Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes A-Class - 1st Drive
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Our Fleet Test Drive: Mercedes A-Class - 1st Drive

Date: 10 December 2013   |   Author: Guy Bird

Mileage: 7774 miles
Claimed combined consumption: 65.7mpg
Our average consumption: 48.7mpg
Forecast CPM: 51.3p
Actual CPM: 52.7p
Why we're running it: To see if the new A-class can beat Audi or BMW

Now comes the big test.

We've driven the A-class on smooth continental tarmac in sunny locales for a few days, but for the next six months we'll be living with it on the UK's pot-holed roads to see if it can steal sales from younger drivers who might otherwise choose the Audi A3, BMW 1-series, top-end VW Golfs plus the new Volvo V40. 

In an image-driven market, its exterior appearance is a great start [1]. Visually dynamic from all angles, it looks and feels suitably low-slung where the older A-class was high-sided. None of its rivals stand out more. The interior is also a very smart place with sleek black sports seats and brushed aluminium accents - especially the cool jet-style air vents - collectively creating a sophisticated yet calm space [2].

Interior room is compromised by the sportier exterior proportions, though, with noticeably smaller rear door and boot apertures [3], reducing headroom for 6ft-plus passengers and creating only average boot space, better than the V40 but worse than the A3 and 1-series.

But the engine we've chosen should be ideal. Our 136hp 1.8-litre A200 CDI auto is punchy, easy to use and still offers 114g/km and 65.7mpg, meaning no first-year VED and a 17% BIK rate for 2013/14. On our first mixed-use drive we managed 48mpg without effort.

Sport spec includes two excellent standard safety items: Collision Prevention Assist - which warns drivers of impending accidents and primes Brake Assist for maximum braking when the driver does react - plus Attention Assist to monitor signs of driver tiredness and alert as necessary.

You also get Bluetooth and natty two-tone alloys for the initial £24,745, but in order to sample the full breadth of the range's offering, this car has been loaded to the rafters with £12,460 of extras by Mercedes, including the £2100 Comand Online system featuring a bigger seven-inch tablet-style screen and colour satnav plus a £1430 intelligent lighting system with headlights that 'see round' corners.

Bumping up the price to a whopping £37,205, at least we'll get the chance to test a wide variety of kit on one car, so we can report back on the bits we'd keep and others that you would be able to do without.


  • Great looks, competitive tax
  • Low standard spec, small interior space