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2018 Mercedes A-Class A200 Review

2018 Mercedes A-Class A200 Review

Mercedes says it wants to “drive emotional connections”...

...That’s exactly what it feels like sitting behind the wheel of the new Mercedes A-Class A200 AMG.

This year Mercedes has really stepped things up a knotch and introduced AI (Artificial Intelligence) to deliver the most unique Driver experience yet. Here’s everything you need to know about the third generation A-Class.

Our Sales Executive Jack Fuller takes you through all the changes and improvements to the 2018 Mercedes A-Class A200 AMG Line specification…

More aggressive looking than ever before!

Starting with the outside of the car, the A-Class has been been given a facelift and now has a more refined, aggressive profile, which means it’ll have no problem standing out against its premium hatch rivals from BMW and Audi. The front of the car has had a huge makeover (much like the other sections of the car) with an all-new diamond studded grill (not real diamonds of course). At the rear, there are new 18-inch alloy wheels too. The A200 is 6mm taller, 16mm wider and 120mm longer than last years model, which means more in the boot and inside…

How much cabin space is there?

At the rear the boot has been economically redesigned to make it more user-friendly, with 20 centimetres width and 11.5 centimeters length enhancements. It can now also carry more as its overall volume has been increased by 29 litres to 370 litres. In addition to the boot space, the seats can be lowered to maximise this even more, which means you can fit in larger items.

Inside the classy A-Class...

As soon as you enter into the new A-Class, you’ll clearly notice that the car has had a significant interior overhaul; it’s more spacious, more comfortable and even looks more sporty than its outgoing predecessor (see below). From behind the wheel, the first thing that immediately stands out is the huge display. Every car comes standard with a pair of 7-inch touch screens, with the option to upgrade to a 10.25-inch. If you want to control the driver's display in front of you, you can use the right side of the steering wheel. As for the centre console display, you can either use the buttons on the left side of the steering wheel or you operate it by physically using your fingers to tap and swipe backwards and forwards. It’s interactive and highly responsive and accurate. If you opt for the 10.25-inch screen, you’ll have the option to select many cool features like augmented reality sat nav (£495), which displays images and location information such as street names and house numbers. Just below the dash, you will find a touchpad where you can also control both touchscreens. Impressive, eh? When you’re driving it’s extremely responsiv too.

In addition to the fancy tech and the dash, there is an all-new MBUX system which allows you to control the car via voice activation. In order for it to be activated, you must prompt the car with a request, for example “Hey Mercedes… play radio 1” and then it starts to play. You can even ask it to adjust the climate control and ambient lighting.

There are also these really funky looking turbine fans that release an array of coloured lights. Altogether the A-Class can display up to 64 different lights, which makes it perfect for driving down dark tunnels or when there's no lighting on the motorway.

From the driver's perspective, everything you need is there - the steering wheel is small, there aren’t too many buttons on the display and the infotainment system is highly responsive and interactive, allowing you to fully enjoy the ride ahead.

What’s it like to drive?

The A-Class produces a 164 bhp 1.3 litre petrol engine and goes from 0-100 mph in 8 seconds,which features cylinder deactivation technology. It’s perhaps not the fastest car on the road, but it is fast enough. You can also put the car in dynamic mode and sports mode and this makes the suspension much stiffer, which in turn makes the car drive more smoothly on the road. This is predominantly where Mercedes have really upped their game.

What engines are available?

There are three engines to select from:

  • A180d diesel
  • A200 petrol
  • A250 petrol

The A200 and A250 models manages 53.3mpg. Interestingly, the Diesel version manages 68.9 mgp which is very impressive. So for those who travel longer distances, I suggest the diesel model is the better car for you. Business users might favour the petrol model simply because of the the low BiK (benefit in kind) ratings.

What are the different specifications?

There are three trim levels available in the UK: The SE, Sport and AMG Line ( the model we reviewed). Standard features for each spec can be seen as per the tables below;

A-Class SE

Exterior Interior Trim and Upholstery
16" alloy wheels – 5-twin spoke design, painted vanadium silver 7" instrument display ARTICO man-made leather/Bertrix fabric upholstery (black)
Active Brake Assist 7" touchscreen media display  
Active Lane Keeping Assist Air conditioning  
ATTENTION ASSIST ARTICO man-made leather/Bertrix fabric (black)  
Black weather strip Coloured inserts in air vents  
Diamond grille with pins in black, silver-painted louvre and insert in chrome Comfort seats  
DYNAMIC SELECT with drive programs Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual Cruise Control with Limiter  
Speed Limit Assist DAB digital radio  
  Halogen headlamps with integral LED daytime running lamps  
  Hard-disk navigation with 3 years free Live Traffic Information  
  KEYLESS-GO starting function  
  Luggage nets on driver and front-passenger backrests  
  MBUX multimedia system  

A-Class Sport

Exterior Interior Trim and Upholstery
17" alloy wheels – 10-spoke design, painted vanadium silver ARTICO man-made leather/Fléron fabric (black) Dark carbon fibre look
Chrome weather strip Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather, black topstitching and bezel in silver chrome ARTICO man-made leather/Fléron fabric (black)
LED High Performance headlamps Trim in dark carbon fibre look  
   Two-zone automatic climate control  

A-Class AMG Line

 Exterior  Interior  Trim and Upholstery
 18" AMG alloy wheels – 5-twin-spoke design, painted titanium grey with high-sheen finish  ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre (black) with red contrast stitching  DINAMICA microfibre
AMG bodystyling consisting of AMG front apron with front splitter in chrome, AMG side sill panels and AMG rear apron with chrome trim and visible exhaust tailpipes   Sports seats  
 Diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and single louvre Three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel in nappa leather with flattened bottom section and perforated grip are  

Rivervale's verdict

There are definitely more pros to take away than cons, in fact I struggle to find an obvious weakness. Well, whatever the weakness is, this well manufactured hatch has a lot going for it - the enhanced tech, the all new-interior, the wide grille at the front, the aggressive looking profile, gnarly infotainment system and voice activation features. In addition, it has really quick acceleration and is so smooth you can hardly hear a sound. In my opinion, Mercedes has really put in the hard work to improve this year's model and it clearly shows. However how it fairs up against its rivals like the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 remains to be seen. With all that said, it gets a thumbs up from me and I highly recommend getting behind the wheel of one of these highly sought-after cars.

If you would like to know more about the 2018 Mercedes A-Class, check out our latest leasing deals and register your interest.

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