I Drove the New Mercedes A-Class For a University Assignment!
I'd only asked to sit in one!
When I first heard that one of my university assessments was on reviews I was over the moon. As an aspiring car journalist, you’d have thought it was made for me.
Unfortunately, with the deadline fast approaching, I was starting to panic. The idea of reviewing something car related seemed like a none starter.
This was because I didn’t think I stood a chance of getting anywhere near something new, let alone being trusted behind the wheel. As such, I settled on the idea of reviewing the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).
The MBUX system made its debut in the latest generation Mercedes A-Class © - Blee Carswell
With everything crossed I sent the local dealer an email explaining my situation and asking for a sit in a car for 15 mins or so. Much to my surprise, I got an email back offering me a few hours behind the wheel. Its safe to say I about fell off my chair.
As I arrived at the dealer, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but to be honest they could have given me a banged up smart car and I’d have been happy. Luckily, this wasn’t the case and instead I was handed the keys to a very smart looking A180d AMG Line.
Being the 180d I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by the performance and in truth its best described as adequate, but what did blow me away was the interior.
Stepping out of my old Clio and into the A-Class felt like trading in an old brick phone for the latest smartphone. Fundamentally they do the same job, it’s just that after tasting the glamour of modern tech, swapping back is a real culture shock.
Jupiter Red looks very smart © - Blee Carswell
I was very impressed with the system. It combined a space ship like ambience with an interface that although a little daunting at first, was easy and intuitive to use.
I’m keen to get my full review onto DriveTribe, but as the university system will reckon I’ve plagiarised my own work, it’s not going to be up until I’ve had my marks back.
As my review is going to focus on the infotainment system, I was keen not to overload myself by trying to review the car at the same time. However, there were a few things that stood out to me.
Most prominent was just how easy to drive it was. I don’t doubt that this is exaggerated by my lack of time in modern machinery but driving the A-Class was a very serine experience. I felt cocooned and insulated from the outside world.
The 116hp Diesel engine means the A180d dosen't quite have the performance to back up its styling © - Blee Carswell
Unfortunately, the feeling of separation extended to the controls. It felt very much like my input on the pedals and steering wheel went through a few computer processes before being transferred to the road. However, in most real-world situations, such as traffic, this isn’t something worth moaning about.
This was the first time I had driven a car with an automatic gearbox and as you can guess, this took some getting used to. The first time I had to brake hard my left foot naturally went for a clutch and instead it was greeted by a large brake pedal. This about put me through the windscreen.
What do you think of the new A-Class? © - Blee Carswell
Thankfully I learnt from this mistake and very quickly realised why people go for automatics. For your average dull journey, they just make sense.
I loved my time swanning around in a new car and I’m massively grateful to Inchscape Derby for allowing me the seat time. Personally, this opportunity felt like a massive milestone and hopefully if I do a good job on the review it’ll open a few doors for me as I move forward.