Mercedes A class: Performance, economy & Ride comfort.

Performance and economy
Overall, the performance was almost OK but and shortfall was forgiven in the light of the stunning fuel consumption. After 560km, we still had well over a quarter of a tank left and the actual consumption worked out at 6.2l/100km which is 46mpg in old money!

One thing that both exacerbated the performance shortfall and helped with the economy was the gearing. Top was very high indeed and with five ratios available the gears were just too widely spread. Often, I'd find that fourth was too high if I wanted to accelerate after a hold up on the motorway so I'd drop into third and the revs would pop up to just a couple of hundred short of the red line. I did not want to find out where the rev limiter was with a full load of passengers so I'd change up almost right away. An extra gear allowing closer spacing between the ratios while maintaining the high top geraing would solve that problem.

Ride comfort
The worst aspect was the ride. To put it simply, this beast has the worst ride of any car that I have ever driven. Perhaps it's the height, but every bump in the road was felt and we all felt that we were being thrown about a lot. A simple bump in the road didn't just cause an up and down motion but a noticeable movement in pitch and roll as well. These secondary effects were not at all well damped either. In the end every person aboard felt sick and we had to endure one breakfast replay from the back seats. This is the only car that has ever made me feel sick as a driver! If you are thinking of buying one of these, rent one and take it out for a long drive to see how you react.

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Introduction Back to the start
Interior Deceptively spacious
Handling Poor on the open road.
Conclusion Would I buy one?
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Land How to travel about on the ground