December 5, 2022

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Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012 – 2018) | Expert Rating

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Summary


First arriving on UK roads in the second half of 2012, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class was a five-door family hatchback pitched as a direct rival to the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. It was replaced by the current generation of the A-Class in 2018.

The range consisted of a selection of four-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox.

“Whichever you get, it’s worth paying for the automatic gearbox”, Carwow said. “It’s smooth and changes gears quickly, unlike the manual gearbox, which is not so nice to use.” Other than the transmission, Parkers said that the A-Class had “compromised” ride comfort, which What Car? also called “unnecessarily firm”.

Many motoring titles also comment that the A-Class lacked practical space when compared to its key rivals, and that it was not all that fun to drive – The Telegraph argued that “the A-class isn’t the kind of car that will tempt you into taking the long way home.”

While a bit dated toward the end of its life, the interior build quality and refinement was a highlight, and many journalists were impressed by the exterior design of the A-Class through the years – both after its launch, and its mild facelift in late 2015.

And despite the range of efficient engines available, “The A-Class just isn’t quite as good as it should be”, Carwow concluded. “Yes, it looks amazing, but it’s not as classy or as practical as alternatives.”

No longer on sale, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class holds an Expert Rating of 59%, based on 18 reviews published by British motoring outlets.

A-Class highlights

  • Smart looks inside and out
  • Smooth automatic gearbox
  • Decent fuel economy
  • High resale values

A-Class lowlights

  • Rigid ride comfort
  • Cramped rear seating
  • Rather small boot
  • Standard range is not that fun to drive
  • More expensive than key rivals

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatchback
Engines:
petrol, diesel
Price when new:
From £22,005 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2012
Last updated: Winter 2015/16
Replaced: Summer 2018



Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating


The third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class was originally crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2012 and awarded a five-star rating. However, this rating expired in January 2020 and is no longer valid as the car no longer meets the standards required for such a rating.

Eco rating


No eco rating

The third-gen Mercedes-Benz A-Class was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its life cycle as it pre-dated Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has an overall reliability score of 44%, which is below average if you’re looking at a used A-Class. However, this applies to all A-Class models in MotorEasy’s database, including the current iteration on sale, this third-generation model, and the second-generation A-Class.

The vast majority of repair claims submitted by A-Class owners refer to braking system issues, which are relatively cheap to fix, with an average cost of around £200. A fuel system problem is the second most likely fault, and this generally costs around £150 to correct. The Motoreasy database does also include one claim made for a gearbox repair, which ended up costing over £7,000.

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulietta | Audi A3 | BMW 1 Series | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault Megane | SEAT Leon | Skoda Octavia | Vauxhall Astra | Volkswagen Golf

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