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Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2005 Review

The Benz engineers reckon this allows 67 per cent of the body length free for people.
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It still has a sandwiched chassis which allows the motor and transmission to slip slightly back and under the cabin front. Other bits such as the battery and fuel tank are under the cabin.

The Benz engineers reckon this allows 67 per cent of the body length free for people.

This second generation A-Class is a little longer and wider than before — it now sits at 3838mm long and 1764mm wide, casting a road shadow that's 6.7 metres square. Shoulder room is better, rear knee room is up and there's more luggage space. It looks good outside, there is a little more muscle to the style these days, a little more street fighter, particularly for the three-door version which scores a different profile treatment. And it feels good inside, feels like a Benz should.

The three-door A-Class starts at $29,900 for an A150 Classic, pretty cheap for a Mercedes-Benz and that three-pointed star and all the gear from airbags galore to airconditioning and Electronic Stability Program.

The three-door A150 arrives with 1.5-litre engine and 70kW. Move along to the 85kW A170 and the price moves to $34,400.

Then there's the A200 Avantgarde, the 2-litre, 100kW machine at $40,400.

Along with the extra power, plus 185Nm of torque, the A200 three-door arrives with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and cruise control, fancy (with speed limiter), climate control airconditioning and upgraded stereo system. All very swish.

This particular A200 was sitting on optional 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45 rubber. Very smart.

But there was a little body pitching and a little bit of suspension noise around the suburbs.

Not one thing wrong with the handling though, sharp as a tack; the grip is good and there's no body roll.

It turns in quick and, in normal driving, with little trace of any front-wheel-drive idiosyncrasies. Plus there all those Benz bits of motor magic such as traction control, ABS, brake assist and electronic stability program to keep the Mercedes A-Class on the right and proper track.

This is a very handy machine for getting around town, all class.

There is that business of giving the 100kW a chance to build up a little steam off from the lights, a lazy start can lead to a stutter or a stall. Once up and running through the five-speed gearbox and no dramas, the A200 is pretty flexible; fuel consumption should come in under 9 litres per 100km.

The only thing here is the big tachometer on the right attracts the eye easier than the big speedometer on the left. So the 40 is probably 4000rpm rather than 40km/h and can be closing on speed limits.

As with bigger Mercedes-Benz, the dashboard and controls are all neat, tidy, logical and legible.

Driving with a little bit of seat height (but not a deal of headroom for taller types with the optional sunroof installed) and that big, panoramic windscreen plus compact body is an easy business around town.

Back seat access is pretty good, long doors and an easy tip-and-slide function. Head and legroom back here is OK for most adults.

So this three-door A200 is some $10,000 extra over the A150 but with a few extra cosmetics, a couple of extra kilowatts and alloy wheels over the smaller-engined machine it stacks up well as a smart-looking, comfortable and handy compact car.

The badge out the front, the technology and that tailored fit, finish and design to the cabin makes the A-Class Mercedes-Benz that much more special. (Another $2500 will buy the other two doors.)

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

A170 Avantgarde 1.7L, PULP, CVT AUTO $3,800 – 6,160 2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2005 A170 Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
A150 Classic 1.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $2,900 – 4,950 2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2005 A150 Classic Pricing and Specs
A170 Elegance 1.7L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $3,800 – 6,160 2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2005 A170 Elegance Pricing and Specs
A160 LWB Classic 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ $3,500 – 5,720 2005 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2005 A160 LWB Classic Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.