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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Running costs and reliability
Fuel consumption and CO2 figures, at least measured by the obsolescent NEDC standard, are pretty mediocre. For comparable performance, even with an autobox, you can always find a Golf, Astra or 308 that’s more economical and lower in CO2. But given the A-Class’s new engines and low drag, one can only hope it’s been optimised for real-world driving and the forthcoming WLTP test.
For the record, the best the A-Class can manage is 108g/km for the sluggish A180d on 16-inch wheels.
As to the lease and PCP payments, Mercedes usually does well here, because the cars get good residuals. However, at launch time, there are no dealer deposit contributions so you’ll have to find more cash up-front than if you bought, say, an Audi A3.
Speccing an A-Class is straightforward. It’s done by trim levels and packages, rather than the usual Mercedes procedure of ticking from a menu of individual options. Basic spec includes two seven-inch screens, connected navigation and voice activation, air, cruise, and autonomous braking that looks for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. The Sport and AMG lines are basically wheel, upholstery and bodykit upgrades.
Then the packages. They’re good value as bundles, but you might resent paying the price of a whole bundle just to get a single item. For instance the Executive pack is value at £1,395 for a 10.25-inch central display, folding dimming mirrors, heated seats plus self-parking. But if you want a sunroof you’ve got to go the whole hog for the top £3,595 13-item bundle.