Introduction to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was launched in 1997 with the second generation among the best sellers in the German company’s passenger car range.

The third version of the mini people carrier has a revised design and technical developments relating to safety, comfort and economy.

So far A-Class has sold to 1.7 million customers worldwide with more than 125,000 of these in the UK. It is one of the most popular used Mercedes models currently sold.

The five-door Hatch and the three-door Hatch were upgraded in 2008. The front featured sweeping lines of the headlamps combining the front end and flanks. Used bike info also available.

The front bumper’s lower air intake was made larger than before while the radiator grille was also redesigned.

The louvres in the radiator grille of the basic version of the A-Class were painted in dark grey. They were respectively in metallic atlas grey and high-sheen iridium silver in the Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE lines, with additional chrome strips. In the Avantgarde SE line, the front bumper has a design which emphasises the arrow-shape of the front end.

When viewed from the side the different lines in the A-Class were distinguished by wheel designs. While the basic model was equipped with 15-inch wheels and seven-spoke wheel embellishers as standard, Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE were fitted with individually designed 16-inch light-alloy wheels. Larger exterior mirror housings and door handles were painted in the vehicle colour for all model variants. The previous side rubbing strips were replaced by discreet chrome trim strip.

The rear end of the A-Class was dominated by a modified bumper and rear light clusters which extended well into the vehicle flanks. Both these features made the body appear wider. In the Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE models the rear bumper had reflector-look trim strips and chrome inserts. The tailgate handle was chrome-plated in both lines, as was the oval exhaust tailpipe.

The cabin of the A-Class in the Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE models was upholstered in a combination of man-made leather and fabric available in three colours. A trim of smoke-grey, diagonally brushed aluminium also featured on the Avantgarde SE model. The Elegance SE model had wood trim.

All versions of the A-Class shared a stowage compartment in the centre console and a cupholder between the front seats.

A seat comfort package included seat cushion angle adjustment and lumbar support, seat height adjustment for the driver’s seat, a front armrest and a parcel net in the front passenger footwell and was standard for the Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE models.

The A-Class fuel consumption figures were between 42.8 and 64.2mpg. The introduction of an optional BlueEFFICIENCY package for the three-door A 160 CDI saw fuel consumption of the direct-injection diesel engines improve by up to 7.7mpg, or 14 per cent, compared to the previous model.

The package offered measures to further improve engine efficiency, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, energy management and weight. The package also included a diesel particulate filter.

The BlueEFFICIENCY package also included an aerodynamically optimised radiator grille. This had a closed-off interior face to reduce the airflow to the engine. The suspension was also been lowered by 10 millimetres to reduce the drag coefficient.

The onboard power supply of the A 160 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY was also controlled according to demand with a sensor constantly monitoring the battery so that the output of the generator could be
reduced for certain periods when the battery was well charged. This reduced the work required of the engine. To recharge the battery the generator management system utilised the engine’s overrun phases to produce electrical energy.

The Start-stop function sees the engine switch off automatically when the driver shifts the manual transmission to neutral at a low speed while applying the brakes. Within fractions of a second the engine is restarted as soon as the clutch is operated or the brake released. Mercedes-Benz useD a starter generator which is linked to the crankshaft via the drive belt.