The Mercedes Benz A-Class has existed since 1997, but the two initial generations are now both old and niche which means that hardly anyone is interested in buying them. On the other hand, the W176 and the new W177 generations are a lot more popular, but the latter is a lot better than the former.
The A200 model is the standard run-of-the-mill model most people are interested in buying because it offers an economical 4-cylinder engine that is potent enough for most people. The A200 also comes with a Mercedes proprietary 7-speed automatic gearbox which is sophisticated and seamless.
Design-wise, the W176 looks nice, but the exterior design is highly dependent on the equipment package you go for which means that AMG models tend to look the best. The W177 looks a lot more cohesive and in line with the current Mercedes catalog, yet it also looks a lot better in AMG form.
Value-wise, the W176 can now be had for a relatively affordable price, but the W177 is a lot more expensive. You can expect the W176 to be a little bit cramped if you are a tall individual while the W177 is a lot more spacious in every regard.
Mercedes A200 – The powerplant
The W176 A200 comes with a 1.6L inline 4-cylinder turbo engine with 156hp and 184lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox that tends to shift gears seamlessly and without any fuss. The W176 A200 is a front-wheel-drive car while the 4MATIC option is available as additional equipment.
The W177 A200 is powered by a 1.4L inline 4-cylinder turbo engine with 163hp and 184lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic that is both faster and more seamless than the one found in the W176. The W177 also comes in RWD form while 4MATIC is available as an option.
The W176 is able to return up to 45MPG combined while the W177 is able to return up to 46MPG. It is rather obvious that the way you drive plays a more important role when it comes to MPG results than the MPG info that is advertised.
The engine and gearbox combination in both of these is fitting for such a car as it is powerful enough and quiet.
Mercedes A200 – Design and chassis
The W176 A200 looks nice to most people as it is the first true VW Golf competitor with a Mercedes badge. However, many people deem the W176 to be not all that much better than the Golf when it comes to design, even though the Golf is technically a cheaper car.
The W177 is a lot more sophisticated-looking and it does look like a true Mercedes, no matter the equipment list. The interior of the W176 is lacking in quality when compared to the W177 while the design itself is significantly better with the W177 as it is both more futuristic and better equipped.
The chassis and suspension in both of these bridge the gap between dynamic driving and comfortable cruising. AMG suspension makes the car a lot more dynamic, but overall, the A-Class prioritizes comfort just like any other Mercedes.
Mercedes A200 – Reliability and common issues
The W176 A200 tends to finish at the bottom of most reliable charts and surveys while the W177 improves on its predecessor as it typically tends to land somewhere in the first half. As such, the W177 is a lot more reliable, both because Mercedes made it so and because it is a newer car overall.
The most common issues that tend to plague the A200 are oil leaks, steering system issues, electrical issues, and overall lack of quality, but only for the W176. Maintenance costs are not as high as with most Mercedes models, but still higher when compared to something like a VW Golf.
More Mercedes A200 problems.
Mercedes A200 – Value and practicality
The W176 A200 can be had for around $20,000 while higher-end models with better equipment and lower miles tend to go for a lot more. The W177 is still a relatively new car which means that it costs a lot more than that, bar the very barebone models.
The W176 A200 is not as spacious as the W177, both regarding seating space and in regards to cargo space. You can easily fit up to four moderately-sized adults in the W177 while the W176 struggles when it comes to rear-seat space.
Should I buy the W176 Mercedes A200?
The W176 A200 is not the best Mercedes model out there, and as such, people tend to buy it only if they like the way the car looks and feels. If the price is right and if you are willing to make certain compromises when it comes to space, quality, and reliability, the W176 A200 is worthy of your consideration.
You should focus your attention on later models with fewer miles on the clock as these are leagues better than the initial models reliability-wise. All in all, the W176 A200 can be a great car, but only if you view it as such from the start.
Should I buy the W177 Mercedes A200?
The W177 A200 is a lot better when compared to the W176. So much so that the comparison between these two hardly makes any sense. The only thing that the W176 does better than the W177 is the price. In every other regard, the W177 is better as it is more reliable, more advanced, more luxurious, and more spacious.
As such, buying the W177 makes a lot more sense as it is one of the best compact luxury cars you can buy these days.
Is the Mercedes A200 safe?
Both the W176 and the W177 are safe cars indeed as they are available with all the state-of-the-art safety technologies such as blind-spot assist, automatic braking, lane keep assist, collision prevention systems, Distronic adaptive cruise, and so on.
It’s worth mentioning that most of these are additional equipment, so the overall safety is dependent on how much you are willing to spend. Either way, the A-Class has always been a superiorly safe car as Mercedes always delivers when it comes to safety.