I took a holiday to Nice, France recently, and hired a Mercedes A140 from
I was slightly surprised that the "budget" hire company was using Mercs but
there we go.
I was full of preconceptions, mainly from what I had read, and knowing that
the A-class is pretty expensive compared to other cars of its size.
But I was wrong. First thing was the size of the boot. I thought it was
amazingly spacious considering this car is only 3.5meters long, it was
easily enough to take all our luggage.
Then came the driving experience. I thought the 1.4 litre engine would be a
bit lethargic, but again it was impressive. It pulled strongly, and did
deliver impressive accelleration when required. Even during overtaking
manourvres I didn't hanker for more power.
On the autoroute I got up to 140km/h (about 90mph), and it felt very good,
refined quiet, no problem at all. On the twisties it seemed pretty good too,
no, not as sharp as a typical Ford, but certainly not deserving of the
mediocre reviews it has been recieving.
To top it all off, it turned out to be very economical too, averaging just
under 50mpg on the trip, so this seemed like a very competant car.
The interior space is very impressive too. The sandwich floor takes a little
getting used to, as you have to step up when getting into the car (rather
like on an off-roader), but it clearly works as space in the back is very
generous, better in fact, than many midsized saloons.
I think the car reviewers are plain wrong, mainly because they compare this
car to other which are the same size (like VW Polo etc.). But these are cars
which are the same size on the *outside*
. For interior space, this is a
geniune family car, and of course you can park it almost anywhere.