Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - A-class - A170 5-dr hatch
Is the new A-class more Mercedes-like than the original? We test the A170 Classic
29 Jul 2005
A NEW A-class provides Mercedes-Benz with a chance to make a real impact on the light/small car market. It replaces weird looks with trendy style, harsh road manners with a smooth, compliant ride and a surprisingly large cabin with an even larger one. And the quality of the interior, once condemned roundly, is now Benz-compatible. It’s cleanly presented, classy and simple, and is as comfortable to ride in as it is to move around in. And despite its apparently plodding nature, the 1.7-litre eight-valve four-cylinder engine is appropriately lively. Safety levels, of course, are benchmark-setting. Unfortunately the pricing reflects all this.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Model release date: 1 May 2005 to 1 September 2008
All car reviews
Mercedes-Benz A-classReleased: October 1998
Ended: April 2005
Family Tree: A-class
Mercedes-Benz entered the small car category with a bang in 1998, when the original W168 A-class created a storm of controversy after failing a European magazine's "elk test", in which it displayed a very un-Mercedes-like level of stability. Fitted as standard with stability control, Australia's first A-class range consisted of only the A160 five-door with a 75kW/150Nm 1.6-litre SOHC four-cylinder. The 92kW/180Nm A190 and 60kW/130Nm A140 joined the local range in September 1999 and February 2000 respectively, while July 2001's facelifted range comprised the A160 and A190 in both short and long-wheelbase guise.
Click to share