Mercedes-Benz A-class (W169 A-Class)
Model: W169 A-Class
Jan / 2005Release date:
Jan / 2008End date:
The second-generation W169 Mercedes-Benz A-Class learned some hard lessons from its predecessor and from the outset was a wholly balanced design with more space, cleanly sculpted looks and the introduction of a three-door version that brought the entry price below $30,000.
The A-Class now offers four engines: a base 1.5-litre, a 1.7-litre, a 2.0-litre and a 142kW 2.0-litre turbo.
The 70kW 1.5-litre struggles a bit, but otherwise the A-Class is adequately powered, better-handling, more spacious and more refined than the W168.
The transmissions are better too, with a conventional manual five-speed replacing the previous clutchless sequential gearbox (six speeds in the turbo) and a continuously-variable CVT available across the board.
The wheelbase is longer than the original short-wheelbase version, although slightly shorter than the long-wheelbase version. Parking in tight spots is consequently a tad harder, although the A-Class is still diminutive in overall length.
Overall it’s less a compromised package than the original, with excellent load space available even with all seats in place, becoming quite gargantuan if both the rear and front passenger seats are removed.
When it was new...