- Engaging to drive
- Packed with top-level technology
- Comfortable interior
- Dynamic design
Great things do indeed come in small packages, as I discovered after driving the latest Mercedes A-Class, which is a sporty, tech-rich car with plenty of personality.
Available in hatchback or saloon, the latest five-door A-Class may be compact, stretching just 4.4 metres, but it feels much bigger and Mercedes has been very clever to maximise space to its full potential within the cabin to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.
Engine and Performance
With the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, there is a generous mix of engines, transmissions, body styles and trim levels to choose from. We opted for the hatchback in AMG Line Premium Plus spec, powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 148bhp and 236lb ft of torque.
This A-Class could complete the 0 to 62mph dash in a very respectable 8.1 seconds, topping out at 137mph. And, according to official figures, it could deliver a combined 57.7mpg with carbon emissions of 132g/km.
The acceleration through the 8-speed automatic gearbox is nicely timed, and there are steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver engagement. There are also drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual that alter the reactions of the car considerably, with Sport being the most fun on the quieter B roads.
The road holding is unfaltering and there is no sign of the car swaying as it glides round bends in the road.
The car cruises effortlessly on motorways, eating up the miles for fun, and is beautifully agile in city centre environments too, where the great all-round driver visibility is another plus factor.
Design and Practicality
There is no denying the fact that the A-Class is a looker, with its dynamic design featuring plenty of AMG-themed body styling. There is the distinctive front grille housing the Mercedes emblem, privacy glass, multibeam LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof and 18-inch AMG alloy wheels.
Move inside and the interior is also one of the best on offer in the current market.
The cabin is nicely refined with excellent insulation protecting occupants from any engine, road surface or wind noise, and the highly effective suspension system somehow manages to make our UK roads seem smooth.
With power-adjusted front seats, getting comfortable is a simple process, and the black upholstery is set off nicely with red contrast stitching.
There is room for a trio of passengers in the back and storage options are good too with a boot that ranges from 345 to 1,185 litres when the 40:20:40 split-folding seats are dropped flat.
In addition, there is a glovebox, central cubby, front and rear cup holders, deep door bins, a tray, and seat back pockets to store away other bits and bobs.
Equipment and Technology
As well as having a modern and clutter-free interior, the A-Class comes packed with technology without being garish or over-the-top in any way.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include a 10.25-inch touchscreen that blends seamlessly into the digital cockpit display. This creates an uninterrupted display stretching two-thirds of the dashboard that can be configured to taste.
There is full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, sat nav, heated seats, an advanced sound system and the company’s clever voice-activated personal assistant that is brought to life by saying ‘Hey Mercedes’.
The A-Class AMG Line also comes with a comprehensive list of safety features that helped this car secure a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating when it was tested.
So, the Mercedes A-Class AMG Line is very easy on the eye, packed to bursting with kit, and handles exceptionally well on the road. With such a range of optional extras to choose from too, the fourth-generation A-Class really is the complete package.