Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2018) Review
Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2018) At A Glance
Insurance Group 28
On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure
The previous Mercedes A-Class was successful despite its abilities rather than because of them, but the latest 2018 version stands with the very best cars in the premium hatchback class. The competition - in the form of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf - is extremely good in a vast number of ways, but so is the A-Class. Well worthy of your consideration.
The A-Class has come a long way since the early days. First introduced in 1997 as some weird scaled-down MPV-type contraption that’d fall over at the merest sight of an elk, it would gradually morph over the years into a more conventional prestige hatchback that would form the entry-point into Mercedes-Benz ownership, and delight image-conscious buyers on a budget along the way.
For all their popularity, though, previous versions of the A-Class have been, well, not all that good. Not bad, you understand, just not as good as the excellent cars with which they were required to compete, those being the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. These rivals were better to drive, more practical and higher in quality than the A-Class, and of course, no less desirable.
This fourth-generation model, though, is a different matter entirely. While the Audi and BMW are better and more desirable than ever, the baby Benz has really caught up.
Finally, it delivers the comfortable, sophisticated driving experience that you expect from a Mercedes, while it also has its rivals matched on space and versatility. Where quality is concerned, it still doesn’t have quite the bullet-proof solidity of assembly that its rivals do, but if anything, it has them beaten for poshness and theatre.
Much of that is thanks to simply stunning materials, and the rest is down to the high-tech infotainment system that dominates the cabin, with its twin screens, sharp graphics and feature-rich functionality.
The list of standard equipment is a little bit hit-and-miss (not all versions have Apple Carplay/Android Auto, for example), but most of what you need is provided, plus more besides. Safety kit is also well catered for, and with a range of punchy and efficient engines, running costs will be on a par with those of the key rivals, as will purchase prices.
Is it the best car in the class? Well, no, we don’t think so: we think that honour falls to the BMW 1 Series once all things are considered. However, the margins are tight, and different cars suit different people. If you’re after a comfortable car that dazzles with its infotainment kit and its luxurious interior, then the A-Class might well be pick-of-the-class for you.