a comparatively inexpensive, but trendy and upmarket household automobile.
The newest mannequin was launched in 2018 and shortly develop into one of many best-selling automobiles within the UK (it was the fourth hottest automobile after the MINI in 2021).
Now in its fourth era, the A-Class continues to shine in a sector not with out robust competitors – suppose BMW 1 Sequence, Audi A3, Peugeot 308, DS 4 and MINI Clubman.
So, what’s new for 2023? Effectively, there’s tweaked styling, upgraded tools, added delicate hybrid petrol engine know-how and a wider color selection.
The outside modifications are delicate with revised lights entrance and rear, and LEDs as normal. There at the moment are a few slim bonnet bulges and the entrance grille is greater than ever.
The large change is inside the place the most recent MBUX infotainment system has been fitted.
As seen on Mercedes-Benz automobiles 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 assist on each seats up entrance, whereas the general high quality of supplies within the cabin and end is great.
There’s a selection 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 economic 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 obtainable 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 offers a pure EV vary of as much as 51 miles with on-paper gas economic 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 need 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 automobile 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 clean ranging from a standstill and additional oomph whenever you get going. Mercedes claims the battery offers the automobile a 14bhp energy increase when pulling away or throughout acceleration, and I can effectively consider this. What’s extra, 50mpg could be very achievable on a sensibly-driven longer run.
You can even select from 4 driving modes (Eco, Consolation, Sport and Particular person). As ever, Consolation is simply advantageous, with Eco dulling the driving the expertise. Sport will increase throttle response and livens up issues just a little, however the A180 is at its finest cruising alongside.
The engine is refined, solely changing into vocal underneath heavy acceleration, whereas the seven-speed dual-clutch computerized gearbox is clean and responsive.
For those who choose a low driving place, you then’ll just like the A-Class. The steering is fast and it may be hustled by way of corners with well-controlled physique roll.
It’s not a Ford Focus or BMW 1-Sequence, but it surely feels planted and the journey is an effective mix of consolation (on the agency aspect) and driving engagement.
The A250e PHEV is the extra highly effective and slicker of our check automobiles. Beginning off in whisper-quiet EV mode, it’s some time earlier than the petrol motor kicks in.
Once more, most at residence in Consolation mode, it switches from petrol to electrical and vice versa easily more often than not. It’s just a little heavier than its delicate hybrid sibling, but it surely nonetheless manages to ship an pleasurable journey.
The eight-speed computerized gearbox isn’t finest in school, however goes by way of the motions, whereas the accelerator pedal is just a little on the delicate aspect.
The A250e could 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. Personal consumers ought to be postpone although. For those who can handle with out the hatchback, you might have a house charger and also you don’t cowl excessive mileages, your visits to the petrol station will likely be few and much between since you’ll be operating your A-Class in EV mode more often than not.
In the case of area, the A-Class has lots up entrance, and except you’re over six foot, it’s advantageous 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).
Finally, 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 achieved simply sufficient to maintain the A-Class related within the premium household hatchback sector. Fashionable, simple to drive, comfy and effectively geared up, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class oozes high quality.