This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Four petrol engines: 1.4, 1.6 and the lively 1.9 and 2.1 petrol; and a 1.7 CDi turbo-diesel, which actually outperforms the 1.4, although it’s noisier than the nippy, refined 1.6. The 1.4 is really for town use; both it and the 1.7 CDi feel sluggish when pushed to achieve higher speeds The tiddler 1.4 is great in the city, cheap to run and just about capable on the motorway.

Diesel is very economical, but easily powerful enough for any driving.

Much publicised early problems soon sorted by Mercedes-Benz. The one you drive will be stable, well-suspended and a pleasure to drive. It might be small, but it’s still a Mercedes-Benz. Firm suspension, wide tyres and electronic stability control all assist stability; fun to drive with minimal body roll; good grip inspires confidence; steering is direct and well-weighted.

Ride is notably firm — and a particular bugbear for some owners.