Mercedes-Benz A-Class Review logo

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Handsome and desirable premium hatchback”

Best bits

  • Innovative infotainment system that looks great
  • Really posh-feeling interior
  • Comfortable and secure to drive

Not so great

  • Merely so-so on practicality
  • Smartphone integration should be standard across the board
  • A200 petrol engine not refined enough

Read by

Mercedes A-Class 2018 front

Overall verdict

Mercedes A-Class 2018 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes A-Class 2018 frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes A-Class 2018 side exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes A-Class 2018 steering wheel

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The A-Class has come a long way since the early days. First introduced in 1997 as an upright scaled-down MPV-type model that was roomy, if a little unusual, it would gradually morph over the years into a more conventional prestige hatchback that would form the entry-point into the Mercedes-Benz club."

Mercedes A-Class 2018 front

This fourth-generation model really moves things along. 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-Benz, 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, it runs the BMW 1 Series very, very close indeed and the two cars share that prize once all things are considered. If you’re after a comfortable car that dazzles with its infotainment kit and its luxurious interior, then the A-Class might well edge it for you.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Mercedes A-Class (2012-2018) review.

Is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class right for you?

If you’ve decided to buy a premium hatchback like the A-Class, then you’ve probably already made the decision - consciously or subconsciously - that a more mainstream alternative like a Ford Focus or a Vauxhall Astra just won’t do. Indeed, not even the Volkswagen Golf - a car that straddles the gap between classes - will cut it for you, and only something with a premium badge will suffice.


Once your thought process has come that far, then it’s basically a toss-up between three cars: the Audi A3, the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes A-Class. So, what does the A-Class give you that the others don’t? Well, the margins are very fine, but there are differences. The Mercedes-Benz is a slightly more comfortable, more easy-going car than its rivals, while impressive quality and cool design give its interior some serious visual clout. The clever infotainment system will be what seals it for most buyers, though.

What's the best Mercedes-Benz A-Class model/engine to choose?

For most buyers, we reckon the entry-level engine, the A180d diesel, will be the one to go for. It’s the more appealing of the two engines we’ve tried (the other being the A200 petrol), with a perky power delivery and decent refinement, and it keeps purchase prices down. What’s more, many A-Classes are operated as company cars, and because this engine (along with all the other diesels in the A-Class) is RDE2 compliant, user-choosers escape the 4% surcharge in their Benefit-in-kind bills.


In terms of trim, it’s a tricky one. Entry-level SE trim gives you everything you really need, including climate control, cruise control, part-leather upholstery, built-in sat-nav and a clever infotainment system, but the one thing it’s missing is Apple Carplay/Android Auto. If you’re desperate for that - and we think most buyers will be - then Sport Executive trim is the cheapest way to get it. If you can live without smartphone integration, though, stick with the SE.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class?

Any car from Mercedes-Benz will always have its eye on rivals from two companies more than any other, and those companies are Audi and BMW. Competition between this German trio is fierce, and in the shape of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, respectively, Audi and BMW have exceptionally talented products in this class. 


Other premium hatchbacks struggle more for sales than these three, but there are still a few. The Lexus CT200h offers a self-charging hybrid option, and while Infiniti has shut-up-shop in Europe now, it was still punting out the Infiniti Q30 when the latest A-Class was released. And then, of course, there’s always the Volkswagen Golf that bridges the gap between premium hatchbacks and more mainstream ones.

Learn more

Mercedes A-Class 2018 front interior

On the inside

Mercedes A-Class 2018 frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes A-Class 2018 side exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes A-Class 2018 steering wheel

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What does 4MATIC mean?

Put simply it's the name that Mercedes-Benz uses to show that a car has all-wheel drive.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What engine size is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class A200?

In petrol form, the A200 is a 1.3-litre, as a diesel the A200d is a 2.0-litre.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

Which is the best Mercedes-Benz A-Class?

The entry-level engine, the A180d diesel is the one to go for. In terms of trim, entry-level SE trim gives you everything you really need, including climate control, cruise control, part-leather upholstery, built-in sat-nav and a clever infotainment system.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross