2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Expert Review

Editor's Overview

If you’ve ever wanted to own a Mercedes-Benz, the all-new 2019 A220 and A220 4Matic are affordable. Even though it’s the smallest car in the German automaker’s lineup, it’s packed with technical innovation and has a fun-to-drive character.

You'll Like The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class If...

If your dream is to own a Mercedes, but thought it would always be just out of reach, this may be your chance. The new A220 is classy and luxurious and has a sticker in line with the average price of a midsize car.

You May Not Like The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class If...

You need to regularly carry a lot of passengers or stuff. Be aware that this is basically a subcompact sedan offering luxury-car amenities.

What's New

While the A-Class has been in Mercedes-Benz’s global portfolio for some time starting as a rather odd tall hatchback, this recent redesign has finally given it the chops to compete in the North American market. As a result, we get the sedan body style (the hatchback is reserved for other countries), more content in the base models and Mercedes’ latest approach to driver interface. It comes with a transversely mounted turbo 4-cylinder driving the front wheels in A220 guise and all four wheels as the A220 4Matic.

Interior Features

The layout of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 is clean and contemporary, with a dash sporting twin 7-inch screens in lower-trim models. The MB-Tex-clad seats are comfortable and there’s a choice of accent trim ranging from aluminum to natural grain walnut, a reminder of the car’s luxury status. The center of the dash is dominated by three rather large circular vents, with two additional vents on either side. If you’re not familiar with Mercedes vehicles, the gear selector is a column-mounted stalk and the center console has a touch pad to operate the infotainment system. There’s also a thin row of switches on the dash for heat/vent/air conditioning as well as redundant steering-wheel controls and door-mounted buttons to control the power driver’s seat.

Exterior Features

This new A-Class is the next evolution in Mercedes’ sedan design philosophy with crisp lines and sculpted body panels. The grille has a slight shark-nose rake to it, while the greenhouse itself is more formal and upright than the swoopy coupe-inspired roofline of the CLA. While not as slick-looking, the roofline makes getting in and out of the rear seat a lot easier. If you spec the AMG Line package, you’ll get a chrome diamond-block grille treatment, larger 18-inch wheels and a lower ride height. An AMG Line Night Package brings blacked-out exterior accents for a racier look.

Driving Impressions

The 2019 Mercedes A220 is evidence that the German automaker took criticisms of the CLA’s lackluster dynamics to heart on this go-around. This latest effort is tight, well-mannered and fun to drive whether you opt for the front- or all-wheel-drive (FWD, AWD) version. The fully independent suspension is tuned as you’d expect in a European sports sedan, taut, but not punishingly so. The steering is direct, turn-in crisp and power from the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine sufficient enough to make the vehicle feel light on its feet. While the 188 horsepower may not seem like a lot these days, the 221 lb-ft of torque is the hero here, giving the vehicle snappy response from the get-go. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic provides timely and nearly seamless shifts, and a sequential manual-shift mode is available if you’re feeling a bit racy. With its compact dimensions and good sightlines, the A220 is an easy and enjoyable car to drive.

Pricing Notes

The base 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $32,500 plus a $995 delivery fee. The A220 4Matic is $34,500 plus delivery. Add in the Premium, Driver Assist and Multimedia packages and the price of the 4Matic model rises to $39,450 or just over $40,000 when you factor in delivery. The A220 is priced right on top of its closest competitor, which is the 2019 Audi A3, which also starts at $32,500. Do check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the new Mercedes. As the A-Class is an all-new model, don’t expect huge discounts or lease deals in the first year or so. Likewise, it's still too early to start forecasting it resale-value numbers.

Notable Equipment

Base Mercedes-Benz A220 and A220 4Matic models come with the MBUX system with its “Hey, Mercedes” control system similar to Alexa or Siri. While the intelligent voice control is an improvement in picking up natural speech, there still is some learning to be had. When the system is on, if you mention Mercedes in your conversation, MBUX will chime in with a “How can I help you,” even if you don’t want or need the system’s help. Other standard features include the touch-pad center control, five USB ports and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Notable Options

A good get is the $1,550 Premium Package that includes the larger 10.25-inch instrument and infotainment screens along with Keyless Go, Hands Free Access and Blind Spot Assist. A Multimedia package priced at $1,150 includes navigation, which has a neat augmented-reality feature where the forward-looking camera shows the scene out front with directional callouts. The system also includes traffic-sign recognition. A $2,250 Driver Assist option includes active cruise control and steering, automatic emergency braking and brake assist, lane-keeping, lane-change and blind-spot assists. The $2,600 AMG Line package adds larger 18-inch wheels, lower ride height, brushed aluminum pedals, vented front disc brakes with painted calipers, direct steering and a sport steering wheel.

Favorite Features

TWIN-SCREEN INSTRUMENT PANEL

It’s optional, but worth the extra money to get the larger twin 10.25-inch screens for the gauge cluster in front of the driver and the center touch screen for infotainment. The high-definition screens are easy to read, and the instrument display can be configured to match your personal tastes.


BURMESTER PREMIUM AUDIO

Available as an $850 option (you also have to spec the Premium package), the Burmester audio system boasts nine speakers and has an amp rated at 590 watts of power. For such a compact car, the Burmester delivers a big, clear audio experience you’d expect to find in luxury cars costing thousands more.


Under the Hood

Power for the A220 comes from a transversely mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It’s mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission driving the front wheels. In A220 4Matic guise, the output is delivered to all four corners.


2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

188 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm

221 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg (FWD), 25/33 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Looking to attract a younger demographic, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 is the all-new entry-level model for the German luxury carmaker and slots just beneath the previous least expensive Mercedes, the coupe-inspired CLA sedan. The more conventional-looking A-Class sedan, however, has an evolved version of the front-drive platform that underpins both. It is handsome with sharply defined character lines and a look that ties it to the rest of the Mercedes sedan lineup. In addition to offering affordable access to a vehicle carrying the 3-pointed star, the new Mercedes A220 also introduces buyers to the company’s new user interface, MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User eXperience) that incorporates advanced voice recognition that responds to the call, “Hey, Mercedes.”

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The Mercedes-Benz A class: sporty and classy

I really like my Mercedes-Benz A class. I have only had it for a few months but I haven't had any problems so far. I was surprised that it has as much pick up as it does considering that it has 2.0 liter engine. I initially did not like the ECO start/stop feature but I have gotten used to it. My understanding is that all newer cars will have this feature. It has handled very well in the rain which was one of my concerns in driving a smaller vehicle. It looks great both on the exterior and the interior. It is very sporty looking but comfortable to drive. I bought the polar white with the Neva grey/black seats. I really like the natural grain black linden wood trim. My car has the black contrasting side mirrors, roof, and spoiler. The overall look is clean and sharp. The instrument panel is all computerized and Mercedes and I have become good friends. I like that the computer can adjust things on command leaving me to be able to drive. If you are looking for a spacious trunk, this would not be the car for you. Although advertised that it will seat 5, I feel like it will only seat 4 comfortably, and the people in the back better not have really long legs. My 11 year old granddaughter and her friend are quite comfortable in the back but my two sons, ages 28 and 24, said they felt claustrophobic. I think of this car as great for a driver and a single passenger and would probably not use it on a longer trip if I were looking for optimal comfort. The Burmester surround sound system is impressive. The rearview camera is very clear and accurate. The sunroof is easy to use.

- Patricia T

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