I have owned this car now for just over a year and am very happy with My A160 Avantgarde, so here’s my Mercedes A160 review.
The car was bought as a second car for the family and on the many occasions I have driven it, I have been pleasantly surprised. I am not a fan of small cars but the A Class has quite a big inside for a car of its size. Even sitting in the back seats is not uncomfortable and i’m 6 foot tall.
The engine is surprisingly powerful for its size, although you wont be winning many traffic light races.
When we bought the car it had the tiptronic 5 speed auto box, which is quite smooth although using the tiptronic bit, change down = push left and change up = pull right, does sometimes make the car leap between gear changes. Even on the motorway the A class is very quiet even above the speed limit and seems to eat the miles up with minimum effort, @ 80mph I got just over 50mpg using normal Unleaded.
As the Avantgarde has the sportier, harder suspension, this allows the car to corner a lot better than the Elegance (which I also test drove on the day we purchased the A160). Although this does sometimes mean that your spine takes a good battering on badly maintained roads.
If you are about to buy an A class it might be worth spending that little bit extra and getting the air conditioning as well as the sun roof, as sometimes the sunroof is not really practical and sometimes when we´ve has a full load of people on a rainy day we have had a lot of condensation on the inside. The sunroof is excellent in nice weather as it goes quite far back, almost to the back of the rear seats.
However on the motorway at high speeds, driving into high winds the sunroof can sometimes whistle, but I am told that this problem has been sorted out now! The dealers where actually aware of this as when I complained they informed me “The problem only occurs when speeds exceed 80mph!”
Inside the car is quite roomy, plenty for 5 adults, although I wouldn´t advise a long journey with 5 adults inside.
The driving position is quite good as you sit high up and the front seats both adjust up, down and forward and back, along with the steering wheel moving up and down. In the back the seats move forward and backwards to give greater boot/rear passenger leg space, depending on what you need the most. All the seats can be removed from the car making luggage space excellent. I have managed to get 2 cement mixers in mine with all but the drivers seat removed. Removal of the seats also makes cleaning the car a breeze as you can get an upright vacuum cleaner inside!
Okay the interior inside isn´t the most visually appealing as there is plastic everywhere (newer models have aluminum and wood trim) but the quality and finish is very good. Apart from the speedo/revcounter display as a good push can move it up or down by a few millemetres
Safety has been though about and the car has 4 airbags, but there all for the front passengers. There are 4 proper seat belts and a lap belt for the middle rear passenger (The post facelift models all have 5 proper seatbelts) and all seats have a head restraint.
Overall, I think that for the price Mercedes have come up with a good package and have produced a nice to drive, reliable and practical car. However my only moan is the switches for the electric windows are not high enough and you have to fish around or look before you get the right switch, which can be dangerous at 70mph on a busy motorway.
If your looking for a smallish car then the A Class is worth a look especially if you have kids or pets, due to its large cabin space. It will also return good MPG without the sacrifice of too much performance.
A smashing little run about!
© copyright 2001, Mike Porter.
PLEASE NOTE: if your going to leave a comment below, remember:
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