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Mercedes-Benz A170

Broadcast dates : 3rd April 2005
9th April 2005

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class manages to look more car-like than the first version, and more up-market.

There’s a stronger Mercedes-Benz design language in the corner-sensitive headlights and the nose. But the wide stance is the most important aspect of the new A-Class.

Gone are the shopping trolley looks and econo-box detailing. The accents are up-market.

The more substantial look also applies to the interior, where unremarkable plastic has given way to a chic new feel, rich in detail.

The basic A-Class package is the same, with a transverse four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive, and sandwich body construction to provide a safety crumple zone in the event of an accident.

But Kass, with her busy workaday schedule, felt there was at least one important detail lacking.
On the move, the new A-Class lives up to its more substantial appearance.

There’s an impression of solidity, and indication that Merc is addressing its quality issues.
Performance aside, space is still the priority in the A-Class.

The new A-Class comes with a choice of two petrol engines and a diesel, and three transmissions, including a "CVT", or continuously variable transmission.

This was fitted to our 1,7-litre petrol test-car, and Kass really enjoyed it once she got used to the "shiftless" technology.

Sluggish in the ‘comfort’ mode, the 85 kiloWatt A-170 has acceptable performance in sport mode. The CVT gearbox uses a cone and belt drive system. And in some situations, as the speed increases, the revs actually drop!

Kass was particularly impressed by the audio system fitted to our Avantgarde model, as well as the speed-sensitive steering and a host of safety features fitted to the test car. Her verdict was an unqualified thumbs-up.

In second-generation, form the A-Class has come of age. A good solid package at R200 000 with the Avantgarde and CVT options.

Mercedes-Benz A 170
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 699 cc
  • Power: 85 kW @ 5 500 rpm
  • Torque: 155 Nm @ 3 500 rpm
  • Transmission: Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT), front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 12,5 seconds (estimated)
  • Top-speed: 188 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 6,6 litres/100 km (claimed)
  • Price: R179 000 (excluding options)

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