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From now until the end of February Mercedes-Benz is offering a limited number of A180 City Edition hatches at a compelling driveaway price of $39,990. It’s a special version of the third-gen A-Class that includes all of the normal A180’s equipment plus premium styling additions to make it look convincingly more expensive than it actually is. It won’t be long before the current range is replaced by a new-gen A-Class, but if you’re in the market right now, the A180 City Edition represents decent buying.
Value: Cars at this entry-level end of the premium segment often come with the badge you want but very little of the equipment you need. That’s not so much the case with the A180 City Edition. It includes a generous amount of equipment as standard, including; a reversing camera, keyless ignition, digital radio, Apple and Android smartphone integration, shift paddles, parking assistance, and blind spot monitoring – much of which is absent from its competitors.
Performance: Moderate figures of 90kW and 200Nm offer perky performance in the A-Class frame and come from a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Peak torque is available from down low and across a wide chunk of the rev-range, and it maintains speed well once on the move. Fuel efficiency is also notable at 5.8L/100km.
Dynamics: The third-gen A-Class is still one of the best small hatches from a driver’s perspective. It has a distinctive sportiness through its snappy steering, agile handling and a grippy, tied-down feeling that will satisfy keen drivers.
Styling: Adding the City Edition option pack to the regular A180 enhances its showroom appeal in a significant way. Included in its driveaway price are 18-inch AMG alloy wheels in black (up from standard 17s), LED headlights with daytime running lights and blue welcome light, LED taillights and reversing light, a gloss black front grille and window trim strip, tinted privacy glass from the B-pillar back, and black side-mirror caps. Inside, the standard sports seats are trimmed in black/red or black/green fabric and leatherette.
Ride: Back in 2016 Mercedes-Benz rolled out a midlife update for the A-Class that included adaptive dampers on all models except the A180. Sadly, the City Edition still doesn’t get them and as such the ride is quite restless and firm, especially on this limited model’s larger wheels with less bump-absorbing tyres. It’s not unliveable, but it can be tiring when you’re not making the most of its sportiness and just want to get somewhere comfortably.
Interior: One of the big issues the next-gen A-Class will address when it arrives later this year is the current car’s dated interior. It has a whole mess of superfluous buttons on the centre console and very outmoded GPS graphics that remind you the core of this car is quite a few years old now.
Space: While the front seats are comfortable and accommodating, the rear bench is quite tight and boot space is on the small side for this segment at 341 litres. Consider the A-Class most suited to urban-dwelling single and couples rather than small families.
Supply: Only a limited number of A180 City Editions will be offered, and Mercedes-Benz expects all of them to sell out before the end of the promotional pricing on Feb 28. Any that are left over after that date will go back to the normal retail pricing of $38,700 plus $1925 for the option pack with on-road costs on top of that. Now is the time to snap one up.
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