It is not even four years ago, as we witnessed the perhaps most consistent Saul-Paulus change in automotive history: From a pensioner van was an almost semi-powerful acting compact sports. Even today, the first two generations (1997 - 2012) of the Mercedes A-Class are often seen on our roads, mostly as well-maintained, in discreet silver painted comfort vehicle. Since autumn 2012 everything is different: The Swabians wanted to radically transform their compact class into a coveted design object for young drivers - while the B-Class continued to switch to the well-heeled older driver. In particular, the suspension engineers shot clearly over the finish, the A-class was tough on the road and informed his driver unasked about every cigarette butt on the road.
With the facelift last year, Mercedes turned the clock back a bit. The chassis was more comfortable. Nevertheless, the so-called "comfort suspension" is not an outbreak of back protection. Neither in comparison to other brand products nor to other models of the compact class. In our test car, the A 200, an adaptive suspension was installed for almost 1.240 Euro. If you choose the comfort setting here, you can stand it in the A-Class, and only then. What we would have already called the first of many, many cost-options that make a ride in a compact Mercedes only pleasant.
Almost 28.000 Euro is the basic price for the A 200. Anyone who believes that they will get a veritable 2-liter petrol engine is mistaken. The four-cylinder draws its power from only 1,6 liters and conceals the lack of displacement as today with turbo support. So you are well in everyday life despite relatively modest 156 PS. However, the manual six-speed transmission wants to be switched diligently in order to always be in the right speed range. So check out the next option: 2.200 Euro for a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The grading of the six manual gears, the turbo engine and perhaps the youthful appearance of the A-Class seduce to brisk ride. The acknowledged the engine with a pleasant hum and less pleasant drinking habits. Ten liters are to be taken into account in fast highway driving in any case, we came on average across all routes to about 8 liter and were thus 2,5 liters above the promised value.
The cool look of the A-Class with its elongated sideline and coupe-like lines demands its price. Although the compact is about 4 centimeters longer than a Golf, you will notice that in the space but not. Rather surprisingly 2 centimeters less width: driver and passenger sitting in the smallest Mercedes while kommod, behind but it is close to, access through the rear doors is also not convenient because of the steeply sloping roofline. Even with the trunk, the A-Class can not outdo the competition. 340 liters are at most average (40 liters less than in the Gulf) and the load must also be made by a narrow trunk access.
So there are more practical compact vehicles than an A-class, cheaper anyway. Fun makes the five-door but thanks to great seats, precise steering and a revving engine but still. Especially since the interior has clearly gained after the last renovation. Incidentally, the now usual large ventilation vents are also used in this Mercedes. There are five in the number and they look really huge in the relatively narrow cockpit. The workmanship is as good as one might expect at Mercedes, but it does not always meet with every model. In this case, the buyer certainly benefits that he owns a mature, no longer brand new vehicle owns.
Even after the facelift last summer, it's still surprising how consistently Mercedes has matched the A-Class to a younger crowd, or one that wants to feel that way. So little space, so sporty sprung - that is still a surprise even for us. Since many drivers of an old A-class at the dealer may have escaped from the demo car in a flash and have directed the views of the B-class. Only the price, there are no surprises: The cheapest Mercedes car is an expensive fun, with useful extras you have thrown even with an A 200 quickly 40.000-Euro-limit. At least nothing has changed in this respect. (Peter Eck / SP-X)