Mercedes A Class W176, the car that is as related to the previous generation as incense is to heroin. Should the new Mercedes way of doing things be worthy of our money (lots of money)?
Mercedes had two attempts at the supermini through the old A-Class. The first A-Class faded into anonymity, and the second generation remained a car dedicated to taxi drivers and those two people to whom a Polo seemed far below their dignity.
What’s more, Mercedes wanted to appeal to younger buyers too. Until the Mercedes A-Class W176 came along, the cheapest Mercedes for young people was the W204 C Class, a car far beyond what young people realistically could afford, no matter which Western European country they were from. So they thought they’d bring in the new A-Class, which now looks like a car for young people, and the C Class has morphed from a Baby Mercedes to a Mercedes E Class Mini, which is in itself an S Class you drive yourself.
What toys did the new Mercedes A Class W176 bring?
Even if the second generation has no relation to the third episode, as modern journalism has no connection to philosophical topics, the Mercedes A Class W176 has focused a lot on giving young people that Mercedes feeling, but not enough of it for them to be completely satisfied. So, when time will come to replace their car, they will be wishing that the next car will also be a Mercedes, but a C Class or something better. Mercedes Benz, the drug dealer of the car industry world.
It no longer has the sandwich construction of the previous generation, nor is the interior at the same exemplary quality, but an A Class W176 looks light years better than what it was before. Modern engines, modern looks and modern technology. Minus that horrible tablet you get for infotainment. Just as the Logan was famous for the window buttons on the dashboard and not on the doors as common sense would dictate, so the Mercedes infotainment tablet scratches my brain as much as if Angela Kinsley came along and scratched a blackboard with her two-foot nails.
Mercedes A Class W176 Engines
- 1.6 Turbo of 102, 122, and 156 horsepower – The new M270 debuts in the Mercedes A-Class W176 A160, A180, and A200 and it does a smashing job. Most will probably go for the 122 horsepower engine, the 102 is as muscular as Graham Norton and the 156 horsepower is as rare as a government employee who is passionate about his job.
- 2.0 Turbo of 211, 360, and 381 horsepower – The exotic 2.0 Turbo in the A-Class is for thrill-seekers and mechanics to befriend. Get rid of worries, money, tires, and brakes with the 2.0 Turbo M270 engine. For the 360- and 381-horsepower A45 AMG versions, you’ll need to buy turbos and tires more often. But then again, you have over 350 horsepower in a wheeled log cabin.
- 1.5 dCi of K9K 90 and 109 horsepower – If the K9K code sounds familiar, that’s because this engine comes from Renault. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and everything in between, the Mercedes A-Class W176 has the same engine that goes into the Renault Megane, Dacia Logan, Nissan Qashqai, and many other cars. 1.5 K9K – the village bike of the car industry. It’s abit wierd to spend €30,000+ on a Mercedes with a 90 horsepower diesel stolen from under the bonnet of a Sandero. Not that I have an issue with the Sandero, on the contrary, just that a Sandero 1.5 dCi costs 11,000 euros, not 30,000 euros.
- 1.8 CDI of 109 and 136 horsepower – A new engine with old issues. At least the engine is Mercedes sourced if that means anything to you.
- 2.2 CDI of 136 and 170 horsepower – Same OM651, brought up to the standard size of 2143 cubic centimeters. The standard engine also put in the C Class, E Class, GLK, Sprinter, and just about every Mercedes car. Really good for the long drive, really bad for the urban jungle. Still, if you decide to drive it city-only, then set money aside for injectors, particle filters and EGRs.
Mercedes A Class W176 General Issues
- Early models used the cheapest glue they could find for the interior bits, so watch out for the dashboard rattles. Or you can take up on Black Eyed Peas’ advice and turn up the music.
- The start/stop system doesn’t work when the fuel tank gets close to empty. But you’ve got a Mercedes A-Class, so you’ll probably never have the fuel tank close to zero or even halfway. If you had a CLS bought in UK for 3000 pounds and 480,000 miles on board, you’d probably only fill up in 5 and 10 pounds increments. But an A-Class is more like a car for people who genuienly make good money.
- Rear tires are very sensitive to alignment and angles and so the Mercedes A Class W176 has a tendency to chew up the rear tires. Particularly known issue with the A250 and A 45 AMG, but it’s somewhat to be expected when you have Terry Crew’s muscles and Graham Norton’s body. Your hammies simply will explode.
- Raindrops keep falling on my head. Whilst inside the car. That’s because water seeps in, especially through the window wiper area.
- The 7G-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission has always been a brown stain in Mercedes’s history. Even though the Mercedes A Class W176 suffers from fewer issues with the automatic transmission, it’s good to check the car in the morning, on a cold start, to listen to abnormal rattles and sounds. After buying the car, make sure you change the oil in the automatic transmission every 60,000 km.
- Diesel engines don’t take well to short-distance driving. Concerns with the particle filter and especially the Delphi piezo injectors. Also, later in life, the Mercedes OM651 engines will need the timing chain replaced, an job worthy of Mercedes maintenance prices.
Mercedes A Class W176 Verdict
Definitely a good car and fills the role of the Mercedes for those who would like a Mercedes but aren’t quite convinced to throw down 30-40,000 euros on one. It’s neither an exceptional nor a bad car. You just have to be careful not to buy a low power version and make a fool of yourself with a car that looks like it can, but in reality it’s just the looks. There would be another issue with the rear passenger space, but you have a Mercedes A Class W176 you have no family because you are too young and you have no friends. Because you have a Mercedes that is only bought by people who actually make honest money so they are short on time to socialise with friends. And they are young and own their very own, almost new, Mercedes Benz. Nobody wants succesful friends.
Which engine do you recommend? Mercedes A250 2.0 Turbo with 211 horsepower would be the best combination of sport, performance, and reliability. But a lot of people shy away from 211 horsepower, so I’ll recommend the 156 horsepower A200 BlueEFFICIENCY 1.6 Turbo.