Mercedes A Class Review
Best-selling premium hatchback
The new Mercedes A-Class is now in its fourth generation, looking to continue an incredible rise to prominence which has seen it establish a clear lead as one of the UK’s best-selling premium hatchbacks.
Select's rating score* - 3.8 / 5
The Mercedes A Class of today is practically unrecognizable to the first generation model released over a decade ago. With over 50,000 registrations in the UK alone in 2019, the A Class has undergone a radical transformation from a boxy MPV to a dynamic family hatchback, retaining the premium, upmarket feel that a vehicle sporting the Mercedes badge can offer.
As with any of the latest Mercedes makes there is a wide variety of engine options available, starting at the entry level 1.3-litre with around 163brake horsepower and finishing with the 2.0-litre AMG A45 S – capable of a stunning 416 brake horsepower. The A Class also becomes the first among its rivals to debut a plug-in hybrid model, with a fully electric version also in the pipeline.
Personalised comfort is the order of the day in the new A-Class thanks to the ‘DYNAMIC SELECT’ feature, coming standard in all models. This feature gives a noticeable adjustment to the drive and feel of the A Class and is split into four driving modes, ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Individual’ and ‘Eco’, with the ability to switch between modes throughout your journey.
The A Class scored a deserved five-stars from independent safety assessor EuroNCAP when it was tested, thanks to the inclusion of advanced safety tech across all specs; including Auto Assist which checks for signs of tiredness in a driver, Lane Keep Assist and Auto Emergency Braking.
- Seven engine choices
- Plug-In hybrid option
- Four unique driving modes
- 5* EuroNCAP Rating
Based on Mercedes design philosophy of ‘sensual purity’, the new A Class received a noticeable shake-up prior to release, with new angled multibeam LED headlamps and taillights helping give it a stylish, premium feel. Some of the biggest changes are a direct result of the A Class’s longer wheelbase, including a pronounced sloping bonnet and bigger wheel arches.
Inside, the A Class is packed with cutting edge technology – traditional dials have been replaced with a virtual instrument panel and infotainment touchpad, which allow you to control in-car functions by the quick swipe of a finger. Both are 7 inches as standard, but that’s bumped up to 10.25-inches in higher spec models. Part-leather upholstery and a choice of more than 60 ambient lighting colours help you create a truly unique cabin experience. Mercedes’ LINGUATRONIC voice control system is the most advanced tech arrival in the A Class, helping with everything from reading out your text messages, to the weather and real-time traffic updates. The system can be brought to life by the touch of a button or simply saying ‘Hey Mercedes.’
- Upgraded premium design
- 7” Infotainment touchpad
- Virtual instrument panel
- All-new LINGUATRONIC voice control
The A Class is split into three trim levels – SE, Sport and top-spec AMG Line. SE is the entry level trim but remains generously equipped, with headline features including 16-inch alloy wheels, Sat-Nav, Artico-Man Made Leather, Cruise Control and Active Lane Keeping Assist.
Sport trim upgrades those alloys to 17-inches and adds auto climate control and LED performance headlamps. AMG Line brings you an exclusive sporty AMG bodykit with a chrome-finish grille, DINAMICA microfibre upholstery, three-spoke nappa lined sports steering wheel and 18-inch AMG alloys.
- Three trim levels
- 16-inch alloys
- Man made leather
- Cruise control
The A Class is far from a gas guzzler, thanks to an improved aerodynamic design. The base level diesel will do around 68 miles to the gallon, while the equivalent petrol automatic will achieve around 55 miles to the gallon, with both emitting under 120g/km of CO2 respectively. The plug-in hybrid model commands a slightly higher price tag, but its 75kW electric motor trumps both petrol and diesel for costs on the road with a very impressive 201mpg.
- New aerodynamic design
- 68mpg - base level diesel
- Under 120g/km of CO2
- PHEV electric range of 42 miles
There is no doubt that the far-reaching appeal of the A Class will be something its rivals are desperate to emulate. Rife with impressive technology, comfortable on the inside and stylish on the out – the A Class is just as popular with ambitious twentysomethings as it is with families looking for a practical hatchback. Its credentials for the latter were rubberstamped when in 2019, WhatCar? handed it their prestigious Safety Award. The versatile A Class is a car fit for all occasions and its latest upgrades keep it firmly one step ahead of the competition.
- UK’s leading premium hatchback
- 5* rated safety systems
- High class technology
- Leasing costs from £202 per month*
*Based on Select’s car review website metascore analysis, taking into account the UK’s top six leading independent car review site scores, the A Class scores a fantastic 3.8 out of 5