Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI AT image

The new generation of the A-Class has been around since 2012 and its overall design is quite drastic, considering its predecessor. Now, two years since it has been on the market, our team has went for a spin in what is its most fuel efficient version – the A 180 CDI.

Engine and Transmission

The Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI has a 1.5 liter diesel engine under its hood, with 1,461 cc, which is capable of producing 109 HP (80 kW) at 4,000 rpm and it has a peak torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft), available at 1,750 rpm. Petrol heads may find this engine sounds pretty familiar, and we cannot argue with them, because it is actually the 1.5 liter dCi which Renault is using on some of its vehicles, the same one used by Nissan on the Juke and also the same one used by Dacia with its entire lineup.

On paper, the figures sound pretty good, but the overall sense of the A180 CDI is that is underpowered. This feel may be accentuated by the seven-speed automatic transmission with which the test car came or its overall weight of 1,395 kg. Where there are downs, there are also ups, because the fuel consumption registered was quite impressive.

Fuel Consumption

Mercedes-Benz says that the A180 CDI is burning between 4.0 L / 100 km and 4.3 L / 100 km, in an average cycle. In the city, the tested car indicated almost 7L / 100km in a driving manner which cannot be considered economical and with the AC turned on, while on the highway, I managed to achieve 4.4L / 100km, with four people inside and luggage in the boot. Drop your speed to 100 km/h on the highway and the vehicle will burn just 3.7L / 100km. This can be improved once again at even less than 3L at a speed of 80 km/h.

The Ride

I have driven the CLA before which is basically a four-door coupe version of the new generation of the C-Class so the feel between that and the hatchback is not that different. In fact I found it to be exactly the same, agile around corners, pretty stable, quite comfortable but heavily underpowered in the A180 CDI version.

Interior Design

Again, the similarities between this and the CLA are quite high so if you fancy how the CLA looks but you want a more practical vehicle, you might want to wait for the CLA Shooting Brake, but if you are not going to spend a lot of money on it, than the A-Class is a pretty good second choice. You will get the same goodies such as the air conditioning, the tire pressure sensors, the front impact prevention assist, headlight washers, stop/start feature, sports seats and so on.

Likes / Dislikes

The engine may not be that sporty and in fact most of the time it feels underpowered, but despite this, the premium hatchback felt quite agile while cornering steep hills and the transmission also worked properly. The upside of this is that you will make your friends jealous with the fuel consumption achieved but if you will but it, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to get somewhere, just lay back and enjoy the scenery.

The overall looks of the A-Class are quite appealing, the model has a precise steering and enough space in the cabin for five people. The brakes, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be that good, but this can be a simple problem with the test car. The trunk space doesn’t seem to be what we wished for a C-segment hatchback either.

Entry-level – 21,375 EUR
Tested car – 33,635 EUR
Tested Vehicle
Mercedes-Benz A 180 CDI
Engine: 1.5L diesel (1,461 cc)
Power: 109 HP (80 kW) at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic double-clutch
Dimensions: length 4,292 mm, width 1,780 mm, height 1,433 mm
Weight: 1,395 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50L
Trunk Capacity: 341L
0-100km/h: 11.3 s
Top Speed: 190 km/h

4.4 / 5

Photos by Gabi Gogiu