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I originally got this car on a 58 plate as a business lease purchase. Looks small from the outside but wait until you get in it, very comfortable both front and back and I have the cloth seats. So small? not really, sleek - yes, compact in the way that when you drive, everything is close by. fantastic stereo controls both on the steering wheel and dash board. The computer is a bit of a pig sometimes, especially if you get a flat, you have to reset buttons, which sometimes work and sometimes don't which is horrendous if you have a slow puncture, as you will get this loud bleep and your dash will illuminate RED, you automatically think there is something major wrong, when in fact the air has gone down by a microdot. If I bought another I would go for the alloys - it's a great looking car, small enough to park effortlessly and yet back seats fold down to allow equivalent of 4 large suitcases and an assortment of clothing and bags. Very tidy throughout. Diesel - Am getting roughly 45mpg round town and 65 long journeys
Mercedes A 160 Avantgarde I have owned this car now for just over a year and am very happy with the A class. The car was bought as a second car for the family and on the many occasions I have driven it I have been pleasantly surprised. I am not a fan of small cars but the A class is quite a big inside for a car of its size. Even sitting in the back seats is not uncomfortable and I'm 6 foot tall. The engine is surprisingly powerful for its size although you wont be winning many traffic light races. We opted for the Tiptronic 5 Speed Auto box, which is quite smooth although using the tiptronics does sometimes make the car leap between gear changes. Even on the motorway the A class is very quiet even above the speed limit and seems to eat the miles up with minimum effort, @ 80mph I got just over 50mpg. As the Avantgarde has the sportier, harder suspension, this allows the car to corner a lot better than the Elegance (which I also test drove). Although this does sometimes mean that your spine takes a good battering on badly maintained roads. If you are about to buy an A class it might be worth spending that little bit extra and getting the air conditioning as well as the sun roof, as sometimes the sunroof is not really practical and sometimes when we’ve has a full load of people on a rainy day we have had a lot of condensation on the inside. The sunroof is excellent in nice weather as it goes quite far back, almost to the back of the rear seats. On the motorway at high speeds, driving into high winds the sunroof can sometimes whistle, but I am told that this problem has been sorted out now! Inside the car is quite roomy, plenty for 5 adults, although I wouldn’t advise a long journey with 5 adults inside. The driving position is quite good as your quite high up. The front seats both adjust up, down and forward and back, along with the steering wheel moving up and down. In the back the seats move forward and ba ckwards to give greater boot/rear passenger space, depending on what you need the most. All the seats can be removed from the car making luggage space excellent. I have managed to get 2 cement mixers in mine with all but the drivers seat removed. Removal of the seats also makes cleaning the car a breeze as you can get an upright vacuum cleaner inside. Okay the interior inside isn’t the most visually appealing as there is plastic everywhere (newer models have aluminum and wood trim) but the quality and finish is very good. Apart from the speedo/revcounter display as a good push can move it up or down. Safety has been though about and the car has 4 airbags, but there all for the front passengers. Overall I think for the price Mercedes have come up with a good package and have produced a nice to drive, reliable and practical car. However my only moan is the switches for the electric windows are not high enough and you have to fish around or look before you get the right switch. If your looking for a smallish car then the A Class is worth a look especially if you have kids or pets, due to the large cabin space. It will also return good MPG without the sacrifice of too much performance. A smashing little run about. © copyright 2001, Mike Porter.