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  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-class
    RM 2,321/Month RM 219,263

Key Highlights

Sportiest looking car in its class Sporty interior design, come with 4 sports seats Wide range of engines, very grippy, very quick
Mercedes' first dual-clutch transmission is above average High levels of standard equipment Easy to drive really fast in the AMG A45

Overview

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Review

If there ever was an automotive version of the ugly duckling story, perhaps the Mercedes-Benz A-Class would be the best fit. The first generation represented a large paradigm shift within the company, exploring segments they had otherwise been absent from and a surprisingly foresighted move. Perhaps the only other manufacturer at the time who beat them to the punch was Audi, who launched their first generation A3 in 1996, though the first A-Class came in 1997.

Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be quite the global hit that Mercedes had expected. It sold in pretty decent numbers, but many other markets around the world couldn’t accept it as a model from the three-pointed star. This was consistent with the second generation – which retained more MPV-esque styling like the first. No, the A-Class really took off when the third generation came into the world.

A proper compact luxury car, shaped like a hatchback, loaded with an interior that wasn’t too far removed from the rest of the models in their line-up. It proved to be incredibly popular, spawning both a four-door coupe and crossover variant, as well as high performance AMG models as the crown jewels of the range.

Now in its fourth generation, Mercedes has taken that winning formula and refined it further. The global and local launch of this generation was back in 2018 in two hatchback variants, with two sedan variants introduced the following year. 2019 also saw the launch of the Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC sedan variant, while 2020 brought the Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC hatchback and the Mercedes-AMG A45S 4MATIC hatchback.

Unfortunately with COVID-19 and other restrictions like a microprocessor shortage in play, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has trimmed the offerings currently available to just two hatchback variants and two sedan variants. This is consistent with the rest of the local Mercedes line-up being more limited.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Specifications

It’s a little easier to understand the Mercedes-Benz A-Class variants if we go by engine. Going by what is currently offered, you need only know what the A35 4MATIC and A45S 4MATIC+ produce in terms of their powerplants. Both variants are powered by turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engines, though outputs are vastly different.

The A35 4MATIC has had its engine fettled slightly by Mercedes-AMG. Outputs are 306 PS and 400 Nm of torque, delivered to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch type automatic transmission. This is available in both the hatchback and sedan bodystyles, though the hatchback variant is still offered solely as the Edition 1.

The most potent variants of the A-Class come with the A45S 4MATIC+ powertrain, making a staggering 421 PS and 500 Nm of torque. Power once again goes to all four wheels courtesy of the 4MATIC system – albeit with a little more aggressive programming courtesy of that + suffix – and it also gets an eight-speed dual-clutch type automatic transmission to handle gearing. This is currently limited only to the hatchback body style.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Exterior

The outside of your regular Mercedes-Benz A-Class isn’t radically different from the model that came before it – only in the sense of it still being a two-box shape in the case of the hatchback. Styling elements are heavily updated and follow the trends and language set by the current generation E-Class which was launched just a year or two before. The sedan shares the same front end with the hatchback, though the taillights are surprisingly unique and not comparable to any other model in the range.

In terms of exterior packaging, things get a little messy. In the case of the cheapest A-Class hatchback you can get, that would be the A35 4MATIC Edition 1 variant which also comes with 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, albeit a different multi-spoke design. As there’s no regular A-Class hatchback models to compare it to, it’s hard to see where the aesthetic differences are – though at launch it came with a different rear diffuser insert and rear spoiler, as well as a twin exhaust pipe setup at the back.

Its more potent counterpart is the A45S 4MATIC+, and this once again gets 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, though similar in design to the A250 AMG Line hatchback units that are no longer on offer. The wheel arches are more flared, the front grille Is the Panamericana design reserved for serious AMG models, there’s a quad exhaust setup at the rear, and a jet-wing profiled front bumper with dive planes and an aggressive rear diffuser round out the aesthetics package.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Interior

If you’re exhausted by now, you get a little bit of a break – the interiors of all the Mercedes-Benz A-Class variants are fairly consistent across all body styles and variants, which is a great thing. You get the modern Mercedes-Benz dual-screen setup that occupies two-thirds of the dashboard – half of it being used for infotainment, and the other half functioning as a customizable instrument cluster.

You get three air condition vents sitting in the middle, with one flanking each end of the dashboard – again an excellent design that is both beautiful and functional, easily manipulated to make sure all occupants get their share of cool air. The centre console is home to a control pad for the infotainment unit and some switchgear for the drive controls. A large storage binnacle is situated behind that, with twin cupholders and a storage bin in front too. Differences in the models come down to the choice of seats and trim materials.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Safety Features

It may be difficult to remember, but Mercedes-Benz packaged the A-Class with a pretty extensive, modern suite of safety systems for the time. This continues with this generation as all variants get Active Brake Assist (autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning), in addition to your more regular items like electronic stability and traction control, ABS with EBD, and so on.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Strengths & Weakness

The really stand-out elements of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class that every variant benefits from is the interior – high quality materials, excellent design, and functionality that is bleeding edge. Mercedes has also worked on some of the sore points that the third generation model were known for, improving the ride quality without compromising handling characteristics.

If we’re talking about the AMG variants in particular, these powertrains and gearboxes are incredibly potent, with a healthy amount of power on tap and a broad, easily usable torque band. These are great compact performance cars – not quite outright sports cars, but definitely qualifying as hot hatchbacks or a sports sedan (bodystyle dependent).

A pitfall that can’t be avoided with cars like the A-Class is simply rear legroom – you get a modest amount, though it still can’t compare with models like the C-Class or larger. Ultimately it is a compact hatchback (or sedan), and you can’t escape the design constraints of its short wheelbase.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Price

For the time-being, the only variants of the A-Class hatchback you can get are the Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC Edition 1 for RM 366,785.06, and the Mercedes-AMG A45S 4MATIC+ for RM 437,673.41.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Features

A stand-out element of any Mercedes-Benz model in this day and age is MBUX, or the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which includes the infotainment system and instrument panel customization. The system can be controlled in a variety of ways – including voice recognition – and is incredibly intuitive and well designed, more than making up for the COMAND system of older Mercedes models.

Keyless entry and push start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in navigation, Active Parking Assist, ambient lighting, and a multi-function steering wheel are all part of the package too – having been offered with even lower level variants than what’s currently on sale.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2021 Fuel Consumption

There is no local data regarding fuel consumption for any of the A-Class variants, but we can look overseas and see what they are returning. The A35 4MATIC will return 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres, or 13.5 kilometres per litre. The most powerful variant, the A45S 4MATIC+ takes 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres, or 11.9 kilometres to the litre. 

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Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1330 cc - 1991 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 219,263 - RM 443,270

Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1330 cc - 1991 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 219,263 - RM 443,270

Reviews

  • Jim Kem

    22 Apr 2021

    REVIEW: 2021 Mercedes-Benz A 250 Sedan AMG-Line - Finally A Real 'Benz', Only Smaller

    Having not been a fan of how the previous-generation A-Class looked, with its too-high bonnet and oddly proportioned overhangs, this replacement model rights so many wrongs from the get-go. The lines are much more elegantly drawn and the curves are so subtle as to be nearly free from actual body creases. Even with a strong aesthetic foundation, it’s much too easy for automakers to make a total mess of a hatchback-based sedan, take the previous Ford Fiesta sedan or Peugeot 207 sedan as the ugliest of these cautionary tales. This isn’t a ‘real’ AMG, so lacking 4Matic, power is sent to the front wheels exclusively. And this is achieved via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In typical driving, this wet-type DCT is smooth and clever predicting shift patterns, though some mild judders could be felt at a slow-speed crawl. You’ll quickly learn to avoid what it dislikes, though. Turning on Sport in the drive mode selector does make the engine and transmission adopt a more aggressive tune. Shifts are snappier, steering is heavier, the throttle is more sensitive, even the engine sounds a little more naughty (though I suspect this is party artificial). On this front, the most prominent defense mechanism is its array of 7 airbags, which is quite a high number for such a small vehicle. Naturally, the usual anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, parking sensors, and reversing camera. On the road, Euro NCAP rates its crash integrity with a 5-star score, so you should feel pretty secure about walking away from a collision unscathed. To prevent that from happening, though, Mercedes-Benz have fitted their Active Brake Assist system, which is just another way of saying Autonomous Emergency Braking.

    View full review
  • Arvind

    15 Sep 2020

    Review: Mercedes-Benz A200 Progressive Line - Fun Has A New Name

    The futuristic theme is carried over nicely with the integration of the new MBUX voice-activated AI user interface – and what a thing it is to operate – the huge dual-screens, the next-level graphics, themes, and colours (which looks even better at night), and the intuitiveness of operation – all exude pure class and technology, in their cheapest car no less.

    View full review

User Review of Mercedes-Benz A-class

4.4 Excellent
Overall Rating
Performance
Interior Design
Safety
Exterior Design
Showing 19 reviews sorted by Latest Year
5 Excellent
Nazirul
Owner of 2019 Mercedes-Benz A250

My dream car

I love it so much, body cutting is so sporty and good looks, like seeing first love.. haha - Less
10 person found this helpful
4 Very Good
AlvIn
Owner of 2019 Mercedes-Benz A200

Small and stylish

The car looks absolutely stunning on the road bt can be a bit underpowered when overtaking. Turbo lags kicked in when u need instant acceleration. - Less
13 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Shamsul
Owner of 2019 Mercedes-Benz A200

best compact car 4 doors

superb in handling comfort inside with best exterior design - Less
4 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Danesh
Owner of 2019 Mercedes-Benz A250

BEAUTIFUL CAR AND STYLISH

Fun ride with a girlfriend... High performance with stunning interior plus ambient light surround car in interior.. Overall i love it - Less
11 person found this helpful
4 Very Good
Pang
Owner of 2018 Mercedes-Benz A250

best hatchback car?

interior is futuristic and the handling and safety future of this car is one of the best you can get on this price range. - Less
6 person found this helpful
See all reviews

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2021 Mercedes-Benz A-class
RM 2,321/Month RM 219,263
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-class
RM 2,321/Month RM 219,263

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