1 May 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
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.
29th of July 2005
Mercedes-Benz 2005 A-class A170 5-dr hatchIs the new A-class more Mercedes-like than the original? We test the A170 Classic
When it was new
6th of May 2005
First drive: Benz's bigger, better new A-classMercedes-Benz launches a bigger, funkier new A-class hatch Down Under
21st of April 2005
New A-class for under $30,000Mercedes opens its doors for sub-$30,000 buyers to climb into a new A-class