2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

By January 19, 2022

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a small near-luxury sedan. It’s Mercedes’ entry-level car, and reflects well on the name with coupe-like styling, a good ride, spirited handling, and loaded features, with extensive options such as walnut trim and a 10.3-inch touchscreen. Mercedes calls it a five-seater, but even four can be a crowd. For 2022 it will be sold as just one model, the A220. The higher-performance AMG A35 has been discontinued.

Mercedes’ smallest car gets its smallest engine, a confident 188-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4, mated to a smooth 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s front-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive.

The A-Class is EPA-rated at 28 mpg with either front- or all-wheel drive. It gets 25 mpg city, 35 highway, 28 mpg combined.

It hasn’t been crash-tested yet by the NHTSA and the IIHS. Standard equipment includes automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. There’s a reasonably priced Driver Assistance package with active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and limited hands-free driving, but it’s only available after a package with twin 10.3-inch touchscreens has been purchased.

Model Lineup

Made in Mexico, the base A-Class costs about $35,000, while a fully loaded version can top $50,000.

Standard equipment includes luxury features such as synthetic leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof and 64-way ambient lighting; also LED headlights, keyless start, 17-inch wheels, and a pair of 7.0-inch touchscreens.

All-wheel drive is $2,000. The Premium package with two 10.3-inch screens is $1,750. Heated front seats and steering wheel is $750. Add $3,100 for the Night package of red on black leather. Other options include a Burmester sound system and driver-assist features.

Every A-Class has a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, without the scheduled maintenance included by some luxury rivals.

Exterior

The A-Class has an alluring body, smooth and toned, with the larger black alloy wheels complementing its curves and lending some muscle. It cuts a distinct profile, as the roofline flows evenly from front to back, blending nicely into the tucked tail.

In front, the big tri-star Mercedes emblem spreads its wings across a dappled grille that’s broad but not monstrous like the grilles of too many others.

Interior

As is expected from a Mercedes, quality materials abound in the cabin, although such things as real wood or aluminum trim, larger touchscreens, and even heated front seats aren’t standard.

The dash has a wing-like span, with circular vents in the corners and three more in the center. The optional walnut or linden trim adds warmth and refinement, but the standard gloss black center console smudges the luster of the cabin. The flat-bottomed steering wheel with haptic controls feels good to grip. The layered infotainment system is intuitive.

The front seats are comfortable but the rear seats cramped, with less than 34 inches of leg room and slim head room for tall passengers. There’s a seatbelt in the middle, but no room for adult-sized hips. However the rear seat is versatile, folding 40/20/40; so the middle 20 can be dropped to make the A-Class a reasonable four-seater. That gains access to the trunk, which is very small at 8.6 cubic feet. We see the A-class being often used as a two-seater, with the rear folded all the way, to gain more generous cargo space.

Driving Impressions

The 188-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers the A220 from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, a lively time. With a solid 221 lb-ft of torque that comes on at a low 1,600 rpm, there’s no waiting from low speed. The 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission is sharp and responsive. Standard paddle shifters enable the driver to downshift on demand, but the transmission’s programming is so good, and the powerband so broad, the correct gear is always there, so the driver doesn’t need to shift.

Highway cruising is an ocean of calm, with the independent suspension—front struts and rear multi-link—cushion the ride, although the heavier all-wheel-drive version jostles a bit on bumpy roads.

With a relatively light curb weight of 3,300 lb, the A-Class feels nimble. The steering is precise, and well-weighted at the steering wheel. Put those three qualities together, and the handling is fun and driving spirited.

Final Word

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a winner all the way, with a superb drivetrain, a smooth ride, and precise handling, plus good gas mileage. Its coupe-like styling is lovely. We’d spend extra for the twin digital displays and for leather trim.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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