Mercedes A-Class review - MPG, CO2 and running costs
The A-Class has excellent economy figures and solid residual values, but insurance costs are steep
The strong figures across the standard A-Class range are no doubt partly thanks to a slippery body shape, which Mercedes claims that is the most aerodynamic in its class. If you're prioritising efficiency, the plug-in hybrid A 250 e will appeal as Mercedes claims an all-electric range of up to 53 miles – and staggering combined fuel economy of between 282-353mpg.
That latter figure is somewhat meaningless, however, as with frequent charges you could reasonably run this car for months without filling it up with fuel even once. The fact it emits only 23g/km of CO2 will be more relevant to business users, who will save a fortune in company car tax.
The A-Class diesel option is still pretty frugal and offer excellent returns from a tank of fuel. The A 200 d achieves a claimed maximum of up to 57.7mpg in both hatchback and saloon form, with CO2 emissions of 130g/km.
The A 180 and A 200 petrol models now 48-volt mild-hybrid tech and a more proactive start-stop system to help with fuel consumption. There's nothing to really separate the A 180 and A 200 in terms of fuel efficiency however, with both capable of around 45 to 48mpg. Emissions are dependent on which equipment level you choose, but start from 133g/km for the A 180 and 133g/km for the A 200, a small increase in efficiency since the entry-level manual gearbox option was dropped.
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Naturally, the performance-oriented AMG A 45 S model is the least efficient of the range, although a claimed 30.7mpg on the combined cycle is still a good return when you consider it produces a staggering 415bhp.
Electric range, battery and charging
The plug-in hybrid A-Class uses a 16kWh lithium-ion battery to feed a single electric motor, and offers a pure-electric driving range of up to 53 miles. To get the most out of the A 250 e's hybrid system in terms of both range and fuel economy, you’ll need to charge it as often as possible.
The A 250 e has a maximum charging speed of 11kW, and a 10 to 100 per cent top-up takes under two hours if you use a home wallbox or workplace charger capable of that speed – a domestic three-pin socket will take five and a hour hours to do the same job.
The A 180 falls into insurance groups 19-21, while the A 200 tops out at group 25 in its highest trim level and the A 250 e saloon sits in group 32 or 33, depending on which trim level you go for. The 415bhp AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ Plus will be even more expensive to insure, sitting in group 41, and the A 35 models a touch less in groups 36-37.
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Although buyers will have to pay handsomely to own and insure an A-Class, our latest expert data suggests the range will offer good residual values after three years and 36,000 miles of motoring. The diesel A 200 d is expected to retain the most value – 57 per cent to be exact – while the A 250 e saloon will hold onto just 50 per cent.
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In this review
- 1Mercedes A-Class reviewThe Mercedes A-Class is a premium hatch that is full of quality, with great on-board technology and a range of frugal engines
- 2Engines, performance and driveA great cruiser with strong performance, but the A-Class has uninspiring handling and the small petrol lacks refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costs - currently readingThe A-Class has excellent economy figures and solid residual values, but insurance costs are steep
- 4Interior, design and technologyGorgeous design and a smart, sophisticated interior make the A-Class an appealing choice
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBoot and cubby spaces are an improvement over the old car’s, but the A-Class is still not as roomy as an Audi A3
- 6Reliability and safetyThe A-Class gets top marks for safety, but servicing costs are more expensive compared to some rivals