4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Impressive optional in-car tech, now a serious challenger

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback (18 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £23,540 - £43,490
Lease from new From £255 p/m View lease deals
Used price £13,535 - £32,930
Used monthly cost £338 - £822
Fuel Economy 33.6 - 256.8 mpg
Road tax cost £140 - £475
Insurance group 17 - 37 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Striking interior design
  • Impressive petrol economy
  • Refined and punchy diesel engines
  • Recommended family hatchback

CONS

  • Some cabin quality concerns
  • AMG Line models could ride more smoothly
  • Some practicality and visibility issues
  • Not quite as good as the BMW 1 Series

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback rivals

Lexus
CT
3 out of 5 3.0

Written by James Dennison on

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class may be the smallest model in the German manufacturer's line-up. But it's very much cast from the same mould as its larger siblings, sporting a shark-like front end, and a highly smoothed-off body. It's a popular family hatchback available with a wide variety of engines and trims, and sits on top of many car buyers' shopping lists, thanks to a strong image, decent finance and an excellent reputation for reliability and quality.

With stiff competition like the Audi A3 Sportback and BMW 1 Series, the A-Class has a tough job on its hands to appeal to buyers looking for the best premium hatchback. But Mercedes has packed a vast array of advanced technology inside its latest A-Class - some you won't even find in the top-end S-Class luxury saloon - and is confident it's the pick of the posh hatch brigade.

It's not just BMW and Audi it needs to see off, as there are some serious family hatchbacks out there being pushed out by the volume players. Consider that theres a tech-laden new-generation Volkswagen Golf about the spoil the party, and you can see why Mercedes-Benz cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

Impressive interior tech is a highlight

The A-Class plays the baby Benz card more than ever, with a raft of high-tech equipment – much of it is optional and pricey. This makes the cabin generally feel more upmarket than you’d normally expect for a car of this size, and a more eye-catching design inside.

There's a new infotainment system called MBUX, which impresses with bright screens for the dials and the media system, but it's worth noting that the standard set-up features two smaller 7.0-inch screens that look a little lost in the dashboard. If you want the most advanced 10.25-inch screen configuration, you'll need to dip into the options list and pay extra.

The interior itself is dominated by the dual screen set-up and these control almost all of the car's auxiliary functions. There's a choice of touchpad, touchscreen or a new voice control system and it's one of the best in the business. This is actually a more advanced than the infotainment systems than found in the E-Class and S-Class. 

Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG Line interior 2020

There's an A-Class for everyone

Ensuring that the A-Class's popularity continues, there's a plethora of engines, trims and options to ensure that just about everyone is catered for. The entry point is the SE model, which is reasonably well-equipped (cruise control and a suite of advanced safety systems are the highlights), and to get more standard equipment – and flashy looks – you need to head for the Sport and AMG Line cars. It's the sheer amount of options on offer where you can really personalise your A-Class.

In terms of power units, there's also plenty to choose from. The diesels start with the 116hp A 180 d, and there's the popular 150hp A 200 d filling the mid-range, with the 190hp A 220 d topping the lot. There's more choice for petrol buyers with the 136hp A 180, 163hp A 200 and 190hp A 250. Then, there's the hot-hatch A 35, detailed below.

Petrol hybrid A 250 e and Mercedes-AMG A 35

The latest addition to the range is the A 250 e petrol hybrid. With a power output of 262hp for a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 149mph sits at the top of non-AMG A-Classes. As with all PHEVs, this one has the potential for some impressive fuel economy returns to complement those performance figures – but only if you keep it charged up. It'll run for 42 miles on battery only, and comes with huge tax savings for company car drivers.

The Mercedes-AMG A 35 is a full-fat Honda Civic Type R rival, and all entails, even if it's the entry-level sporting A-Class pitched someway below the A 45 detailed in its own review. Don’t let its lowly position in the AMG hierarchy fool you. The A 35 is a 306hp, all-wheel drive hot-hatch every bit as quick as its hottest rivals from Honda, BMW and Audi, with 0-62mph taking just 4.7 seconds and top speed rated at 155mph.

So, there's a huge range and plenty of scope for personalisation, too. The big question is whether the A-Class deserves your attention if you're in the market for a posh-hatch.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Mercedes-Benz A-Class including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2020) rear view

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback rivals

Lexus
CT
3 out of 5 3.0

Other Mercedes-Benz A-Class models: