The Mercedes A-Class is the entry-level Mercedes premium hatchback/sedan made for those who want to enjoy a Mercedes Benz experience without paying Mercedes Benz money. This inherently means that the experience itself is not going to be as high-end as most would hope for, but the A-Class is a Mercedes.
Some Mercedes Benz A-Class models are worse than others due to reliability issues, availability issues, and just low customer satisfaction results. It seems like the 2019 model is the one with the highest amount of complaints and the highest amount of recalls out of all Mercedes Benz A-Class models yet.
Not only is the 2019 model the worst A-Class when it comes to recalls, but it is also one of the worst Mercedes models in general. The 2014 model also seems to be having lots of reliability issues and some of them are so serious that they can easily total the car without any prior warnings.
Finally, all older Mercedes Benz A-Class models before the two latest generations should be avoided because they are bad in every single way. Not only do they look bad, feel bad to drive, and are nowhere near the levels of specialty you expect from a Mercedes, but they also lack space, features, and everything else.
2019 Mercedes A-Class
2019 was the year when Mercedes came out with the 2nd generation of the A-Class which is a big upgrade to the previous generation in every single way. For starters, the car looks better, especially on the inside where it manages to beat most of its competitors. For a spot of context, the previous generation of the A-Class never really did it for anyone when it comes to interior quality and design.
However, the 2019 A-Class had more than a dozen of recalls which is simply too many for any type of car out there, let alone one from a premium brand. The brake pedal was welded poorly which became a safety hazard that prompted a recall the moment the car came out. The rearview camera was also problematic and thus caused another recall.
The communication module was also faulty and prompted a recall. Other reasons why the 2019 A-Class was recalled are associated with a front axle corroding, fuel leaks, faulty headlights, and improperly situated and fastened A/C drain lines.
2014 Mercedes A-Class
The 2014 Mercedes A-Class had “just” five recalls which in itself is more than most cars. However, the reasons why the 2014 model is also part of this list are a lot more than that. For starters, the 2014 A-Class had issues with the engine which were so problematic that could even blow the engine entirely. The costs to replace an entire engine can be more than some 2014 A-Class models cost in general.
The car is also known for stalling issues which can happen even at highway speeds and thus be really dangerous. Blow fuses, issues with engine misfiring, and a faulty roof panel are only the tip of the iceberg why purchasing a 2014 A-Class is a bad decision. When you add all of these issues up, the luxury part of the A-Class suddenly does not feel all that luxurious.
Other issues with the 2014 Mercedes A-Class are due to the car not being as well-built as other cars from this segment. The 2014 Audi A3 is a much better car than the 2014 A-Class. It is built better, it lasts longer, it feels more luxurious, and it does not suffer from as many issues as the A-Class. The same story goes for both the VW Golf 7 and the BMW 1-Series from this era.
1997-2012 Mercedes Benz A-Class
To finish off the list, we will also mention the first two generations of the A-Class as being subpar because they really are some of the weirdest cars Mercedes ever made. The reason why both of these generations are bad is that they don’t do anything well. For starters, they aren’t really reliable at all which makes them problematic even for such a low price.
Secondly, they don’t feel one bit like a Mercedes because they look hideous. The interior has a few nice touches here and there, but not enough to make up for the appalling exterior design. These also drive like shoe boxes because they aren’t all that stable nor do they feel particularly comfortable to drive.
They lack seating space, they lack trunk space, and they lack interior storage spaces. There really isn’t anything attractive about the first two Mercedes Benz A-Class generations. Even though the 2012 and on A-Class aren’t the best, they can still run circles around the first two generations.
Should I buy a Mercedes Benz A-Class?
You should skip buying the first two generations of the A-Class because they downright suck. The 2012-2018 A-Class can be a good purchase if you are able to find one in good condition and at the right price. If so, buying the post-facelift 3rd generation of the A-Class is your best bet as it is a bit more interesting and modern when compared to the pre-facelift 3rd gen A-Class.
The current A-Class generation (2019 and on) is much better when compared to all other A-Class generations and the best one of them all is the 2021 model as it suffers from the least amount of issues overall.
Which Mercedes Benz A-Class model is the best?
It depends on what you want from a car. If you just want a daily driver, the A200 is likely enough for most people. It is efficient, smooth, and the 163hp you get should be plenty for most of your needs. However, if you want something a bit more, you should focus your attention on either the A35 or the top-of-the-line A45 AMG because these two are much more entertaining in every way.
Is the Mercedes Benz A-Class a good family car?
The Mercedes Benz A-Class is a decent family car if your family isn’t overly large. You can fit four adults into the A-Class, but they will not be all that particularly comfortable. If your children are young, the A-Class should do it without any issues.