Mercedes A-class Reviews
Mercedes-Benz A-class is a compact car. Its debut took place in October 1997. This car was distinguished from other contenders by the overall design and equipment. The base of a car was “the concept of a sandwich” including the location of power plant partially under the passenger compartment, so when a head-on collision the unit of engine and gearbox did not move towards the cabin but in the direction the front part of a body. Due to it, the A-Class models ensured a high level of safety. The new location of an engine and a transmission significantly shortened the engine compartment. As a result, the cabin and the trunk had 70% of the car length. This figure was higher than other cars with the length of 3.6-4 m. The distance between the rear seats and pedals of A-class models conformed to a more luxurious S-class.
Owing to using “the sandwich concept” passengers of the A-class model sat higher than passengers of other cars by 20 cm. High seating position gave a driver excellent visibility. In addition, this position of seats secured much more safety by the side collusion and easier getting in and out of the. The most important elements were also two fronts and side airbags, as well as the inertia seat belts.
The rear seats could be installed in 36 different positions. They could be easily removed and the 5-seater model was quickly turned into the 4 -, 3 -, 2 - or 1-seater one. The luggage space of A-Class could be from 350 to 850 liters depending on the installing of rear seats. When removing the front passenger seat the total volume was increased to 1,700 liters that met to the large station wagons.
At first, Mercedes A-Class was equipped with two new four-cylinder 1.4 liter gasoline engines of 82 hp (A140) and a 1.6 liters one of 102 hp. In 1998 cars got two ultra-modern turbo-diesel engines with direct injection Common Rail and four valves of each cylinder. The first one (160 TD) had a power of 60 hp and another 1.7 liters (170 TD) issued 90 hp with intercooling system. Also Mercedes A-class was produced with the 1.9-liter gasoline engine (A190) of 125 hp. All engines were equipped with the manual, hydro-mechanical and automatic 5-speed transmissions except a diesel engine of 60 hp.
In standard equipment included the child seat recognition system as well as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). ESP had transverse acceleration sensors, turning around a vertical axis, the steering wheel angle and wheel speed sensors. The processor system, comparing the sensor data with a program made on the basis of mathematical modeling of drifts and tests, controlled braking of any wheels depending on the car moving. As a result there was a checkpoint to put a car to the road.
In December of 2000, the company announced planning to expand the plant in Rastatt and produce a new vehicle of Mercedes A-class. In 2001 the A-Class models were easy upgraded although most of the changes were not noticeable at first glance. W168 model got a new front end mainly due to changes of a new bumper shape of the lighting. Headlights were covered by simple polycarbonate, there was a slightly different design of back lights, and bumpers were redesigned. The back door got an easy-to-use handle. A center console, a steering wheel shape and front seats type were also redesigned.
But the main news was the long model of Mercedes A-class (it had an additional index L). The company decided to produce this vehicle because many customers were not satisfied by the small size of a car. And in its fifth year A-Class presented A160 L, which was lengthened by 170 mm. As a result legroom of rear passengers was increased, as well as a convenient carry capacity of the cabin, which was 1.93 m3, when folding of rear seats. A rear seat of elongated A-Class could be moved within 111 mm. There was the comfortable leather steering wheel cover, perfectly readable devices, and fitted chair inside of a car.
Mercedes A-Class models are equipped with five engines, but only three of them are set to “long” cars. Respective modifications are called A160 (1.6 liters), A190 (1.9 liters) and A170 CDI (1.7-liter turbo-diesel with direct-injection). There is another difference from the “short” version – disc rear brakes. ABS and ESP are still included in the list of standard equipment. There are three trim levels: Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde.
In 2002 Mercedes produced the tuning model A 210 Evolution limited with a more powerful 2.1 liter engine of 140 hp, owing to it a car accelerates to 100 km/h in just 8.2 seconds. The top speed is 200 km/h, but the high speed on the speedometer is 225 km/h. At the same time the fuel consumption is quite low - 7.9 liters per hundred kilometers in the combined cycle.
In contrast to the basic model the Evolution has significant body changes made in the studio AMG: a new front bumper and skirts, a grille, updated rearview mirrors, a stiffer modified suspension, and a stabilizer bar. The reinforced braking system is equipped with perforated brake discs on the front wheels. In addition, a top-version of A-Class can be distinguished by new sports tires of 205/40 ZR on 17-inch wheels. The interior of a car was also changed. There are silver seat belts, a sports steering wheel and a two-tone seat trim.
In 2003 Mercedes-Benz presented a special version of the smallest model of the A-Class – Piccadilly. The standard equipment of this vehicle includes the air conditioning, an audio system and the leather steering wheel. In addition, Piccadilly got 16-inch wheels of the new double-spoke design and two body colors: Alpenblue and Tropenblack. And, of course, the car got Piccadilly nameplates, which are located on the rear-view mirrors and velour floor mats.
In September of 2004 in Europe the selling of the all-new generation of compact hatchbacks A-Class (type W169) began. For the first time A-Class offered the three-door model (Coupe), at the same time dimensions of 3- and 5-door hatchbacks are the same (3838x1764x1593 mm, a wheelbase is 2568 mm). The second generation of vehicles was longer by 230 mm and wider by 45 mm than its predecessor.
Mercedes-Benz A-class of the second-generation determines new standards of the compact cars. This model offers the highest level of safety and superior quality finishes, confirming its leadership in the sphere of technology. With constructing of this car manufacturer used 200 proprietary method altogether.
The main structural changes of the A-Class are a new Watt’s link on a live rear axle suspension and shock absorbers of degree variable-damping on all wheels. Shock absorbers and springs for the A-Class are delivered by Bilstein. As before, the body is made with reinforced sandwich principal that ensures excellent passive safety and provides a number of advantages with any front and side collusions. The high level of safety is also guaranteed by the new effective system of belts and airbags of Mercedes A-class. A hydraulic booster made way for an eelectrical booster.
The second generation offers more space, more comfort, and excellent opportunities to transform the passenger compartment. As for the specific changes, the A-Class has a new shape front bumper, a radiator grille and lightening. Back lights and a rear bumper are also slightly redesigned. The car has front wheel drive and the crosswise engine. Actually, it allowed making a car quite spacious with compact dimensions.
The interior of the second generation is quite different from its predecessor. Quality of materials is closer to the C-class. Due to increased sizes, the rear passengers get 30 mm an addition. The distance between the rear and the front seats is 805 mm. The trunk carrying capacity grew by 15% up to 1310 liters. The rear seats can be folded at a ratio of 1 to 3 and 2 to 3. Also, if the rear seats are folded, there is a completely flat area. When removing of all passenger seats (removable seats Easy-Vario-Plus are optional features), the trunk capacity increases to 1995 liters. The ergonomics is great, everything is at hand.
A gamma of modifications is – Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde. The basic equipment includes front and side airbags, ABS, ASR, Brake Assist, ESP, a multifunction steering wheel, electric windows and mirrors. Extra-cost features are leather seats, parking sensors, window airbags, a panoramic glass roof, air conditioning or a climate control system, some audio systems to choose from, including the Comand system with DVD-navigation, xenon headlights.
During the three years of production of the second generation A-Class Concern sold half a million models.
In 2008, the model was restyled, and as a result the car became even more vivid and attractive. The lineup of new Mercedes-Benz A-class has two body variants, and each of them has an independent nature: in addition to the universal five-door model there is the first three-door model that impresses by its sports exterior.
Exterior changes applied to the front and rear lightening. Bumpers shapes were slightly modified. The lower air intake is significantly increased and now visually emphasizes the width of the body. An Avantgarde line got a special bumper, emphasizing the sweep of the front end. The design of the grille was also slightly changed. Side mirrors were increased in size; they are as the door handles of all models painted in the body color. There were the modified bumper and newly designed back lights overstepping into side parts of the body. Both of these elements make the body visually wider and more powerful. For the elegance cars Avantgarde and Elegance models got 16-inch alloy wheels at that time the base model had just 15-inch ones.
Upgrading the interior, the designers set themselves the task of making a more luxurious cabin, and that is why they chose the new, high-quality upholstery. There were also changes of the dashboard and the wheel steering. The dashboard got a DVD-drive and a color display. The picture is completed by a navigation system, a SD-cards slot, Bluetooth and a modern audio system. The four-spoke steering wheel was replaced by a new three-spoke one with the controls of different systems.
A 5-door model of A-Class may be installed the EASY-VARIO-PLUS system, which allows to plan place in the cabin for cargo. Besides folding backrest of rear seats (60:40), they and cushions can be removed at all. The front passenger seat can be also removed to increase the capacity up to 1995 liters.
There is formally the same variety of engines but now the engines are more fuel efficient and economical. The wide range of 4-cylinder power plants of A-Class consists of gasoline and diesel engines of from 1.5 to 2 liters. The smallest engine produces 95 hp and consumes 6-6.5 liters of gasoline per 100 km in the combined cycle, and the most powerful one issuing 193 hp is also economical. The A 160 CDI model has a diesel engine consumes just 4.5 liters per 100 km, the A 150 and A 170 models decrease gasoline consumption by 9%. It is able owing to BlueEFFICIENCY technology and a new option ECO start/stop, which turns off the engine when switching to “neutral” and braking, and then turns on the engine again when starting. The standard transmission of Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a five-speed manual gearbox, and as an option a seven-speed automatic gearbox CVT with sequential shifting function Autotronic.
Engineers of Mercedes-Benz did not disregard safety and comfort systems of the A-Class cars and modernized them. New options include a system of intelligent sensors parking Active Park Assist. This function helps to park the car between the two next vehicles if even the distance between them is longer than the A-Class by at least 1.3 meters. The system controls to turn the steering wheel and a driver can only pedal. The new equipment of 2008 includes a system with hill start (for models with a manual transmission), brake lights, which automatically switch on when emergency braking, and the switching of the interior lighting and flashing emergency lights by any emergency cases.
The passive safety two-stage front airbags, pre-tensioner seatbelts of the front seats and outer rear seats, force limiters seatbelts, as well as active head restraints of the front seats and side airbags to protect a head or a chest. This safety equipment list is supplemented with an emergency interior lighting. Immediately after the accident it is automatically switched on to help passengers and a driver to go out of a car.
Mercedes-Benz A-class has a reputation as the perfect partner for active people who pay special attention to the practicality and safety of a car. This model is produced at Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét (Hungary), Rastatt (Germany) and Thonburi (Thailand).
The Geneva Motor Show of 2012 was the place of the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class of 2013, which became a classic hatchback. The model bears no resemblance to the previous generations of A-Class. The car is absolutely new, including the exterior, the style and the platform. The basis of the new vehicle is the front-wheel-drive modular platform (MFA). Now a vehicle is available in the five-door version. There will be a three-door car and a compact sedan, which will have got its own name soon.
The length of the A-Class of 2012 is 4292 mm, width - 1780 mm, height - 1433 mm. The car turned out shorter than its main rival BMW 1-Series F20 by 32 mm, but wider by 15 mm and higher than that by 12 mm.
The exterior design is balanced. It includes rigor, sports and exclusive. Each line and the body parts have a sense of style. The most powerful versions flaunt a number of details, usually inherent in the “charged” vehicles.
The decoration and trim of Mercedes A-Class of 2012 came to a completely different higher level, compared to its predecessor. And for meeting needs of all potential customers of A-Class, the designers offer three variations of the interior decoration and equipment such as Urban, Style and AMG Sport which correspond to the specification of cars in tote. But in addition, each of these variants has its own list of optional features.
A wide range of gasoline and diesel engines appeals to meet customer’s requirements by power plants. Each standard engine is equipped with the “start/stop” system. There is a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-step dual-clutch robotized 7G-DCT.
The basic version is a modification A180 with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with the power of 122 hp. A200 is equipped with a more powerful 156 hp engine of similar capacity and A250 has a 2.0-liter turbo engine of 211 hp under its hood.
Diesel engines are available in A180 CDI with a 1.8-liter engine producing 109 hp (250 Nm), A200 CDI with 1.8-liter engine of 134 hp (300 Nm) and the top model A220 CDI has a 2.2-liter one of 170 hp (250 Nm). The diesel engines have the high efficiency achieving due to using of sophisticated techniques of injection and turbo-charging.
Mercedes A-Class of 2012 got many safety systems, including complex of lane-keeping, blind spot monitoring, traffic signs and driver’s fatigue, as well as an active cruise control and automatic parking.
For the first time experts of AMG got involved in the work at its early stage. As a result, there are more dynamic versions of A-Class. AMG Sport modifications are easily identified by exterior: a grille, 18-inch five-spoke wheels, tires of 235/40 R18 and red brake supports. There are just decorative accents as red stripes on the front and rear bumpers and circles of the same color enclosing the vents in the cabin.
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