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Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012 to 2018)

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Expert Rating

Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012 to 2018)

Not a current model


    First arriving on UK roads in the second half of 2012, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class was a five-door family hatchback pitched as a direct rival to the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. It was replaced by the current generation of the A-Class in 2018.

    The range consisted of a selection of four-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox.

    “Whichever you get, it’s worth paying for the automatic gearbox”, Carwow said. “It’s smooth and changes gears quickly, unlike the manual gearbox, which is not so nice to use.” Other than the transmission, Parkers said that the A-Class had “compromised” ride comfort, which What Car? also called “unnecessarily firm”.

    Many motoring titles also comment that the A-Class lacked practical space when compared to its key rivals, and that it was not all that fun to drive – The Telegraph argued that “the A-class isn’t the kind of car that will tempt you into taking the long way home.”

    While a bit dated toward the end of its life, the interior build quality and refinement was a highlight, and many journalists were impressed by the exterior design of the A-Class through the years – both after its launch, and its mild facelift in late 2015.

    And despite the range of efficient engines available, “The A-Class just isn’t quite as good as it should be”, Carwow concluded. “Yes, it looks amazing, but it’s not as classy or as practical as alternatives.”

    No longer on sale, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class holds an Expert Rating of 59%, based on 18 reviews published by UK motoring outlets.

    A-Class highlights

    • Smart looks inside and out
    • Smooth automatic gearbox
    • Decent fuel economy
    • High resale values

    A-Class lowlights

    • Rigid ride comfort
    • Cramped rear seating
    • Rather small boot
    • Standard range is not that fun to drive
    • More expensive than key rivals

    Key specifications

    Body style: Five-door hatchback
    petrol, diesel
    Price when new:
    From £22,005 on-road

    Launched: Autumn 2012
    Last updated: Winter 2015/16
    Replaced: Summer 2018

    Media reviews

    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

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    Motoring Research




    The Sunday Times


    The Telegraph


    Top Gear


    What Car?




    Safety rating

    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 5 stars
    Date tested: November 2012
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 93%
    Child protection: 81%
    Vulnerable road users: 67%
    Safety assist: 86%

    Notes on safety rating

    The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was originally crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2012 and awarded a five-star rating. However, this rating expired in January 2020 and is no longer valid as the car no longer meets the standards required for such a rating. This is normal practice, as Euro NCAP reviews its ratings on most cars annually with most ratings expiring after about six or seven years.

    However, if you are comparing a used A-Class to vehicles of similar age, whose ratings will have probably also expired, its safety rating score is still useful.

    Eco rating

    No eco rating

    The third-gen Mercedes-Benz A-Class was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its life cycle as it pre-dated Green NCAP.

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

    All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

    As of October 2022, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is bang-on average in its reliability score, according to warranty data provided exclusively to The Car Expert by our partner MotorEasy. This data covers not only this A-Class (2012 to 2018) but also newer (2018 onwards) and previous (pre-2012) models.

    The average repair cost of more than £800 is quite high for a mid-sized car and also considerably more than the cost of a used car warranty, which is worth bearing in mind.

    The most commonly reported faults to date have been with the car’s electrical system, which is a relatively cheap fix at less than £300. However, there have been a reasonable number of claims for engine and gearbox faults, which both have an average repair bill of more than £2,000.

    Similar cars

    If you’re looking at the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    Alfa Romeo Giulietta | Audi A3 | BMW 1 Series | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault Megane | SEAT Leon | Skoda Octavia | Vauxhall Astra | Volkswagen Golf

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    Praised for its high quality interior, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class had a few notable flaws, including poor cabin space and ride comfort.Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012 to 2018)