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2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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$33,650 - 45,850 MSRP

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2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Review

Punchy engines, spry handling, and high-tech infotainment all help the Mercedes-Benz A-Class stand out among luxury small cars, but its scant passenger and cargo space are less praiseworthy. This vehicle does not have an overall score or ranking because it has not been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant cabin
  • Futuristic tech features
  • Sharp handling
  • Zippy acceleration
  • Somewhat harsh ride
  • Tiny trunk
  • Small rear seats

New for 2021

  • Blind spot monitoring, a 64-color ambient lighting system, and 18-inch wheels now standard

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is unranked in Luxury Small Cars due to missing safety data. Currently, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 13 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.1
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other luxury small cars.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Mercedes-Benz A-Class?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class a Good Car?

Yes, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a good luxury small car. This sedan impresses with its excellent fuel economy, ritzy cabin, and state-of-the-art infotainment system. It also has two peppy engine options and is fun to drive. However, the A-Class falters when it comes to trunk space and passenger room. Additionally, its ride can be too firm to be considered comfortable.

Why You Can Trust Us: 13 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as cargo space dimensions, mpg ratings, and predicted reliability, as well as the opinions of the automotive press.

This 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Mercedes-Benz A-Class?

While there’s a lot to like about this Mercedes, there are better options if you want a more spacious interior or a more comfortable ride. The 2021 Audi A3 has about 15 cubic feet of trunk space, which is almost double what you’ll find in the A-Class. You could also consider the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which comes in multiple body styles and has a refined ride.

Compare the A-Class and C-Class »

2020 vs. 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: What's the Difference?

For 2021, Mercedes-Benz adds blind spot monitoring to the A-Class’ standard features list. Also newly standard in the base model are 18-inch wheels and a 64-color ambient lighting system. Otherwise, this vehicle sees no major changes from the 2020 A-Class.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 A-Class »

Here are the key changes for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class over the last few years:

  • 2019: all-new vehicle
  • 2020: Mercedes-AMG A 35 trim debuted
  • 2021: blind spot monitoring now standard; larger wheels and 64-color ambient lighting system now standard in base model

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2019 A-Class and 2020 A-Class reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Cost?

The base Mercedes-Benz A-Class A 220 has a starting MSRP of $33,650, which undercuts the starting prices of most cars in the class. The high-end AMG model starts at $45,850, which is more affordable than the performance-oriented models in the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series lineups.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Versus the Competition

Mercedes-Benz A-Class vs. Mercedes-Benz CLA

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is another luxury small car from the brand, and it is built on the same platform as the A-Class. Even so, there are some key differences between them. The CLA has a larger trunk, and the high-performance AMG CLA 45 trim has a lot more power. On the other hand, the A-Class has a bit more rear-seat headroom and a more affordable starting price.

Compare the A-Class and CLA »

Mercedes-Benz A-Class vs. Audi A3

The Audi A3 is another appealing luxury sedan. Its standard touch screen is larger than the one you’ll find in the base A-Class, and the A3’s trunk is nearly twice as big as that in the Mercedes. Otherwise, these two German rivals are similar, with spirited handling, potent turbocharged engines, and available high-performance trims.

Compare the A-Class and A3 »

Compare the A-Class, CLA, and Audi A3 »

A-Class Interior: A Small Glimpse of the Future

A-Class Cargo Space

With 8.6 cubic feet of space, the A-Class sedan’s trunk is one of the smallest in the class. A hands-free trunk lid is available.

How Many People Does the A-Class Seat?

The A-Class sedan seats five people. Synthetic leather upholstery and 12-way power-adjustable front seats come standard. Genuine leather upholstery is available, as are heated and ventilated front seats, sport front seats, multicontour front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

While it may be slightly roomier than the Mercedes-Benz CLA, the A-Class still comes up short on space. Fitting a tall passenger behind a tall driver would be a stretch due to a lack of rear-seat legroom. On the plus side, it’s easy to enter or exit the vehicle.

A-Class and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

A-Class Interior Quality

Premium materials adorn this Mercedes’ cabin, and a 64-color ambient lighting system is newly standard. Optional features like woodgrain trim help this luxury sedan feel even swankier.

A-Class Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

There are multiple ways to control the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, and most of them are simple. The touch screen has tabletlike controls, with swiping and pinch-to-zoom functions, and it’s highly intuitive with crisp graphics and quick response times. There’s also a console-mounted touchpad controller, physical buttons on the steering wheel, and voice commands, including the “Hey, Mercedes” keyword activation.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch digital driver display, a 7-inch touch screen, a touchpad controller, five USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and voice controls
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10.25-inch touch screen, gesture-based infotainment controls, a 12-speaker Burmester stereo, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: push-button start, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic roof
  • Other available features: proximity keyless entry

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

A-Class Performance: AMG? AM-Whee

A-Class Engine

This sedan comes with a choice of two turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The engine in the base A 220 makes 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. In the AMG A 35, the engine produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The sole transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which gets mixed reviews for its smoothness. Some critics report that it is clunky, while others say that it works fine.

The base engine’s numbers may be weak on paper, but it supplies ample power for regular driving and is surprisingly peppy. The AMG A 35 provides extra oomph and delivers power smoothly and confidently in just about any situation.

A-Class Gas Mileage

With its base four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, the A 220 gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive (AWD) lowers the highway rating to 34 mpg. Those are great estimates for the luxury small car class. The Mercedes-Benz AMG A 35 returns 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

A-Class Ride and Handling

Confident brakes and well-weighted steering help make this sedan fun to drive. It doesn’t quite carve corners as eagerly as a sports sedan, but it gets pretty close. Unfortunately, the stiff suspension and run-flat tires can make the ride somewhat harsh. Front-wheel drive is standard, and AWD is available.

Read more about performance »

A-Class Reliability

Is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Reliable?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Warranty

Mercedes-Benz backs the A-Class with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

A-Class Safety

A-Class Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 A-Class.

A-Class Safety Features:

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Driver attention monitor
  • Mercedes’ crosswind assist (helps keep the car in its lane in strong winds)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Mercedes Pre-Safe Plus (tightens seat belts and applies the brakes if sensors detect an imminent rear-end collision)
  • Mercedes Pre-Safe Sound (emits pink noise to protect your ears from the noise of a crash)
  • Active steering assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane change assist
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Speed limit recognition
  • Front cross-traffic braking
  • Stop-and-go adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Surround-view parking camera system

Read more about safety »

A-Class Dimensions and Weight

The A-Class sedan is 14.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,285 to 3,461 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz builds the 2021 A-Class in Germany.

Which Mercedes-Benz A-Class Model Is Right for Me?

Mercedes-Benz makes the 2021 A-Class in two main trim levels: A 220 and the performance-oriented AMG A 35. There’s also the A 220 4Matic, which is the same as the base model, except that it has all-wheel drive.

Throughout the lineup, you can get heated front seats for $500 or heated and ventilated front seats for $950. Satellite radio costs $460, wireless device charging can be had for $200, and a 12-speaker Burmester stereo is priced at $850. You can also get leather seats for $1,450. Gesture-based controls for the MBUX system can be added for $200 in the A 220 and $300 in the AMG A 35.

Mercedes-Benz A 220

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class A 220 has a starting MSRP of $33,650. It comes with a 7-inch touch screen, a touchpad controller, “Hey, Mercedes” keyword activation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, five USB ports, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a panoramic roof, and alloy wheels are also standard.

A few driver assistance features are included too, such as rain-sensing windshield wipers, crosswind assist, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, a driver condition monitor, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

Mercedes-Benz offers several packages with the A 220 trim. For $2,600, you can add the AMG-Line package, which lowers the suspension for increased stability. It also includes sport front seats, a sport steering wheel, aluminum shift paddles, and AMG interior and exterior design styling.

The Exterior Lighting package adds automatic high-beam headlights and adaptive headlights for $900. More driver aids are included in the $1,700 Driver Assistance package, including lane keep assist, lane change assist, lane departure warning, active steering assist, evasive steering assist, speed limit recognition, adaptive cruise control, front cross-traffic emergency braking, Mercedes Pre Safe Sound, and Mercedes Pre Safe Plus. The $1,090 Parking Assistance package has parallel park assist and a surround-view parking camera system.

You can also get the Premium package. It costs $1,750 and comes with a 10.25-inch touch screen, a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, a hands-free trunk lid, proximity keyless entry, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For $1,295, you can get a forward-facing camera system and a navigation system as part of the Multimedia package. A Wi-Fi hot spot is offered too, and you can get a heated steering wheel for $250.

Mercedes-AMG A 35

Retailing for $45,850, the Mercedes AMG gains performance enhancements such as an AMG-tuned suspension, high-performance brakes, a sport exhaust, dynamic cornering assist, a Sport+ drive mode, and all-wheel drive. The AMG A 35 also comes with the 10.25-inch touch screen and a 10.25-inch digital driver display.

Many of the same packages are available. There’s also a $3,270 AMG Performance Seat package, which outfits this vehicle with heated, multicontour front sport seats. For $1,100, you can add a head-up display, and for $990, you can get a sport-tuned suspension with three-stage damping to adjust the ride quality.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mercedes-Benz deals page.

See 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a high-end luxury small car that impresses with its lively engine choices, playful handling, sumptuous cabin, and high-tech infotainment system. However, it also has a paltry trunk and tight back seats, as well as a harsh ride in models with the standard tires.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Rather than skimp on things like the quality of materials in the cabin, Mercedes-Benz has made the A-Class a well-realized premium car stocked with many fine features, while making others available in the options list." -- Autotrader
  • "At relatively accessible pricing, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class may well be the gateway to luxury-car ownership and the beginning of a beautiful brand loyalty for younger buyers. Yet it could just as easily be a smart choice for any members of the Mercedes-Benz faithful looking to downsize (or purchase a second or third vehicle) without sacrificing quality, driving manners, and cool technology." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The A-Class excels at offering the modern Mercedes-Benz experience in simply a smaller package. It's loaded with tech, features and luxury. It's also enjoyable to drive and looks suitably upscale. Mercedes has raised the bar for the entry-level luxury sedan class." -- Edmunds (2020)
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2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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