When Mercedes-Benz launched the A-Class in India it was a revelation. In a market where hatchbacks were (and still are to a large extent) perceived as budget offerings, the...
Mercedes-Benz A-Class [2013-2015]
Mercedes-Benz A-Class [2013-2015] Review
When Mercedes-Benz launched the A-Class in India it was a revelation. In a market where hatchbacks were (and still are to a large extent) perceived as budget offerings, the A-Class came as a breath of fresh German air. It opened up the eyes of a first-time luxury car buyer to the fact that premium did not always have to equate with a large and boxy sedan or SUV.
When Mercedes-Benz launched the A-Class in India it was a revelation. In a market where hatchbacks were (and still are to a large extent) perceived as budget offerings, the A-Class came as a breath of fresh German air. It opened up the eyes of a first-time luxury car buyer to the fact that premium did not always have to equate with a large and boxy sedan or SUV.The car had pretty much everything going for it. The looks were fantastic and upmarket, it was fun to drive and it came with the assured reliability that German cars are well known for. However, the ground that these characteristics covered for the car to become a decent success was pulled back by an inadequate feature list, harsh ride and most of all, an underpowered engine. Mercedes managed to take care of the former two when it launched the A-Class Edition 1 in 2014 by adding the extra bits and increasing the ride height to cope with our ‘excellent roads’. It has now taken care of point three by introducing the A200 CDI to the A-Class’ lineup for the Indian market.
The A200 gets the same 2143cc four-cylinder diesel engine that sits in the A180 CDI but it has now been tuned for a higher output. This is the same engine that powers a variety of models (in various states of tune) in the German automaker’s stable right from the A-Class A200 to E-Class E250 CDI.
There are no changes to the exterior design of the A-Class A 200 CDI. It’s a very good looking car and always gives off a sporty appeal thanks to the many racy lines in the side profile as well as the low roofline.
Mercedes-Benz has not made any changes to the cabin. The layout remains the same as the model we saw in 2013 but now all the added extras that we saw in the Edition-1 are standard fitment. This includes electric seat adjustment for the front passenger, reversing camera and the panoramic sunroof which has successfully managed to make the all-black cabin a little less claustrophobic.
They have also added a gear shift indicator in the instrument cluster. However, what we found still missing was the presence of rear AC vents. I must admit that the climate control was pretty effective in cooling the cabin. The insulation package seem to be of a good quality as the cabin remained pretty cool even after the car spent close to 1.5 hours parked in the afternoon sun.
Engine & performance
While the A-Class has managed to be a good product in all other departments, its diesel engine, which is the mainstay when it comes to the numbers game, was underpowered. In the A180 CDI the 2143cc four-cylinder engine produced 109bhp and 250Nm of torque. Now in the A200 CDI these figures have been increased to 134bhp and 300Nm finally giving the A-Class a decent amount of push to match the image of the car.
The engine is an excellent unit and is the one thing that was missing from the A-Class and is finally doing justice to the sporty nature of the hatchback. It slots in at third place with regard to its rivals when it comes down to pure numbers but is good enough for the Indian market and our road conditions.
Ride & Handling
One of the major qualms that a lot of the Indian motoring media had when the A-Class arrived here was that the ride was too harsh. The car had low ground clearance and a stiff setup, something that was optimal for the smoother roads of Europe but not suited to our ‘moon craters’. Consequently this made the A-Class a fun car to drive as it was able to hold its own. Mercedes-Benz managed to rectify this when it launched the A-Class Edition 1 where it raised the ground clearance as well as softened the suspension a bit.
At Rs 28.45 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi) it is priced a whole lakh over the Edition 1 but still costs less than the equivalent models of the BMW 1 Series as well as the Volvo V40 Cross Country and in the larger scheme of things with the refreshed diesel engine seems far more useable in real world scenarios.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class [2013-2015] Colours
A-Class [2013-2015] is available/sold in the following colours in India.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class [2013-2015] Expert Reviews
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