Like me, all those owners will be discovering more about what an interesting car it is to live with. The Mercedes’ interior and technology are in a different league from anything else the segment has seen.
The MBUX infotainment system may be ‘only’ the entry-level one with the two 7.0in screens rather than the full S-Class-style widescreen treatment across the whole dashboard, but it’s wanting for nothing in functionality.
I’m experimenting more with the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation system, which is definitely one of the better ones I’ve encountered. The trick is to speak to it normally, and not like a robot. ‘Hey Mercedes, can you call Andrew Frankel, please?’ will have you on the phone to the road test guru faster than ‘Hey Mercedes. Call. ANDREW FRANKEL’. ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat that?’
I’m continuing to be bowled over by the effortless efficiency of the A180d. The economy has settled around 60mpg now the weather has got colder, a quite extraordinary figure and in another league again to the 45mpg or so average I got from a similar drivetrain in the Focus. That’s another part of the financial argument in the Merc’s favour.
Yet there’s a negative point on the transmission, specifically at step-off. It’s just so darn slow to react. Take this example. There’s a T-junction on my commute on the edge of town. You have to pull across the traffic to join a lane that has just come around a blind corner. Gaps in the traffic can be only a second or two, so once you add in your reaction time and the time for the transmission to engage and then to pull away, the gap could well have gone.
Manual gearboxes are coming soon to the A-Class and I suspect its overall quality will only increase more when that day comes.
Quality feel Classiness and quality run through the A-Class. Solid door thuds are as pleasing as the crispness of the interior screen graphics.
Ride quality ‘Loathe’ is strong, but the ride is proving divisive. It’s too firm for some, lacking sophistication for others. I’d call it okay.
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Life with a Mercedes-Benz A-Class: Month 1
Odometer makes for positive reading - 14th November 2018
In less than a month since it joined us, the A-Class has racked up a vast number of miles – a sign of how well it fits into daily life. Yet much debate has started in the office among those who’ve driven it: ride quality (mixed), fuel economy (highly regarded), suitability of the transmission (not popular), interior quality (a high point), and size (Golf-like ‘just right’). Much to explore further…