Skip advert
Advertisement

Mercedes-Benz A-class review - does facelift bring the fight back to rivals? - Mercedes-Benz A-class ride and handling

A conventional hatch now, the A-class fights hard in the premium hatchback class

Evo rating
Price
from £19,990
  • Neat interior, head-turning looks and comparatively cheap to own and run
  • Dynamically it doesn’t live up to its visual promise, space and comfort are issues

Mercedes has worked hard to address one of the biggest shortcomings of the A-class in its 2015 facelift, namely the ride. Optional £595 adaptive dampers can be fitted to AMG Line and A250 models and bring with them a choice of Comfort and Sport options for the damping.

It makes a significant difference to the A-class's ride, with the car now exhibiting a much smoother and compliant setup over lumps and bumps. It still isn't the best in the segment however, with repeated undulations revealing a still firm secondary ride. Sport mode in particular is still far too firm and best avoided.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Also added in the 2015 facelift was a Dynamic select rotor which allows you to switch between muliple driving modes including Eco, Comfort, Sport and Invidual, which when the variable rate dampers are specced while let you seperate out engine and suspension characteristics.

Body roll is well managed, with the A-class staying relatively flat through corners and giving it a nicely agile feel which some rivals fail to exhibit. Grip is decent too, the front-end resisting understeer so the A’s stance is largely neutral, only pushing its nose wide if you’re carrying too much speed. Naturally the traction and stability control systems help keep everything in check, these working with rather than against you on the road. 

Indeed, while the A-class can prove to be surprisingly enjoyable it lacks the keener responses of its BMW 1-series rival. Nor does it offer the sort of fine balance of its rear-drive adversary. The 4Matic models add plenty of traction, but do little to increase the engagement. The main reason for this seems to be its steering, which lacks any sort of communication or feel. There is a sense that there’s a better chassis underneath than is exhibited on the bread-and-butter models, but the steering detracts from the driving experience, even if it is reasonably accurate.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

BMW M340i xDrive Touring Fast Fleet test – 6000 miles in the six-cylinder estate
evo Fast Fleet BMW M340i xDrive Touring
Long term tests

BMW M340i xDrive Touring Fast Fleet test – 6000 miles in the six-cylinder estate

The six-cylinder M Performance estate departs the evo Fast Fleet, confirming a renaissance for the everyday BMW
20 May 2024
The Lamborghini Huracán replacement will get a 10,000rpm flat-plane crank V8 
Lamborghini V8 to replace V10
News

The Lamborghini Huracán replacement will get a 10,000rpm flat-plane crank V8 

The iconic Lamborghini V10 is no more, but its upcoming eight-cylinder successor will pack hybrid drive and a 10,000rpm redline
20 May 2024
Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman
evo Fast Fleet Toyota Supra
Long term tests

Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman

With a 335bhp straight-six and rear-wheel drive, the Supra should be very much our sort of car. But after nearly a year on our fleet, did this prove t…
17 May 2024