This Mercedes A140 review was originally written for another site when I bought the car in 2001.
Now there are two reasons why we changed from the A160 to the A140, the first is we wanted something which had air conditioning, but the wife still wanted to have an A class but with a smaller engine (She said the A160 was too powerful for her!), as she likes it so much.
The new A Class is much the same as the old version except for a few cosmetic and functional changes.
The most noticeable change on the outside is the new wheels, the bonnet, lights both front an rear and the tailgate.
The front of the car has been slightly redesigned and if you look at the front of the old car next to the front of the new car only then do they become apparent. The bonnet has been creased slightly so that it keeps a line from the new lights up to the top of the bonnet and the shape of the lights has been changed making them appear more bulgie!
The rear tailgate has also be redesigned with a more flush fitting spoiler and a newer easier to open handle, the pre-face lift models had a buttom which you pushed and no handle, the new version has a handle which is pulled to open the door. The rear lights have also been restyled and now look slightly indented as opposed to the bubble shape of the old version.
Inside the centre console has been completely redesigned. Well, all the switches and dials have been moved around so that the heater controls are now at the top of the console and you dont get the wavey line for the heater controls any more. The console surround on the Avantgarde is now a nice polished aluminum finish instead of the tacky plastic from before. This Aluminium finish has also been carried across to the trim along the tops of the doors.
The steering wheel has been replaced with a thicker, more sturdy version with a better better looking badge design and surround in the middle.
One of my major flaws with the old A160 was the floor mats which had a tendency to move around quite a lot but the new mats can be fastened down with nice little clips!
What I am amazed at is that Mercedes haven´t bothered to do anything about the electric window switches, which I still think are far to low and hard to find behind the handbrake.
Neither have they tackled the window wipers, which work brilliantly for the passenger but the drivers side doesn´t clear right to the edge of the window as the wipers where designed for the left hand drive version. Why haven´t they sat down to make a right hand drive version, why?
Altogether the new A class is the same as the older version it has been tweaked to look and feel better on the road.
If you are going to have a look at the A-class then have a butchers at the Long Wheel base version as if you have teenagers or pets the room in the back is amazing, even if the front seats are pushed right back. More than most other cars i´ve looked or sat in, in the past. More than enough for the taller adult.
Update: having driven the A140 now every day for 4 weeks, I can now add a few extra comments on drivablity.
If your after a sports car, then this car definately isnt for you, but if your after an everday, commuter or “kids to school” car then this is a definate car to look at. although it might look small on the outside, it will take 5 adults in relative comfort and will still give good mpg, even behaving well on the motorway. 70mph @ 3,000rpm, not bad for a 1.4. it doesnt sound like the engine is screaming either.
The handling is pretty good for a car of its height and I dont know where the stories of instability originate from but they are truly unfounded. This thing corners superbly and having done several high speed lane changes, very quickly I can tell you it stays stuck to the floor.
The version we have has the tiptronic, semi automatic gearbox and if used properly will add to the mpg. The auto box on its own is good but using the semi auto box will liven up your day.
Load space is also excellent and having got a full double bed inside ours I was well chuffed 🙂
All the seats come out, including the drivers seat, which makes for excellent cleaning but poor driving position.
The brakes on the car are also excellent and coupled with the automatic skid reduction makes things even better, although turning it off does make acceleration faster as the engine is free to rev and not limited by the Traction Control.
Still not sure about the wiper blades, they still go the wrong way. fine if your the passenger but crap if your the driver. Makes motorways driving a bit annoying, as the blind spot is about 12 inches wide.
© Copyright 2001, Mike Porter. Mercedes A140 review
PLEASE NOTE: if your going to leave a comment below, remember:
- As of 1st March 2011 I will no longer aswer any questions posted below. I do not have the time, inclindation or can I be bother responding to people who never say “Thank you” If you want a question answering then Check out out Loftys A-Class info site, he will for a small donation answer your questions:http://www.aclassinfo.co.uk/mypage.3.htm
But be aware he does require a small donation to provide information.
- DONT REPEATEDLY KEEP ASKING POSTNG THE SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THE REASON WHY I DIDNT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION THE 300 TIMES YOU POSTED IT BEFORE IS BECAUSE “I DONT KNOW”
- I AM NOT MERCEDES BENZ, if I was I wouldn’t tell you!
- I AM NOT A MERCEDES DEALER, if I was I wouldn’t tell you!
- I AM NOT AN INDEPENDANT MERCEDES MECHANIC, OR EVEN A TRAINED MECHANIC, if I was I wouldn’t tell you!
- I DO NOT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO FIX SPECIFIC PROBLEMS
- PLUS I DONT CARE ABOUT HOW ANGRY YOU ARE BECAUSE YOUR ABC or XYZ HAS BROKEN, THINGS ON CARS BREAK OVER TIME, GET OVER IT!
- If your P***ED OFF at Mercedes go to the dealers and shout at them, not at me!
- Post comments by all means but please no questions.