Some might feel a pang of regret that Mercedes has returned to a more conventional shape with this latest A-Class, but be in no doubt that it’s a massively improved car compared to its innovative but rarely exciting predecessors.
It looks great, it drives well and it’s chock-full of smart ideas.
Even in this entry-level A180 petrol guise, you’ll love it.
Pricing for this A180 theoretically starts at about £19,000, but that’s for an entry-level version with steel wheels that few potential buyers will want, though you do get air conditioning, an eco start/stop function and a CD stereo.
Better though, to look at a starting point for ownership as being the SE version, priced from just over the £20,000 mark. At this level, you get 16-inch alloy wheels, some body-colour and chrome finishing, lovely chromed air vents, and ARTICO faux-leather sports seats.
We tried the entry-level petrol 1.6-litre A180 with 122PS getting it to 62mph in 9.2s on the way to 126mph.
If that’s not enough, there’s a 156PS version of this same engine fitted to the pricier A200 variant that knocks a second off that and takes you up to 139mph. I’d guess though that most potential buyers won’t need to go that fast.
More popular perhaps, might be the option of specifying the 7-speed dual clutch auto gearbox. As for running costs, the A180 manages 51.4mpg on the combined cycle and 129g/km of CO2 - in manual form.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Mercedes-Benz A180
INSURANCE GROUP: 15
CO2 EMISSIONS: 126g/km
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 9.2s / Max Speed 126mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 51.4mph (combined)
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP, ABS with EBA, Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, twin front,side and head airbags
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4292/1780/1433.