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Mercedes A or B Class

Discussion in 'Motoring Forum' started by Razor, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    The missus needs a new car and she likes the look of the A or B class Merc. I personally think she should go for the B class out of the two cars.

    I was wondering if anyone has owned either of these cars and has any advice they could share. :)
  2. Magslad

    Magslad Member

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    My wife has had an A Class for the past few years, and we're just about to update it with another one. She absolutely loves it, and (touch wood) it has been very reliable so far - nothing at all except standard service items.

    We looked at the A and B Class for her replacement, both looked nice but in the end it came down to size - she prefers the fact that the A Class is more compact (about half a metre shorter I think).
  3. square-eyes-baz

    square-eyes-baz Member

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    My wife bought an 02 plate A Class A170 CDi couple of weeks ago, probably older than what you are looking at but we are finding it a great little car.
    MPG is quite amazing ,its not a performance car by any means but it is very practical.

    Its got a great driving position ,relatively high but not van like . Best thing though is that is a long wheel base version, there is a ridiculous amount of legroom . Even with the rear seats in there most forward position there is plenty of room.
    All rear and front passenger seat s can be removed completely. The boot is also a decent size.

    It is also quiet inside, not wind roar and the diesel engine is not really noticeable on the move.
  4. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    B-class vote here.
  5. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    I have driven the old A class and was really surprised at how roomy it was inside. The new A class is meant to be even more improved as an actual car.

    I really want her to go for a B class even if its a bit more expensive. I think the extra size should give a slightly better ride on the road and she will have a bit more space for shopping etc.

    Price difference seems to be fairly small (about 2k) from an A class to a B class. I was mainly wondering what size engine I should go for? On the short list so far is a 170 petrol and a 180 diesel.


    Magslad - How much is the average service and do you use a main dealer for this?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  6. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Diesel, IMO.
    The 170 petrol has a max of 155lb/ft of torque @ 3500-4000 rpm.
    The 180 diesel has a max of 250lb/ft of torque @ 1600-3000 rpm.
    Both similar bhp figures.

    What this means, in the real world, is that the diesel will be much more 'sprightly' and easier to drive, requiring far less revving to get it going.
    I've yet to meet a woman that enjoys revving an engine, so low-down torque is even more important to them than men, IMO.
    In layman's terms, substitute the word 'torque' for 'pull'.
    So the 180 diesel has close to double the 'pull' of the petrol.
  7. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    Bowfer - I agree mate, I would prefer the diesel for her as well as my last 3 cars have all been diesel and the extra torque has been welcomed along with the extra mpg.

    My better half has been used to a 1.4cl Polo for all these years and speed isnt a main concern for her. She is more concerned about getting a car with a arm rest and a sun glasses holder. :rolleyes: :rotfl:

    I was just wondering which was the better engine ie is the 1.7 powerful enough for a B class? Also are both engines as reliable as each other. Is the 180 diesel smooth and quiet or a bit rough and noisy? :)
  8. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I don't have direct experience of the B180 diesel.
    I did have a C200 diesel on hire in Prague last year.
    It was a very refined motor, even at 120mph+.

    FWIW, with regard to the B170 petrol engine.
    155lb/ft of torque isn't much to be pulling a car of that size.
    IMO, of course.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  9. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    Thats good to read. :)

    The 180 is a detuned 2.0L engine.
  10. qwerty321

    qwerty321 Active Member

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    I have no experience with any Mercs but just based on the looks I would choose the B class.

    As for the Torque figures, 250lb/ft of torque from a 1.8 sounds fantastic! My 2.2 Laguna only produces 236lb/ft.
  11. Magslad

    Magslad Member

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    Hi Razor

    We have used a main dealer for the servicing, simply because the car was under manufacturer's warranty (and then Mercedes extended warranty - was all part of the deal when we bought it). If it wasn't under Merc warranty I would have used an independent, as it's not cheap at the main stealers. Last service (standard one) was £140 + VAT, previous one (major service) was £300 + VAT.

    Other than the price, the customer service has been fine though. Merc seem to have a bit of a reputation for shoddy aftersales care, but personally we've not had any problems with them. However we also haven't had any major problems with the car, so no real need to test their aftersales 'in anger' as it were.

    Hope that helps.
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  12. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    My 2.0 diesel puts out 302lb/ft.:smashin:
  13. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    A mate had to test their paint warranty lately, on his 7 year old little convertible thing (CLK?)
    Some bubbling noticed by a valeter.
    Merc paint specialist came to his house, complete respray sanctioned there and then.
    He expected 'oohs' and 'aahs', but no problems at all.:thumbsup:
  14. Magslad

    Magslad Member

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    Good to know in case we have any problems - you'd hope for decent service given the extra costs, but always good to hear when it happens in reality.
  15. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    That info is perfect. Cheers for posting it up. :)
  16. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    £140 for a standard service isn't expensive at all.:eek:
    You're £200 on a simple service for an A3 Audi.
  17. J400uk

    J400uk Member

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    Both are excellnt cars, they do well in the consumer surveys and get decent reviews. Reliability is very good and residuals are strong. Mercedes as a brand are doing quite well at the minute and have improved customer service. This shows in the JD-Power survery where they came third out of all car brands, which is the highest for a non-jap manufacturer.

    The A & B share many common parts, the difference is the B is a little longer which gives you more rear legroom and a bigger boot. Whether thats worth the extra or not is up to you, both of them are hugely roomy inside compared to a Golf or A3 etc.

    Engine-wise, the 150 petrol is generally the best buy for the A, and the 180 diesel is the best buy for the B.

    HTH, give me a shout if you need any more info.
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  18. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    J400uk - Thanks for the post. Have you driven either of these cars? From what I have read the B class has the slightly better ride.


    I was wondering if anyone knew how much it would cost to retro fit parktronic or a similar parking sensor system. There doesnt seem to be that many B class cars for sale with parktronic and the missus really wants this feature. :)
  19. Billo

    Billo Member

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  20. qwerty321

    qwerty321 Active Member

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    I was in Halfords yesterday looking at their Parking sensors.

    Steelmate PTS 400N Parking Sensor from Halfords Price £199.99 Fully fitted at home or place of work

    Those are the ones I was looking at. £200 fully fitted and it says they are mounted in your bumper. If you want colour coding it says an extra £20.

    They are only reverse parking sensors but to me the price doesnt look too bad. Whether or not they are any good is another matter.
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  21. J400uk

    J400uk Member

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    Correct the B does have a slighty better ride, but neither are great in that respect.
  22. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Billo, I have had a read of that review along with Parkers and What Car reviews. They all seem to be saying the same thing. :thumbsup:

    The only bad thing they pick up on is the over assisted steering on both the A and B class and a slightly poorer ride on the A class.

    The missus is used to a polo so I am guessing either of these cars will be an upgrade for her.




    Thats not to bad a price. I know she will want both front and rear sensors. :D
  23. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I keep on reading and what would put me off as a buyer but as the car isn't for me and I can get her to like any other car I guess it will have to do.

    I have tried to get her to look at an A3, A4, BMW 1, BMW 3, Merc C Class, Seat Leon, Seat Toledo etc but she has her heart set on the Merc A or B class. I must admit I do think the B class is a nice looking car.


    How bad is the ride on the B class, what's it comparable to? Is it a totally soulless drive?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  24. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I tell you something, if you/she were to go for an S-line A3 you'd know all about an uncomfy ride.
    Audi think sporty suspension needs to be granite hard.
  25. J400uk

    J400uk Member

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    Its hard to say, as it depends on the suspension setup (standard or sports) and the wheel size. The sport suspension makes you notice potholes and speed bumps more, but it helps improve the handling (which again isnt great). The bigger wheels really help the looks but they make the ride worsen.

    The overal driving experience is OK, but be prepared for super light steering with little feel. The suspension and steering is supposed to stiffen up as you speed up but I've never really noticed this. The suspension is generally too firm and steering too light.

    However other than those slight issues which some people notice more than others, in all other respects its a very good car.
  26. J400uk

    J400uk Member

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    The Parkers reviews for the A and B are very unfair IMO, don't let them put you off. A lot of the stuff they mention is either wrong or opionated. I think WhatCar and Honest John offer good accurate reviews, and same with AutoCar and believe it or not Jemery Clarkson.

    Couple of links for you to check out if you havent already seen:
    A class act - Telegraph
    Jeremy Clarkson Mercedes-Benz A-class review | Driving - Times Online
    Mercedes A 150 Classic SE 5dr (2009 onwards)Â*-Â*First Drives | Reviews | MSN Cars UK

    And JD Power results (only available for the A):

    JD Power Survey 2007
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    Rating 81.1%
    Overall ranking 28th=
    The A-Class ran a very close second to the Corolla Verso. It seems Mercedes has got its act together on the reliability front and, like the Toyota, it performed extremely well in this area.

    Interior build quality proved to be the A-Class's major strength - owners reported no nasty niggles, rattles or glitches. Heating and ventilation systems, the stereo and the seats also got the thumbs-up, and the engine and transmission proved to be strong.

    The A-Class scored highest for exterior styling. On the downside, owners felt costs of service and repair were too steep.


    JD Power Survey 2008
    5. Mercedes A-Class
    Score 82.2%
    Overall ranking 26th


    A-Class owners are a happy and contented lot. They told JD Power that very little went wrong with their cars; the transmissions and engines, in particular, hardly skipped a beat.

    The cabin held together well, although exterior problems were more common.

    The practical cabin and the looks met with approval, but performance and ride and handling could have been better.

    Fuel consumption was pleasingly low and insurance bills were reasonable. However, if owners did have a gripe, it was that the cost of servicing and repair work was too high.


    Driver Power - Mercedes A-Class (New) | Driver Power 2009 | Car Reviews | Auto Express
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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  27. Razor

    Razor Well-Known Member

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    Excellent posts there J400uk. Thanks for taking the time to post all that info up. I will have a good read up on all those links and post back.

    Cheers :thumbsup:

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