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4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

The perfect premium saloon for those who feel a C-Class is too big

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon (19 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £27,215 - £44,320
Lease from new From £357 per month
Used price £18,035 - £35,750
Used monthly cost £450 - £892
Fuel Economy 34.9 - 64.2 mpg
Road tax cost £145 - £465
Insurance group 18 - 37 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • A-Class cabin design and voice control are highlights
  • Petrol and diesel engines are refined and efficient
  • Premium styling in a compact package

CONS

  • Adds to a confusing line-up of small Mercedes-Benzes
  • If you want roomy and practical, look elsewhere
  • Some interior quality issues

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

You have to admire Mercedes-Benz for offering the maximum amount of A-Class variants. If you're in the market for a three-pointed star that can fit in smaller parking spaces, you now can choose from Hatchback, Saloon, CLA Coupe, and not forgetting the 2020 GLA compact SUV.

Most intriguing is the availability of the A-Class Saloon and the CLA, which from a distance, look incredibly similar. But look closer and there are enough differences between the two for Mercedes-Benz to justify importing both into the UK. For now. But for the sake of this review, consider the A-Class saloon as a more sober-suited offering designed for more conservative customers. It also costs less, and comes in a wider range of models.

Being a small, premium saloon, choosing rivals for the A-Class Saloon is fairly straightforward – if you're looking like-for-like, the only direct rival is the Audi A3 Saloon, which is due for replacement in 2020-2021. There is a four-door BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe on the way, too, which you can also expect in 2020. So, this A-Class has the market to itself? Not quite – buyers looking for a three-box saloon will no doubt also look at low-spec versions of the larger BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class threesome, as well as less premium offerings, such as the Jaguar XE, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 508 Fastback.

Premium looks in a compact package

Such is the Russian Doll nature of the Mercedes-Benz range, the A-Class saloon looks very much like a scaled-down C-Class. And there's not a great deal wrong with that – the current Mercedes-Benz design language is streamlined and appealing, and although we're not sure we'd agree with the company's terminology for it: ‘Sensual Purity’. Really.

Considering it will be predominantly front-wheel drive – 4Matic four-wheel drive versions are still under consideration for Britain – it has a pleasingly long bonnet for such a compact four-door, and looks very much like a shrunken C-Class Saloon as a consequence. This could tempt would-be C-Class buyers to downsize.

Unsurprisingly, it's very closely related to the A-Class Hatchback, so you get the same low bonnet, shallow headlamps with chrome elements, and torch-like daytime driving lights. The range has been kept deliberately simple – no doubt anticipating limited sales compared with its five-door sister car. So you can only get it in Sport and AMG Line trims.

A feature-packed and advanced interior

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon (2019) interior and dashboard

The second model in the fourth-generation A-Class line-up to be revealed continues the company's policy of making the latest technology available to a wider audience. So it gets a raft of driving assistance systems and the latest MBUX infotainment set-up, which includes the new natural speech recognition system.

You get the same S-Class-emulating dashboard and interior, which currently places the A-Class Hatchback at the top of the compact premium market. The feeling of interior space is amplified by the low-line dashboard, and the wide, landscape-format digital instrumentation.

Practicality and engines

The A-Class Saloon also boasts the very latest driver-assistance systems, such as the brilliant Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system. The company says it offers the highest level of active safety features in this class.

Obviously, you lose the usability of the full five-door set-up of the smaller A-Class Hatchback, but the rear seats do fold if you need to extend the luggage area, and for some, having a separate boot is still a positive point. And you have to hand it to Mercedes-Benz for offering the choice.

It's the same with powertrains and transmissions. The engines range is small but should cover most buyers' needs –  petrol models are the A 180, A 200 and A 250/A 250e, and diesels come in A 180 d, A 200 d and A 220 d forms. You can read more about that in the engines section of this review. They all generate impressive low CO2 and fuel consumption – a factor in common with the A-Class Hatchback.

Read on for the full Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon review

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon (2020) front, three-quarter view

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon rivals

Other Mercedes-Benz A-Class models: