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A class bashing cont...

Started by nathan, 29 January 2007, 03:56 PM


continuing the a-class bashing debate and avoiding the hijacking of michels post!

im not too harsh on the A-class, in fact i dont mind it too much!  i think it does what it was designed to do and its success is noted in the number of copycats; BMW 1 series, Audi A2 and all that Jazz (sorry, had to get iut in there).  a few years back, you might have laid into the 180e,s PB!!  i think the scourge on mercedes is the C180 "sports coupe" - u know the one, the ugliest 2 door heap based on the lovely W203...the term sports coupe is a misnomer, its like those hyundais badged as  "eurowagens"...why one would drop 50 something grand on these things is beyond me - if the term wannabe can be applied, this is the car for it (someone actually has the number plate wannabe in perth, its on a 163 M class!)

PS not wishing to offend anyone with one, just the ramblings of a man without a car younger than 20 years!

on a sidenote, having been in zagreb-croatia for 1 week now, i wonder where all the old benzes went...123 still banging around, not one 116 yet!  oddly and unexpectedly, these croats are car conscious and evidently some are loaded...seen a new ML63, a w220 s600, even an audi W12 sedan!!  for pure scarcity, through in some brabus work; a Gwagen G36 and a CLS (was going to quick to see what version)

ah, sweet poverty - i shall return to reality

1979 116 6.9 #6436
2018 213 e63
2011 212 e63
2011 463 g55
2007 211 e500 wagen
1995 124 e320 cabriolet
1983 460 300gd
1981 123 280te


I made my mother buy an A-class for 'the trip to the shops' (she wanted a small car and I insisted it be the safest small car) and I must confess that I would consider one in the future. I would never replace the W116 with an A-class but it would complement the W116.

Living in the city, I only really need a small car to zip around town. It is just so convenient to take to the shops or park somewhere where spaces are limited.

The W116 comes out whenever the drive itself is the reward and somewhere further than 10km round trip.
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200


I don't know whether to bash the A or not but do you remember the first A, the one that rolled and caused a recall I think.  I remember reading an article when the next version came out that praised Mercedes for sticking with the A.  What appeared to be a dog of a car receiving very negative publicity and subsequently became an unmarketable model, was redesigned or rebuilt and they perservered with the name.  Other manufacturers would've canned the A and brought out an improved copy a few years later called a D or F or whatever, class.  A comparison was made with Intel producing the Celeron processor which the first was a dog, underpowered and just plain stupid.  That was over 10 yrs ago and Intel still uses the name Celeron.
1973 350SE, my first & fave


The original A class was very unstable and it's claim to fame is that it caused M-B to offer Electronic stability control across the whole of the A class and then latterly their whole range. They started to get a bit more stable as the series was developed and towards the end of the original series became quite driveable - they always gave them to me as loan cars when my two were in being serviced.

The original A class rollover was an "Elk"test done by a Scandinavian Newspaper and was a setup because one of the rear tyres was replaced by a narrower section one because they could not get it to rollover on it's original tyres. .

We should have a similar "Kangaroo" test in Western Australia - I have now hit 15 in the last 10 years - I always choose to hit them rather than miss and hit a tree/rollover etc. Have missed at least 50 around where I live.

I drove a current model C180 Kompressor Rental around the UK (5,000 miles) 18 months ago and it was a wonderful, sufficiently powerful comfortable car which handled high speed with aplomb and returned 40 miles to the imperial gallon all the trip.

The original C180's were not very nice and wre even worse in manual with a foot parking brake - always fouled the pedal when you pushed in the clutch.



I am still amazed by that elk test (sometimes called moose test) as what it involved was 5 adult passengers and their luggage in a car doing 80km (I think) needing to drive through two right angle turns in a zig-zag without slowing.

I would like to see any car pass that test, especially any small car considering that the A-class is smaller than most other small cars. I doubt many would pass but most wouldn't get the attention of the A-class due to the MB reputation.
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Brian Crump

Well I loved my A190 - I did 100,000 ks in it in 5 years before I traded it on the ML cos the kids had increased in number from 2 to 8...(read dogs).
Was it stable at speed? Yes, travelling back from Orange I was overtaken on the crest of a hill by a P Plater travelling in excess of 130kph and was met by an oncoming vehicle. Yes - that's what the double white lines are for, dear.....
I stomped the brakes and headed for the table drain - no dramas - no upsets to the vehicle  - the ESP and ASR lights flashed and we thumped across the grass tufts and into the ditch while our P Plater continued on in the H****ai to live another day...
No moose test, I know but pretty bloody close and the result was 3 lives saved and no resultant drama. Thank you little A Class.

s class

True, the A-class (and B) doesn't fit the traditional mercedes mould, but Nathan alluded to the view I have.  The A-class created a market category that didn't exist before - up market compact people mover.  Now there are many pretenders (wannabees) to that new category.  The 1 class perhaps, but obvious lower cost wannabees are the Jazz, various hyundais, Toyota Verso, Citroen Picasso, Megane Scenic, etc. 


[color=blue]'76 6.9 Euro[/color], [color=red]'78 6.9 AMG[/color], '80 280SE, [color=brown]'74 350SE[/color], [color=black]'82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro [/color], '81 500SL


Just to be pedantic - an elk is called an Elk in Europe and a Moose in North America.

According to my dictionary they are the same animal.

I am sure the A190 was a different animal to some of the earlier A160's and A140's which while they actually held the road quite well didn't feel all that secure - especially to me who had just left an SLK or latterly my E320 in at the Agents for a service and was driving home along Mundaring Weir Rd (The Waussies will know that Road) getting acquainted to some interesting physics.

As the development continued over the years the driving became easier and they really seemed to become more connected to the road.


James R

Nothing wrong with the A-class IMHO.

Very well designed, with engine sandwiched under the floor, meaning that you pay for a roomier car than people think and brings a touch of class to smaller cars. Not the best handling car but then what Mercedes ever has been in comparison with its rivals [especially BMW] ? Even manages to look modern and edgy too. Cool, I say.
1978 450SEL 6.9 - GONE!

1979 450SEL - GONE!