I’m getting that ‘deja vu’ feeling…been driving a Mercedes-Benz A-Class immediately after a week in the new Infiniti Q30.
Tom Scanlan runs around in the MERCEDES-BENZ A220d 4MATIC AMG Line
It should have been the Mercedes first followed by the Infiniti, because the A-Class platform is what the Infiniti is based upon.
So the A-Class provided a similar experience; this was evident in the performance and handling, with the 2143 CC, 177 bhp diesel engine making its presence felt both in noise at low speeds and brisk enough acceleration both from a standstill with 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and for higher speed overtaking.
The auto transmission provided smooth changes. The brakes were well up to any challenge. Also from the driver’s point-of-view, the feel of the car was much the same. The flat-bottomed, quite chunky steering wheel; the stop-start system that could be a touch smoother (I switched it off in some heavy traffic situations); the outward visibility somewhat limited by the broad a- and b-pillars; all these spring to mind.
No car is perfect, of course, and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is in many respects a very good car.
The test model was the top-of-the-range AMG Line version. After a quite hefty deposit, you’re probably looking at up to £350 a month for three years. The actual cost of the car came out at £29,885 with optional extra packages of the COMAND Online system (£995), exterior Premium Plus package (£2995), interior AMG Night package and AMG Exclusive package (£895) and safety and assistance systems (£675) bringing the total to £35,940.
Of course, no-one buys a car at its list price and a search on the internet should reveal dealers are offering up to 16% discounts. Packages are more than likely what the majority of buyers want. They enable virtually full contact with the outside world (or, from my point-of-view, no escape from the outside world!), plus an 8-inch colour monitor for satellite navigation, live traffic information and map updates free for the first three years, and so on.
The Premium Plus package gets you parking assistance, 12-colour ambient lights – very useful, LED high-performance headlamps with Adaptive High-beam Assist – a really good safety feature. This models lighting is far better than lesser technology, without ever blinding on-comers or the people you’re driving behind. Very welcome also were the heated and electrically-adjustable front seats with lumbar support feature and memory. And to top it off a panoramic roof….the list goes on and certainly warrants a close study of the sales brochure.
The test car also had the lane-tracking package, part of the Driver Assistance package. It would be interesting to see how this works in thick fog, but, in normal conditions, I would switch it off. It could be said that, if you’re tired, it should be left active; then again, we should not be driving when we are tired, should we? That said, the car was also equipped with Attention Alert, able to detect if the driver is beginning to nod off.
Travelling in the A-class was always comfortable and a pleasant experience. There’s two-zone auto climate control and I found the cabin to be smartly-styled, with nice touches like footwell lighting. The analogue instruments were easy-to-read, the switches felt, just right to the touch, varying from the precision of some to the softer touch of others such as the air vents.
A supple ride proved that the car could manage some poor road surfaces…this model in fact having lowered ‘Comfort’ suspension.
Passenger space in the rear is OK for two adults, as long as they’re not giants; the boot is average, but it’s very easy to extend by folding the rear bench partly or wholly forward to provide a flat floor. The car comes without any spare wheel, although there could be space for a space-saver. Meanwhile, you have to hope that any puncture you might unfortunately get can be fixed with the squirter tyre-sealant kit.
Practically all the miles I put on this car were driven in Eco mode and consumption varied from around 30 mpg in very slow town traffic, up to a best in my case of 50 mpg on dual carriageways and motorway. These figures were as shown on the trip computer; the official combined consumption figure, use it for guidance comparisons only, is 67.4 mpg. Emissions are 109 gm/km.
The A-class looks smart, the test car being in Jupiter Red (Jupiter’s red spot is not nearly so bright) was particularly striking and I like the front grille with its 338 shiny beads (count them and let me know if I’m wrong!).
Do these cars ever breakdown? Mercedes-Benz Pan-European roadside assistance being for four years hints that the company is confident of their build quality.
Car reviewed: MERCEDES-BENZ A220d 4MATIC AMG Line – on the road price as tested £29,885 as tested £35,940 0-62mph 7.5 secs Top speed 155mph Fuel Economy combined58.9mpg CO2 emissions 190g/km Engine 4-cylinder, 2143cc, Diesel Transmission DCT dual clutch man sequential auto mode Max Power 177HP@3600rpm Torque 350Nm@1400rpm
Good, but supple ride
Easy on the options
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