The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the least expensive model in the German manufacturer's lineup. It packs Mercedes’ latest infotainment system and an impressive level of fit and finish, but it lacks the refined driving experience this luxury marque is typically known for. We fail to see the attraction of the A-Class, given its stiff ride, drivetrain foibles, confusing controls, and steep price.
The turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 188 horsepower, but it feels sleepy during low-speed driving, a problem that stems from the turbo lag and some hesitancy from the dual-clutch automatic transmission. Once underway, the A-Class moves with satisfying gusto. Its fuel economy of 27 mpg overall for the all-wheel-drive model in our testing (albeit on required premium fuel) is decent, though not class-leading. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
We enjoyed the A220’s planted handling. Its small size helps to make it feel tossable through corners, and its weighty steering suits the car’s sporty character. While the taut suspension works well through corners, it delivers a bumpy ride that undermines the car’s “affordable luxury” promise.