Review – Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2023, what’s new?
Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2023
In this Mercedes-Benz A-Class review, we take a closer look at all the modifications the German automaker has made to its entry-level model. After all, the A-Class is and remains the brand’s entry-level model. Not a cheap entry-level car, by the way, as prices of the A-Class start at 42,893 euros for the hatchback. As always, Mercedes-Benz also delivers the A-Class as a Limousine. That one has a starting price of just under 46,000 euros. The driven A 180 Limousine AMG Line even comes to 54,607 euros including all options. Note: this is still the “basic motorization” then.
Least powerful powertrain
All the more interesting is this review, because is it possible to live with the least powerful powertrain? In this Mercedes-Benz A-Class review, we provide the answer. Of course, you first want to know more about all the changes the brand has made. So the simple question is: what is new?
Adjustments A-Class 2023
Among other things, Mercedes-Benz applies a revised front end, with a new hood with two “power domes,” a different front bumper, an updated star-patterned grille and narrower headlights (optionally with LED technology). At the rear, the new rear diffuser stands out, as do the standard LED taillights.
As usual with a facelift, a car brand also pulls some new wheels and body colors out of the hat. So too with the A-Class. There are four new wheel designs in sizes up to 19-inches, including the optional high-gloss black multi-spoke alloy wheels with high-gloss rim flange for the AMG Line.
Interior Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Moving on to the interior. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2023 now has a freestanding 7-inch dual-screen display and the larger 10.25-inch display in the center as standard. Optionally, two 10.25-inch displays are available, as this car also has. The basic design of the dashboard has remained the same. So still we detect round air outlets in turbine look, an homage to the world of aviation. At night, ambient lighting provides a pleasant ambiance.
High gloss black plastic
Mercedes-Benz does, however, stick to an abundance of high-gloss black plastic. That is prone to dust, greasy fingers and scratches. With a low sun, it also reflects tremendously. Something to keep in mind.
New steering wheel
The A-Class also gets the newly designed steering wheel of the current steering wheel generation, standard in Nappa leather. This steering wheel sits comfortably in the hand, but again the brand uses a lot of high-gloss black finish in combination with swipe buttons. This requires regular cleaning sessions. Also, dirt quickly gets stuck between the two spokes with integrated keys. By the way, the steering wheel does depend on the chosen version.
In terms of ease of operation, the A-Class does seem to take a step back. In fact, the touchpad on the center console is a thing of the past. Operation is now entirely via the touchscreen, including while driving. Or via the swipe buttons on the upper right spoke of the steering wheel. But very finely the latter does not work. Of course, much can be asked of the “Hey Mercedes” personal assistant, but often you still have to dive into the system. Sometimes the assistant also comes to life out of nowhere and you have to make quite an effort to shut her up. The central display with touchscreen offers all known functions including navigation, media, phone, vehicle etc. Fortunately, the latest generation of MBUX is quite easy to operate and capable of learning.
Personalization of displays
Compliments are due to Mercedes-Benz for the customizable displays of the digital instrument panel. There are several themes to select from. Even the head-up display (optional) can be personalized with different themes. In addition to lavish themes with an abundance of colors and information, there is also a minimalist display with just the speed. Many more brands could learn from that. The seats are quite compact and narrow. So have a test sit to see if you like them.
Rich standard equipment
The A-Class comes standard with fairly rich equipment, consisting of a convenient rearview camera, the USB package and a steering wheel finished in Nappa leather. Starting with the Progressive equipment line, customers get standard features such as LED headlights, a seat with lumbar support, the parking package and the mirror package. Connectivity to smartphones is of course possible via Apple Carplay or Android Auto Wireless, and an additional USB-C connector has been added for further connectivity. USB charging capacity has also been increased again.
Engines A-Class 2023
The entire gasoline engine range is electrified and includes standard four-cylinders with a seven- or eight-speed DCT automatic transmission. As mild-hybrids, these are equipped with an additional 48V on-board grid with 10 kW more power to support acceleration. The new belt-driven starter alternator (RSG) lends a hand to the gasoline engine during acceleration. During starting, for example, the RSG provides a quieter start with less vibration than conventional starter motors. In addition, the system enables “sailing” with the combustion engine turned off during leisurely driving. During braking and coasting, the RSG recovers and thus powers the 12V on-board grid and the 48V battery. The energy generated in this way can be used during acceleration to support the combustion engine.
The engine program is quite extensive. We are driving the base engine version here: the A 180 Limousine. This engine variant features a 1,332 cc four-cylinder with an output of 136 hp (100 kW) and 230 Nm of torque, complemented by 14 hp (10 kW) of power boost thanks to the RSG. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes 9.3 seconds and the top speed reaches 216 km/h. These are excellent numbers for an “entry-level” vehicle. Therefore, you never feel that you are short of power at the A 180.
Other engine variants include the A 200 (163 hp), A 200 4Matic (163 hp), A 220 4Matic (190 hp), A 250 4Matic (224 hp), A 180d (116 hp), A 200 d (150 hp) and A 220d (190 hp). A plug-in hybrid is also available from the hatchback and limousine. This is the A 250 e with a system output of 218 hp and 450 Nm of torque and a battery capacity of 15.6 kWh. This should allow the PHEV variant to travel about 70 to 80 kilometers fully electric.
There is also room for sportsmanship. Mercedes-AMG supplies an A 35 4Matic (306 hp) of the hatchback and limousine. Only the hatchback comes as Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ with an output of 421 hp. A thick device. But this A 180 really does not disappoint either. It has enough power to keep up well with traffic. Thanks to the electric boost, the powertrain also responds smoothly to gas input. So instinctively, you are never short of power. For a basic engine, that’s the biggest compliment. The seven-speed automatic also suits the character of the 136-hp gasoline engine well. Smooth and comfortable.
Conclusion Mercedes-Benz A-Class review
Mercedes-Benz has made several improvements to the A-Class. We have doubts that the A-Class has improved ergonomically. The disappearance of the touchpad makes the operation of all systems less intuitive. The buttons on the steering wheel also take some getting used to. In fact, there are already manufacturers who have renounced swipe buttons on a steering wheel after sustained criticism from customers (Volkswagen). Perhaps Mercedes-Benz should do the same. Of course the eye wants something, but design should not get in the way of practical ease of use. But as with so many things in life, everything gets used. Getting used to the cons of the A-Class is really possible. Fortunately, the car also has several strengths, including a very comfortable driving experience, pleasant damping, the cozy interior and stylish looks. To spice it up, you do need to pull out your wallet. But underneath it all, the A-Class is a very fine car that, with these modifications, can last another few years.