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Mercedes A-Class, anyone views?


31 Dec 2002
looking to replace the mrs's VW Polo with either a Ford Focus (late, old shape) or MB A-Class (earlier)

Good experience of the Focus, but I don't know much about the A-Class, bar the infamous Elk test !

THe old shape Focus is in a month's time will soon to be a bargain with good spec 03-05 cars down below £7k......

the only issue with ther Focus is the lack of sapce that we have for parking where we live, so the Polo has been ideal.. so this is why I'm now lokking at the A-Class as a last minute option !

but the A-Class is a bit of an unknown, as I've always avoided the MB brand, but for a small car that seats 5, which is easy to drive for the mrs, it seems to suit the bill...

looking at the A160 (as she needs to start getting some time in a car with some power !) in either Elegance or Avantgarde spec, as these are likely to have the gadgets and safety features rather than the basic classic...

although trying to find her a manual (as she needs more prastice in a manual!) but there is also a semi-auto option ? which I didn't know about but clearly this ain't some paddle shifting type..

so any opinions and views would be apprecaited ????????

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46861
Not sure about the A class but the B class is a dreadful DREADFUL car. Keep away from that model for Gods sake.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46862
Audi A2 far better, and nicer looking


Migration info. Legacy thread was 46866
Had a W reg 190 automatic from new and did 23000 miles.

Plus points
A bit higher than other cars so good for views.
engine reclined so safer in a crash.
ESP and stiffer suspension for anti roll-over.
Flexible seating with easily removable seats.(see brochures/roadtests)
Three full rear seat belts. - safer for kids.
Biggish doors and a high seat so easy for old folks/fatties to get in and out.
190 would out drag a golf GTI at the lights - great auto box with manual changes if you wanted them.
Minus points
Very stiff ride (190 had low profiles on wide wheels)- great in Europe but uncomfy in the uk
A sense that all steering feel had been removed and a lack of confidence in corners.
If you get your missus to drive it she will probably love it - mine did - and we both hated the seats in the Focus we test drove.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46869
cheers stevo, what did you think of the spec of the A-class and critically reliability ?

also looking at the Audi A2, but mrs ain't too keen on that, and local audi dealer from my last TT put me off for life ! and having driven a few , I always felt was about to be blown over !

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46880
Had one of the very first A160 Avant-Gardes in UK, about September 98.

Excellent space and good performance but the twisties caused all manner of problems with the very active traction control. As soon as wet leaves appeared the engine went on to 3 cylinders (well thats what it felt like). It was also a very hard suspension and suffered considerable (ie 5hit inducing) understeer. After a couple of years and about 25K the bodywork was like new still and the heavily criticised (for being cheap looking) interior was as unmarked. Residuals were awful and I elected to hand the car back rather than buy for the GMV (about £8K and they were cheaper at auction at that time).

Hope that helps!

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46881
The Audi A2 is in "What not to Drive".
Listed under "cars to avoid".
Too small
Aweful ride
Says you are too mean to buy a real Audi.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46930
guy i work with has had an A160(2000W) classic since 2003,he rates it highly for its versitality as its easy to convert it to a little van with a few seats out but if he didn't get a decent warranty with it he would have dumped it within a year of owning it has had the rear suspension replaced and so too was a part of the steering column

Migration info. Legacy thread was 46983
looks like I'm back to the Focus as the mrs has decided she doesn't like the look of the A-Class and A2

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47006
Avoid A-class mk 1: things start going wrong after 3 years. Buy Japanese - Toyota Yaris? Or the Focus - good reliability, cheap to run, etc. 1.6 Zetec the best? But the Focus won't solve your parking problem...?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47014
Focuses are excellent cars. Yaris probably v good too, but your Mrs may not like the look of it.

Can you get a Focus with rear parking sensors?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47143
that will be the 1st upgrade !

but she does need prastice with a larger car....

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47160
For what it's worth....my wife's got a silver A-clas avantgarde. We bought it when I sold my 996 and she loves it. The first owner paid £17500 for it and we bought it for £8000 - on a 03 plate!!!!

great car, loads of space, bit sh*tty on the clutch but rev it and it goes....

Nothing more to say about the lil ol' Merc....it's good...but not as goos as a 911!!!!!!!!!!!!

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47171
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by Philip1972 on 25 February 2006

Not sure about the A class but the B class is a dreadful DREADFUL car. Keep away from that model for Gods sake.
Whats wrong with the B class ?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 47572

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