Buying a Used Mercedes A-Class
Few small cars match the Mercedes A-Class for image, comfort, and style. Despite its size, it has a sandwich-style twin floor pan that houses the engine and transmission, so it has the same amount of interior space as an E-Class!On older models reliability can be a concern, though, so make sure to go for one that’s 3 years old or less, or with less than 50,000 miles on the clock. Here’s a guide to help you choose and buy a used Mercedes A-Class.
What to Look For
The A-Class offers the interior flexibility of an MPV in a supermini-sized body shell, which makes it a seriously attractive proposition, so there are generally plenty on the used market. It does always pay to check history and ownership as carefully as you can, but once you have and you’re sure you’re investing in a good example, the A-Class represents a distinctive and classy choice. Snap up one of the punchy diesels, and you’ve got yourself a car with fine performance and economy, too.If you’re buying from a private seller, it’s worth paying for a professional inspection so you know you’re not missing any invisible but serious faults. During the mid 2000s the A-Class had a facelift, and pre-redesign cars are definitely less desirable as they had plasticky interiors – so be sure to avoid them. Your first check on any A-Class should be for noise when the wheels are on full lock, because the power-assisted steering pump can sometimes fail on older models. With this particular model you should also make sure that the revs don’t fluctuate at tick over, as this could signal electronic faults. You should also always perform standard checks, like making sure the MOT is in date, and for any scratches or chips on the paintwork.
The A-Class has very few direct rivals, as many luxury car manufacturers don’t see the kinds of returns on small models as they do on their larger core range– it just doesn’t pay for them to make them. The Audi A2 is perhaps the closest in terms of image, but the interior is significantly smaller than the Mercedes so you’ll potentially be feeling a little hemmed in. Then there are more traditional models, such as the VW Golf, which is good to drive, well built and comes with a wide choice of engines – but it’s larger than an A-Class so you’ve verging on ending up with a pretty much normal sized car rather than a compact city runaround. These can both also be more expensive than the A-Class – particularly the A2 as it’s just had a re-launch and there are fewer used models on the market.