Best 2019 Mercedes Benz A Class Prices and Review
The A 220 is the only trim level offered, but there are a few options worth considering. The Multimedia and Driver Assistance packages add a lot of tech features that set the A-Class apart from rivals. The Premium package isn’t as critical, but it does add some niceties and is the only way to get the larger instrument and touchscreen displays.
In golfing terms, you could say the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a mulligan. Mercedes’ previous entry-level sedan, the CLA, was a hook into the rough because of its middling driving experience, mediocre comfort and uninspiring build quality. But we’re pleased to report that Mercedes has made an equivalent of a hole-in-one as the new A-Class handily claims the top spot among entry-level luxury sedans.
Given the car’s starting price in the low $30,000s, it would be tempting to assume that Mercedes once again cut corners. In reality, the A-Class is worthy of its badge, and you can indeed think of it as a downsized Benz. The A 220, which is the first trim level to come out, exceeds expectations in almost every meaningful metric.
It performs well enough to please driving enthusiasts while also providing a comfortable ride with an impeccably designed interior. And it’s packed with the latest tech, including the new feature-rich MBUX infotainment system that can be controlled by voice or via steering wheel pads, a touchscreen or a trace pad. On top of all of this, the cabin is surprisingly spacious for all passengers.
The CLA is still around, as are the Audi A3 and the BMW 2 Series. But the A-Class takes the top spot on the leaderboard, and we think it’s a great pick for an affordable luxury sedan.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class configurations
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is offered in one trim: the A 220 sedan with seating for five passengers. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (188 horsepower, 221 pound-feet of torque) that is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive is available as an option.
Standard features include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, heated mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery (MB-Tex), power-adjustable front seats with memory functions, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.
On the tech front, you get a 7-inch digital instrument panel, a 7-inch central touchscreen, the MBUX infotainment system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, remote control and monitoring via a smartphone app, five USB-C ports, and HD radio. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, emergency communications, and a drowsy driver warning system.
Mercedes offers a few option packages for the A 220. The Premium package gets you auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, a hands-free trunklid, keyless entry, a blind-spot monitor, and 10.3-inch instrument and touchscreen displays. You can also get the Multimedia package, which has navigation, augmented reality driving directions (displays street names and directions on a front-facing camera video feed) and a traffic sign reader.
Additional safety comes from the Driver Assistance package. It bundles adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, evasive steering assist, cross-traffic collision mitigation, emergency-stop assist, active speed limit assist, route-based speed adaptation, and Mercedes’ Pre-Safe Plus and Pre-Safe Sound systems. There’s also the Parking Assistance package that adds a surround-view camera system and an automated parking system.
An AMG Line package contains 18-inch wheels, a lowered suspension, sportier body styling, chrome grille treatments, drilled brake rotors and painted calipers, variable ratio steering, shift paddles, aluminum pedals and a sport steering wheel.
Notable stand-alone options for the A-Class include an adaptive suspension, adaptive headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, massaging multicontour front seats, a heated steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, satellite radio, a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, and a 12-speaker Burmester surround-sound system.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Mercedes-Benz A 220 4Matic (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).
8.5Although Mercedes will likely offer an AMG variant of the A-Class in the future, this A 220 still acquits itself very well. The optional summer tires sharpen up the driving experience, and the capable chassis is more than up to the task. Only the occasional stumble from the transmission is a demerit.
8.5This turbocharged 2.0-liter engine won’t blow you away with big power specs, but it’s responsive and it gets the A-Class up to speed smoothly and silently. In Edmunds testing, the A 220 4Matic covered 0-60 mph in a respectably quick 6.4 seconds. Only at higher speeds, such as when trying to make a pass on the highway, does the engine feel a bit taxed.
8.5The pedal is nicely balanced with just enough travel to not be jumpy and enough pressure to be reassuring. Immediately intuitive, it’s easy to stop smoothly and with confidence from any speed. In our braking test, the A 220 stopped from 60 mph in 113 feet, which is very good for the class. But note that our test car had optional summer performance tires. Braking distances will be longer with the regular all-season rubber.
8.0Multiple drive modes give different levels of steering assist. The Comfort mode seems to strike the best balance. Sport makes the steering overly heavy with no benefit to feel. The optional steering assist function is a bit overactive and can spoil a good drive with its constant and firm intervention. Thankfully, you can switch it off.
8.5There’s more than enough grip thanks to the optional summer tires, and the A 220 is well-tuned to handle it. The all-wheel-drive system can also help get the power down quickly when exiting a turn. There’s a bit more body roll than expected, but composure is excellent.
7.5The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic shifts smoothly and quickly. Light accelerator inputs, like you might use in heavy traffic, produce occasional chugging or a clunk from the transmission. But overall this is still one of the better examples on the market.
8.5Mercedes is out to prove that compact luxury cars can be just as luxurious as their bigger and more expensive siblings. The A 220 confirms that with excellent ride quality, a quiet interior and comfortable front seats. Only the recessed and somehow still glare-producing climate controls are an obvious misstep.
8.0Taller drivers might want a bit more upper-back support, but otherwise the front seats are impressively comfortable. There’s excellent adjustability, especially with the extendable bottom seat cushion. The rear seats are nicely contoured and well-padded.
9.0There’s much more suspension travel than expected, but the dampers always manage to keep things under control. The A 220 is capable of absorbing most bumps at high or low speeds with ease. You’ll notice surface changes, but nothing really upsets the suspension. Mercedes did a nice job here.
Noise & vibration
8.5Wind noise from the door pillars is noticeable, but that’s likely due to the seating position. The rest of the cabin is very quiet. There’s good isolation from both road noise and ambient noise from other vehicles. Engine sounds are also nicely muted, even at full throttle.
8.0The system provides plenty of airflow from the fancy-looking turbine-style air vents. Unfortunately, the climate control display bar is a recessed thin strip of high-gloss black plastic, which reflects sunlight and can easily be unreadable.
8.5Mercedes includes a bunch of luxury and technology features in the A 220. Thankfully, they are pretty easy to access and figure out. Those coming from a larger Mercedes will instantly feel at home. The A 220 is also comfortable for a wide variety of people.
Ease of use
8.0Due to the sheer amount of information and features available, the new MBUX infotainment system can take a bit of getting used. Mercedes provides excellent redundancy in the controls, so most drivers should find a suitable way to operate it. Familiarity with previous Mercedes systems will expedite the learning process.
Getting in/getting out
7.5The A 220 has standard-size front door openings. One needs to make just a mild drop to get into the seats. The back of the car has much narrower door openings. Rear passengers may need to mind their knees with regards to the front seats.
9.0The seat and the steering wheel are highly adjustable, and that makes the A 220 suitable for a wide variety of drivers. The quick-acting power-adjustable seats make it a snap to find a good position, and three memory settings help you keep it.
8.0The driver and the front passenger enjoy ample headroom, shoulder and elbow room, which is a pleasant surprise in such a small car. While rear passengers have decent headroom, legroom is a bit tight. Thankfully, the backs of the front seats are sculpted to provide some additional kneeroom.
7.5The view straight ahead is unobstructed, and it’s easy to judge the distances to the nose and front corners. When looking over your shoulder, the thick roof pillars can obscure vision. We’d prefer bigger side mirrors, too. The backup camera’s display is very sharp.
9.0It’s not an exaggeration to say that the A-Class’ build quality is impeccable and on par with cars costing twice as much. Only a few interior surfaces feel anything other than upscale. We didn’t notice any squeaks or rattles on our test car either.
8.0The A 220 can perform most duties you’d ask of a compact sedan. Though the trunk might be a bit on the narrow side, the split-folding rear seats keep things practical and plentiful interior storage helps minimize the clutter.
8.5There’s ample space to stow drinks, a phone or other smaller everyday items. The center console bin is deep. Rear passengers get decent storage in the doors and enough room to rest items on the middle seat if it’s not in use.
7.5There’s decent trunk space for a compact sedan. The 40/20/40-split folding rear seats help accommodate longer objects, too. That said, the space is still small. Listed capacity is just 8.6 cubic feet.
Child safety seat accommodation
8.0The LATCH anchors are clearly marked and covered by plastic lids that don’t affect seat comfort. Installing a large rear-facing child safety seat and having enough room left over for adults to be comfortable up front will be tricky, but that’s typical for this class of car.
8.0Mercedes managed to pack the A 220 with loads of customizable tech, lighting displays and an impressive audio system while keeping the entire setup both tasteful and easy to use. Only some hyperactive electronic driver aids spoil the technological tour de force.
Audio & navigation
9.5Our test car had the upgraded 10.3-inch displays, and the navigation info looks great. You can operate the system with a touchscreen, buttons or touchpad controls. The optional Burmester audio system produces remarkable sound for a car of this size and price range.
8.5Phones can be connected via Bluetooth and through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Something worth noting is the two USB-C ports for front passengers — that could necessitate a new cable purchase if all of your phone cords are the older style. Connections are fast and reliable.
6.0Most of the desired driver assistance features are a part of the optional Driver Assistance package. Although sophisticated, they can be overactive at times and return a few false alarms. Some of our drivers just turned them off, which unfortunately defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.
8.0Part of Mercedes’ new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is a natural language voice recognition system. It controls everything from changing the radio stations to opening the sunroof. The system can be inadvertently activated, but it generally works well otherwise.