A Member’s A Class Review

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Mercedes-Benz W168

A Member’s A Class Review

Published: 19 February 2004

Our Story

Have you ever had that you really like, cherish?

We have, our Mercedes We ve had three of them now and we love to bits.

We’ll start our first A-class, an A160 in Athol Blue, which we in 2000.

We d initially wanted to the new VW Beetle as we where smitten it after taking a test however we wanted an Automatic and pushed the price of the beetle up to £18,000.

Thanks to Mike for writing this article, as you see he’s owned several A

At the time this was way beyond our

In the mean time our old VW Golf was dying, it was an G reg Golf Driver with all these stupid control systems which had screwed up, it either ran okay or at 2000rpm with a viscious change.

At round about the as the Golf was dying our local garage where holding a so we decided to take a look at the as they had several on offer at the

We entered the garage to see a brand new Avantgarde, Auto with all the and whistles, the only thing it have was Air Conditioning. We took it for a drive, loved it and bought it and then!

We decided on the A-class the Beetle on 3 things,

Mercedes over Volkswagen (Bit of a no that one),

Practicality A-class is a more practical that the beetle, which nice)

Space (The box on the A-class is more spacey the Beetles boot)

To be brutally the A-class is basically a 5 door van seats and windows. Don’t get me I like its van like interior brings us on to space. The A-class is inside compared with the VW which is both handy for my own and my business as we both need to large items from to time.

My wife shifts pottery items, materials and and I move large amounts of equipment.

All the seats come out of the and the Long Wheel Base has either loads of legroom or you can the seats forward for loads of space. Not as much as some on the market admitidly but they come with a Mercedes badge on the front

I’ve had two cement mixers in our first with all but the driver’s seat Quite funny when I up at HSS with both cement in the car. The staff at the store believe me until they saw it. (On models the removal of the front has become an optional extra as the seats are now bolted in)

We had the A160 for just over a and did 7500 miles in it driving as far as Cornwall to John O’Groats. In all the we owned the car we didn’t have a problem and all the garbage people us about the car tipping over forced to swerve hard was late one night driving the M7 at 90mph, when a fox ran out in front of us and I had to to miss it.

We ended up facing the way on the motorway however we didn’t tip and we didn’t hit the fox, but we did leave groovy looking skid on the motorway! Glad it was at about 2am in the though!

After driving the round for a year, we’d had the sunroof open a few times and to wish we d gone for Air Conditioning So we swapped our A160 for a brand new Avantgarde with AC. Same smaller engine, and different Mangrove Green.

Now the A140 was a beast to the A160 as the A140 was a face lift model and slightly different to the A160. It was cosmetically different inside.

We did less than 7000 in the A140 in two years, not because we want to drive it but because was a busy period for me and the wife and we drive very far. My was in Japan for 5 months in these two and if I was away, I was using my Crown as at the my business was paying my insurance/petrol/etc.

we did do some epic trips, to Southern Spain and back and Twice!

The A140 did cause us two though, one major, one minor but irritating. Lets stick the minor problem first. we where away in Japan the car sat in the Garage for 4 weeks and on our return the car just started, however it did But the engine management warning came on as it started and stayed on.

driving the car round for about 50 the battery was charged enough to the car no problem but the engine management was still on even though the user handbook says the should go out within 20-30

So, off down to the local MB dealer, who me that it will cost £43 to the computer. What! Okay I with £43 to get it reset but the dealer me that this was because of the battery. How can I avoid paying £43 time I go to Japan for 4 weeks?

I since found out that you can the engine management system, but any are still logged in the engine computer and it can invalidate your if anything major goes at a later date because of error. Anyway I complained to MB office several time and got a for £100! So not to bad after all.

Next onto what I a major problem. Mercedes

What a pain in the arse was as it kept telling us the car needed a first at 3500 miles and after the dealer reset it at 4200 miles, then after it was reset at 4800 After throwing my toys out of the in the dealers they replaced the panel but the assist went off at 5200 miles so I had the car serviced. stop assist kicking in just 600 miles later, the replaced the instrument panel and this sorted it out. we did trade the car in soon afterwards so I know if this problem or not. (I see the car quite regularly as its now by elderly couple — if you own SBN or my old Athol Blue W637 JHE send me an email)

This us onto our current A-Class.

The Evolution LWB

At the time we bought car we where looking at buying a sportier car but in the end we bought a A210 Evo is a cross between something and something with a load of inside.

Now some would say its not well define sporty. isn’t Porsche territory and not as cheap as something like the Civic, but I’ve already on this site that I a White Civic Type-R but UK wouldn’t accommodate me. I’ll one though if the price is right time I go to Japan. The Jap Spec is a car anyway!

I have to say the A210 is to drive compared to the other I’ve owned. It’s a little too fast sometimes and it miles better than the two, although it does a tendency to drive on three when pushed near the on the corners as I found out on a recent day. On the straight and narrow the does have a tendency to round to the wrong side of the rather quickly. I wont say how far the needle has been.

Okay its not as as some cars for the same but they don’t have the pointed star on the front. even though I live in an hot spot, our A-Class stands out of its body kit and nice alloys.

if I’d have bought the Honda Type-R I wouldn’t be able to as much stuff in the back as I can in the

I have loads of friends who own and constantly meet people who own and ask me about ours. For those who are this and want to meet A-Class owners then I point people in the direction of the Benz website, who have meetings of like minded throughout the country.

If your interested in an A-Class there are a few things to check you hand over your earned cash.

The most faults are listed below,

1. rack. With the engine off, move the steering from left to right. If it a clunking noise then the which connects the wheel to the is in need of replacing. Its an expensive especially with labour MB. The A-Class steering rack has updated three times the model was released, that I about, and this has been the of many a subject at Baby meetings. This only older models.

2. Rear Where the spring is held the rear trailing arms a tendency to rust which the spring to move. Parts are labour is expensive. Have a under the rear, its worth your hands dirty for one. This only older models.

3. Rear arms bushes. While down checking the springs the trailing arm bushes.

4. Rear bearings, these can go. Check

5. Rattles from interior. Its not the interior isn’t put together its just that some might not be secured properly or the didn’t fit exactly. Common to look at are: Rear (take them out and put either tape or foam over the posts in the floor), headrests one this, take them out and the posts further apart, not too mind you. When go back in they will fit snugly than before). (remove the cover and install of foam around the door, screw the cover back on) Any rattles can be fixed as per the tailgate.

6. Air Sensor. This is £500ish for the part! However whether or not needs replacing is like the I know people who’ve 90,000 miles and it’s okay and other with miles and it needed replacing. If it you get a warranty if you can. Remember all MB under 3 years old should a warranty with MB.

If you buy an A-Class Join the Baby Benz its free and the people you meet are a bunch who share a common the A-Class and who knows if you turn up, I even take you for a spin in my

A140 Review

Now there are two why we changed from the A160 to the the first is we wanted something had air conditioning, but the wife still to have an A class but with a engine (She said the was too powerful for her!), as she likes it so

The new A Class is much the same as the old except for a few cosmetic and functional

The most noticeable change on the is the new wheels, the bonnet, lights front an rear and the tailgate.

The front of the car has been slightly and if you look at the front of the old car next to the of the new car only then do they apparent. The bonnet has been slightly so that it keeps a from the new lights up to the top of the bonnet and the of the lights has been changed them appear more

The rear tailgate has also be with a more flush spoiler and a newer easier to handle, the pre-face lift had a buttom which you pushed and no the new version has a handle which is to open the door. The rear have also been and now look slightly indented as to the bubble shape of the old version.

the centre console has been redesigned. Well, all the switches and have been moved so that the heater controls are now at the top of the and you dont get the wavey line for the controls any more. The console on the Avantgarde is now a nice polished finish instead of the tacky from before. This finish has also been across to the trim along the of the doors.

Mercedes-Benz W168

The steering wheel has replaced with a thicker, sturdy version with a better looking badge and surround in the middle.

One of my major with the old A160 was the floor which had a tendency to move quite a lot but the new mats can be fastened with nice little

What I am amazed at is that haven’t bothered to do anything the electric window switches, I still think are far to low and hard to behind the handbrake.

Neither they tackled the window which work brilliantly for the but the drivers side doesn’t right to the edge of the window as the where designed for the left drive version. Why haven’t sat down to make a right drive version, why?

the new A class is the same as the older it has been tweaked to look and better on the road.

If you are going to a look at the A-class then a butchers at the Long Wheel version as if you have teenagers or the room in the back is amazing, if the front seats are pushed back. More than other cars i’ve or sat in, in the past. More than for the taller adult.

Update: driven the A140 now for 4 weeks day, I can now add a few extra comments on

If your after a sports then this car definately for you, but if your after an commuter or kids to school car this is a definate car to look at. it might look small on the it will take 5 adults in comfort and will still good mpg, even well on the motorway. 70mph @ not bad for a 1.4. it doesnt sound the engine is screaming either.

The handling is pretty good for a car of its and I dont know where the of instability originate from but are truly unfounded. This corners superbly and having several high speed changes, very quickly I can you it stays stuck to the floor.

The we have has the tiptronic, semi gearbox and if used properly add to the mpg. The auto box on its own is good but the semi auto box will up your day.

Load is also excellent and having got a double bed inside ours I was chuffed 🙂

All the seats come including the drivers seat, makes for excellent cleaning but driving position.

The brakes on the car are excellent and coupled with the skid reduction makes even better, although it off does make acceleration as the engine is free to rev and not limited by the Control.

Still not sure the wiper blades, they go the wrong way. fine if the passenger but crap if your the Makes motorways driving a bit as the blind spot is about 12 wide.

A160 Review

I owned this car now for just a year and am very happy My A160 Avantgarde.

The car was bought as a car for the family and on the many occasions I driven it, I have been surprised. I am not a fan of small cars but the A has quite a big inside for a car of its size. sitting in the back seats is not and i m 6 foot tall.

The engine is powerful for its size, although you be winning many traffic races.

When we bought the car it had the 5 speed auto box, is quite smooth although the tiptronic bit, change = push left and change up = right, does sometimes the car leap between gear Even on the motorway the A class is quiet even above the limit and seems to eat the miles up minimum effort, @ 80mph I got over 50mpg using Unleaded.

As the Avantgarde has the sportier, suspension, this allows the car to a lot better than the Elegance I also test drove on the day we the A160). Although this sometimes mean that spine takes a good on badly maintained roads.

If you are to buy an A class it might be worth that little bit extra and the air conditioning as well as the sun roof, as the sunroof is not really practical and when we’ve has a full of people on a rainy day we have had a lot of on the inside. The sunroof is excellent in weather as it goes quite far almost to the back of the rear

However on the motorway at high driving into high the sunroof can sometimes whistle, but I am that this problem has sorted out now! The dealers actually aware of this as I complained they informed me The only occurs when exceed 80mph!

Inside the car is roomy, plenty for 5 adults, I wouldn’t advise a long with 5 adults inside.

The position is quite good as you sit up and the front seats both up, down and forward and back, with the steering wheel up and down. In the back the seats forward and backwards to give boot/rear passenger leg space, on what you need the most. All the can be removed from the car making space excellent. I have to get 2 cement mixers in mine all but the drivers seat removed. of the seats also makes the car a breeze as you can get an upright vacuum inside!

Okay the interior isn’t the most visually as there is plastic everywhere models have aluminum and trim) but the quality and finish is good. Apart from the display as a good push can it up or down by a few millemetres

Safety has though about and the car has 4 airbags, but all for the front passengers. There are 4 seat belts and a lap belt for the rear passenger (The facelift models all have 5 seatbelts) and all seats have a restraint.

Overall, I think for the price Mercedes have up with a good package and produced a nice to drive, and practical car. However my moan is the switches for the electric are not high enough and you have to around or look before you get the switch, which can be dangerous at on a busy motorway.

If your for a smallish car then the A Class is a look especially if you have or pets, due to its large cabin It will also return MPG without the sacrifice of too much

A smashing little run about!

Mercedes-Benz W168
Mercedes-Benz W168


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