Vehicle Reviews

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon - Review Of The Week

Mercedes wants its A-Class to meet a wide cross-section of customer needs. That's why as part of this fourth generation model line-up, the company has brought us this Saloon body style. To compensate for the lack of a hatch, you get a little extra rear seat room and a big 420-litre boot. And arguably, a little extra style.

The A-Class Saloon range is based around two key engines, with others scheduled for the future. Both are front-driven and use only the brand's 7G-DCT dual-clutch auto transmission. The entry-level A200 variant is likely to be most popular featuring a 1.4-litre 163hp unit. The diesel alternative is the A180d, which puts out 116hp.

What else do you need to know? Well the suspension is the usual torsion beam rear set-up. The 'DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes system is standard, as usual enabling you to tweak steering feel and throttle response. At extra cost, adjustable damping can be added into it. Some of the autonomous driving capability from larger Mercedes models has been built into this one, meaning that, in certain situations, your A-Class, if appropriately equipped, will effectively be able to drive itself on dual carriageways at cruising speeds.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon - Review Of The Week

This Saloon A-Class model is 130mm longer than its hatch stablemate, but sits on the same wheelbase. The long wheelbase version of this four-door is limited to the Chinese market. The standard wheelbase model for Europe gets a modular two-part rear bumper and what Mercedes calls a 'muscular and sensual' shoulder line.

Inside up-front, it is of course exactly the same as in an A-Class hatch. The usual instrument binnacle cowl has been completely dispensed with, so the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard can extend from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. A virtual instrument screen (of either 7-inches or 10.25-inches in size) replaces the usual dials and can be joined with a centre-dash infotainment display (again either 7-inches or 10.25-inches in size) to create one continuous monitor, much as you get in larger Mercedes models.

Obviously, this saloon variant differs from the hatch versions more in the rear. The roofline isn't so swept back as to limit headroom, while the wide-opening doors allow easy access. Mercedes claims there's class-leading headroom in the back. It'll still be tight for three adults though. The boot, which offers 420-litres of space, is 50-litres bigger than that of the hatch, though has a narrower opening.

You can see how this Saloon A-Class variant might carve out a useful niche for itself. You get smart looks, a decently-sized boot and a class-leadingly sophisticated cabin that no rival model can match. Running cost efficiency is top-notch and, despite the front-driven format, there's pretty much all the warm feel of quality that comes with any model bearing the famous Three-Pointed Star. In short, if you can't quite stretch to a C-Class, then this might be a tempting option.

Click here to find out more about our Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon range