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    2023 Mercedes-Benz A-Class A200 Review

    Authors Image

    Sagar Bhanushali

    14,590 Views
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Front Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Side View
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Side View
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Rear Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Right Rear Three Quarter
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Rear View
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Left Rear Three Quarter

    Why would I buy it?

    • Interior look and feel
    • Build quality
    • Badge value

    Why would I avoid it?

    • Noisy highway ride
    • Expensive

    What is it?

    Overall Score

    8 / 10

    Left Front Three Quarter

    It’s a minor refresh for what is basically a gateway to the world of Mercedes-Benz. The A-Class is the most affordable ‘three-pointed star’ that one can buy and its roots here in India can be traced back to June 2013, over ten years ago when Mercedes first launched it as a hatchback. Cut to 2023 and things have changed quite a bit.

    Right Side View

    The A-Class is no longer a hatchback but a sedan, or as Mercedes likes to call it, a limousine. This 2023 update builds on the A-Class sedan, first introduced in 2021, and adds minor improvements to the design and features. Let’s take a deep dive and see if they actually add to the experience of living with the most accessible Mercedes-Benz model right now.

    Grille

    The design updates are minor, so much so that you may not even notice any in passing. In fact, the daytime running lights within the headlights are slimmer than before and the headlights themselves come with adaptive high beam assist. The intakes on the bumper, too, are slightly different so the update there is hardly palpable. What you may notice instantly though is the redesigned grille that now comes with a honeycomb mesh design and a sleeker chrome line. Other changes include a new twin-spoke design for the 17-inch alloys and redesigned taillights, which make the A-Class look like a mini C-Class from the back.

    Rear View

    How’s the A-Class on the inside?

    8.5 / 10

    Dashboard

    Never mind the all-too-familiar look on the outside; it’s the interior where the A-Class really shines. Despite its entry-level positioning, the A200’s cabin is properly sumptuous and nicer looking than a lot of similarly priced sedans and SUVs. In this 2023 update, you basically get the same interior finished in high-quality materials, featuring modern-day tech. It’s just that Mercedes has improved the user-friendliness of this cabin by updating the telematics and adding a couple of features.

    Steering Mounted Controls

    Firstly, you get a new design for the steering wheel, which comes with touch control panels instead of proper buttons. Secondly, one can now use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly, which makes the whole experience of getting into the car and driving off so much easier. Also, Mercedes says that the USB charging capacity has been increased by 20 per cent, so that’s another thing to be thankful for. Unfortunately, the A-Class no longer comes with a touchpad over the center console. So you will have to use the touchscreen to control everything, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Center Console/Centre Console Storage

    What’s bad though is the extremely shallow recess area that Mercedes has integrated where the touchpad used to be – it’s neither big enough to keep any smartphone nor deep enough to store a wallet. It’s pretty much useless.

    Rear Seats

    While the seats themselves are extremely supportive, there isn’t a whole lot of space to move around, especially at the back. The A-Class is a small sedan and that is reflected in the amount of space it has to offer. Legroom at the back is adequate, so the A200 can work as a chauffeur-driven car but you will have to work with limited headroom and fairly small side windows.

    Sunroof/Moonroof

    The A-Class in India can be had in a single, fully loaded variant, so you pretty much get everything that is expected at this price point. There are LED headlamps (now with adaptive high beam assist), a panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, a two-zone climate control, wireless charging, wireless phone mirroring, cruise control, and a highly configurable ambient lighting setup.

    Infotainment System

    A special shout-out to the MBUX infotainment system, which is simply brilliant as a means to communicate with the car. It may look a little complicated at first glance but once you get used to it, it is amongst the most intuitive systems out there. Although quite small in size, the main display for the MBUX system is crisp and you can now wirelessly use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on it. On the safety front, besides a bunch of airbags, ABS, ESP, and EBD, the A-Class also gets automatic brake assist, which will apply full braking force at low speeds if it senses a possible collision.

    Is the A-Class any good to drive?

    7.5 / 10

    Right Front Three Quarter

    This is where things get slightly difficult for the A-Class, well, specifically for the A200 petrol version that we have tested here. In fact, it gets a 1.3-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that Mercedes has co-developed with Renault. In the A200, it makes 161bhp and 250Nm and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. ‘Adequate’ is perhaps the best term to describe this powertrain. It is, of course, very refined and it has the Mercedes’ levels of smoothness to it as long as you are not wringing it. Driving in traffic at city speeds, the A200 feels nice and comfortable - the engine has enough power in reserve and the DCT is smooth and works well in full auto model.

    Left Rear Three Quarter

    However, as soon as you start driving it enthusiastically, the A200’s lack of power is apparent and you will instantly feel that it could have done better with a bigger engine. This 1.3-litre engine isn’t a free-revving unit either, so when you are making it work hard, it sounds buzzy and strained at the top end. In our performance tests, the A200 took 4.97 seconds to accelerate from 0-60kmph and 8.71 seconds to hit 100kmph, which is decent considering the 1.3 engine’s power output.

    Right Side View

    The ride quality on the A200 is a bit of a mixed bag. The suspension setup is on the firmer side and while it soaks up road corrugations and uneven surfaces at slow speeds without much of a struggle, especially in terms of noise, the A200 rides stiffer than similarly priced luxury cars. That’s not the real issue though. What’s unpleasant is the surprising amount of road noise that filters into the cabin once you are close to highway speeds. Now, this is mainly to do with the fact that Mercedes has raised the India-spec A-Class’ suspension by a big margin, possibly to get rid of all the issues that the old A-Class users would face owing to its low ground clearance. Naturally, more clearance in the 2023 model has also created larger air pockets within the wheel well acting as noise amplifiers, which is why there is more road noise filtering into the cabin.

    Wheel

    Should you buy the A-Class?

    8 / 10

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    Priced at Rs. 45.80 lakh, ex-showroom, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz A200 isn’t exactly cheap, but if you want a small-ish luxury sedan that’s high on the feel-good factor and is good to drive, then this new A-Class may well be the car for you. Sure, its high pricing and noisy highway ride might be bothersome for a few potential buyers but there is plenty to like about this entry-level luxury sedan. The high sense of refinement and the solid build quality that Mercedes is synonymous with is all there, after all.

    Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

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