2013 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: Will it compete with the premium hatchbacks?

Muamer Hodzic February 12, 2013


So the Mercedes A-Class has finally arrived and seems to have left the MPV styling in its previous model and transformed the A-Class into a sporting hatchback that can truly rival the Audi A3, VW Golf and the BMW 1 series. But has the model lived up to its hyped transformation or has it disappointed Mercedes enthusiasts.

First of all it’s important to highlight the competitors that the A-Class will face by entering the premium sporting hatchback market. The Audi A3 is considered one of the best and with receiving a 5 star review on WhatCar? the A3 excels in performance, handling, user experience and high quality. The Volkswagen Golf is built for practicality, reliability and comfort and with 2 litre models it still manages to provide a powerful performance. Finally the rear wheel drive BMW 1 series is deemed to be one of the best family hatchbacks on the road, with attractive exterior and competitive performances from all engine sizes too. Each car has received raved reviews for their own right, will the A-Class be able to make its mark amongst the best.

First thing noticeable with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the looks, a transformation of style and body has made this updated model very desirable and an attractive looking car. The recognisable high quality that comes with Mercedes is reminiscent in this model. An AMG version is available that increases emphasise to the muscle and aggression with curvatures and powerful arches on the body and red trimming is incorporated on the front apron, callipers and diamond grill.

The A-Class has a low centre of gravity increasing grip to the road which allows for a better driving experience, although the ride is deemed to be a little firm according to some early drivers. The Mercedes hatchback comes with a range of diesel and petrol engines each of which feature energy saving methods such as ECO start/stop technology.

The interior keeps the same class that we have all come to expect with any Mercedes-Benz model. Steering and seats are adjustable to increase the level of comfort to the driver. Bluetooth come standard with the A-Class and with Mercedes involvement with Apple expect iPod compatibility throughout.

Overall each premium hatchback have their good points and bad points some may edge towards the A3 as being the best on the market but with the arrival of the A-Class this is worth a considering as a serious option.

Comments (4)

  1. Would love to be able to answer this question, but for the USA Market where I reside, the only answer today is “Not Applicable”, because:

    * MB isn’t importing the A, but instead the CLA (4 door sedan).

    * BMW’s 1-series entry for the USA is similarly a 2-door sedan, whose utility was compromised further with an inaccessible “Insurance Purposes Only” back seat.

    * And while Audi’s A3 is a 4dr hatchback, it is being discontinued after this model year (2013) and reportedly is being replaced with …yes, you guessed it: yet another sedan.

    As such, the only premium sporting hatchbacks in the USA Market right now is the A3 (and VW GTI, if one can claim it as approaching premium), which in just a few more months at the advent of the 2014 model year will be just the VW GTI … with effectively zero prospects of any other marquee introducing any new products within the next ~2 years (the closest is probably the BMW 3 Series GT variant).

    With an A3 now having been in our family’s fleet for the past few years, I can definitively state that my older MB C-Class is superior, with particular emphasis on the engineering of its transmission and rear axle suspension (note that these same shortcomings are present in the VW GTI).

    Based on my firsthand life with the A3, if I had Europe’s freedom of choice between these three models, I don’t think that the A3 would be my first choice…and I say this from the perspective that my wife has driven Audis exclusively for the past 24 years: the A3 is much more “Volkswagon-esque” than the other Audi’s we’ve owned.


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