I generated this page back in 2004/5 when the W169 was the New Model in the range of Mercedes-Benz cars.
Although impressed with the ride quality and a number of improvements there were still a number of features that I was disappointed with, wing mirrors for instance did not fold at all, unless the electric folding mirror option was ordered on purchase at considerable extra cost. The new W169 already wider than the W168 and retro fitting was out of the question due to cost.
Folding mirrors were a must for many owners as garages are not wide enough to accommodate the modern car plus wide mirrors, which cost a fortune to replace if broken
The aerial was now sticking from the roof looking like twisted barbed wire, this was not the case with the W168, it having been installed in the spoiler, which had now gone.
A very neat looking spoiler replaced by a wire Ariel, What progress!
However some 8 years later I find myself with a W169 I have purchased sitting on my drive.
Many of the features I disliked at the time having gone and many new features appeared which have improved the W169 BUT now it finds itself being fazed out of the Mercedes-Benz range 2012.
Being replaced by Guess What? Another 'A' Class, a straight saloon car. looking very like the BMW one series
But it is said, more appealing to the younger generation who are obviously flexible enough to get into it and who have hi-tec mobile phones to operate some of the features within it, it is said that a large number of orders have been placed.( December 2012.)
In my opinion, each to his own, it's nothing special and is a car certainly without the versatility of either of the existing 'A' Class, both W168 and W169 models
I hope this page will enlighten you to the features of the early W169 models 'A' Class models, also that my now new pages on my own W169 will enlighten you further with the details of some of the components fitted which in the longer term my help you keep your running costs down .
Many of you will have had your W169 for years and I trust you have enjoyed your ownership, but as with the W168 many will change hands without the Owners Manuals provided with the car when New, it is at that audience these pages are directed and who I hope to help.
Lofty The 'A' Class W169 launched 2004/5 last car produced 2012.
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Smart Building , Smart Cars. & the 'A' Class in a Class of it's Own.
If you have to ask to price ! you can't afford it.
The new 'A' Class looking very smart in the showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Chichester West Sussex.
Have Mercedes been influenced by the number of owners of the existing 'A' Class who have upgraded the appearance of the front grill? I wonder. Never the less this one does look rather smart. and the spot light on this car look good. far better than the blanks on my car.
The two door version to me looks rather out of proportion, it looks fine on a small Fiat but on this size of car the single door doesn't look quite right, and you will want a wide garage to fully open that door, and anyway who wants to stoop to get in the back of a Mercedes! No I like my four door better.
Even looks good from the rear, until you open the boot, Sorry rear access door and see the rear compartment flexible cover, take a look!
Well that's an improvement a red warning light to warn others of your presence, and there is a light so you can see what you are doing! And despite my missing them first time round the grab recesses in the bottom edge of the boot lid are there.
Rear parcel shelf? Gone, flexible pull draw cover instead, what will happen when the car is red hot , parked in sun is any bodies guess, flexible covers in my book are out, although I suppose it will save the less practical owners the embarrassment of failing to be able to remove the parcel shelf, and should reduce the rattles at the back end.
When you draw it forward remember to lift it to lock position, not as I did, or when you let it go it smashes much to my embarrassment into the new back seat.
Very impressive yes I could buy one of these as long as I didn't think to much about the back, parcel shelf and the boot lid ! !
Now there is an improvement! you can get at the hand brake with the armrest down! So have Mercedes listened? and that little net rack by the passenger leg well Just right for the map that falls out the door when you open it or if stowed behind the passenger seat you can't get at! Nice one MB. It's about time you listened to your Customers!
And of course the worry of all our lives those wheels that will get scuffed no matter how much we try to keep them looking smart, you can't even touch them up with any satisfaction. they look smart at present though!
New 'A' Class 'Classic 150'
The New 150 Classic when let out of it's stable looks good, My initial impressions are that it is much quieter on the road compared to mine, the rattles have gone and it's very smooth running.
I like the colour of this car although I wasn't so keen on the black trim and all black plastic which didn't give the same feel as my walnut finish, on doors trims and centre consul. The wheel trims are out for me, I would want alloy wheels I as I can't stand having wheel embellishers which judging by the numbers and Variety that can be seen along our roads come detached from almost all types of cars.
Driving position is unchanged but I did find the repositioned hand brake a little close to the drivers seat and it got in the way when doing up the seat belt. I also feel that a shorter person, I'm six foot will have difficulty getting sufficient lift on the hand brake to get the brakes to really bite if parking on an incline, Albeit the vehicle can always be placed in gear as a safe guard. I liked the new dash arrangement which seemed to bring the windscreen closer to the driving position.
The dash layout was different! The digital readout which caught the eye is in KMPH where in fact on the left there is a standard dial mile ometer. Interesting to note that the first 'B' Service on this car is due in 12242, indicated by One Big Spanner. So this car does more miles between services? I wonder! Only time will tell!
Then of course there is the new style key , no fold away metal just plastic and technology, and no alarm key, although an alarm is fitted.
Oh how easily fooled we are another look and with help from Liam a metal key is produced from the plastic body of the fob, ready for those emergencies when the fob battery wont allow you into the car!
One thing I did notice was that the central locking which engages as you move off was noisier than on my car I never hear mine lock this gave a distinctive clunk. I also noticed that the indicators when working could be heard easier, I wear a deaf aid and have some difficulty in my own car in this one I had no problem hearing them operating even over the engine noise, and perhaps there lies the answer if the engine is quieter then other noises will sound loader It will be interesting to see what others think.
Interesting to see that the controls for windows etc have been moved to the O/S door, yes easier to get at but will it produce loom problems in the future? The electric mirror controls are also there and the selector left or right lights up and stays illuminated for about 30secs even after the mirrors have been adjusted.
The ignition switch and beam height adjuster along with the lighting switch are very well situated and are more easily seen that in my A160 face lift model.
YES, MB have got it right, Having been dazzled by low afternoon sun, and I'm not complaining, they have placed this light diffuser built into the screen in that gap behind the driving mirror that's formed between the sun shields when lowered. Nice one!
With steering wheel controls like this I felt like Michael Schumacher, But they didn't change the gear Just the radio station, Volume, telephone, and rear screen heater. Oh well its a start. They also operated the Assyst which was inadvertently pressed.
The other thing was that when I got back into my own car I got the impression that my steering wheel was larger, So is the steering wheel in the new car smaller? I'll leave you to finally decide that one!
As for what the controls all do or don't do I didn't work that out, they are very nicely positioned, but do you have to posses or purchase a Mercedes-Benz mobile phone for the facility to work? The volume for the in built sound system was very convenient I must say, and no need to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel.
The centre consul is very neat, but I felt it lacked that little something, just that little bit to much plastic for me , albeit shiny plastic!
The glove box is much wider and contains the CD ROM rack, As one member who shall remain nameless said it will make it more difficult to change
CD's whilst on the move, Well done MB that makes sense, it may even save an accident or two!
Mind you there is a much bigger space in which to store your petty cash ! Ready for the toll roads? Or the ON the spot fines if your caught changing your CD's whilst on the move!! And you can now plug in your 12 volt kettle without taking out the cigar lighter, or in the case of mykp his refrigerator, complete with beer or was it wine? Because the lighter has gone in favor of calling it a 12 volt service point.
The head rests are very much neater when down , it will be interesting to see if they are any less noisy when up!
The floor of the boot is adjustable, and the change from normal to low can be done with one hand., Well done MB.
The N/S storage area (cubi) now hold nearly all the bits that caused noise when stowed along with the spare wheel. The O/S cubi is free so there is still room for your spare bulb kit etc. this has I suspect been moved to allow the boot floor to be lowered.
The boot is now equipped with a light but on this Classic model the red warning light is not fitted
What a pity especially when it is fitted for the safety of the occupants. Lets just hope MB have put the electrical connections in the loom then it can be fitted later without to much fuss.
The boot catch is covered by a sprung loaded cover, athletically pleasing, but I fear will get damaged when loading goods and items into the boot area.
Situated beneath the rear number plate deflector, the fifth door release mechanism, the old style release catch gone! It felt very different but I'm sure after a few weeks it will go unnoticed. The boot obviously locked automatically with the central locking, Incidentally there is no key way in the front passenger door so all access is via the drivers door.
The grab handles recessed in the bottom of the boot lid do remain, I initially thought they had been removed.
Mind you I liked the new smart wiper arm! I bet they are not interchangeable with mine? And the rap round rear lamp assemblies must add to the safety on the road. and the one up-man ship from 140 to 150.
Some of the changes made are so subtle that you don't notice them until you see the old and the New together Both cars look great but there are advantages to the NEW. although I still like my spoiler!
The rear seat locks have a trip button when not locked the button remains raised when locked the button holds down.
I was disappointed to see that the spoiler had gone, and even more disappointed to see that monstrosity of an Aerial had been stuck on or at appeared on the roof. Vandal proof! I wonder. Give me my spoiler with it's integral Ariel any day.
I must say it looks very smart from the front and I like the metallic paint. I hope the top coat varnish is a harder finish on this car as it tends to get easily marked on my 2001 model. The head lamps are different and it has spots fitted . Much better looking than the blanks.
There are also neater looking wiper blades on this model, I wonder if they will have the problems of the earlier 'A'. There wouldn't be any point in changing them if it did! Would there?
The car is fitted with indicators/winkers in the mirrors bodies but the thing that struck me was they were not very amber I suspect therefore that they are fitted with an amber bulbs. There were several audible warning in this car, Seat belts warning continued until it was secured, hand brake as with the present 'A', as well as a large dash board warning if doors are not secured. I did find that the central locking on moving off and stopping was much noisier.
There is a new bonnet catch on this car which requires you to pull it rather than lift. Also the bonnet felt heavier, but then perhaps I've got weaker!
The engine bay is quite different to mine the layout I feel is improved , the screen wash is clear of the ESP/ABS pump & electrics, as well as a number of other changes. The EMS now appears to be mounted on the engine. The thing I didn't notice was the steering column, and yet must have had one!
The gear linkage appears to me to have been beefed up certainly it has been redesigned.
The oil filter remains behind the engine.
After I'd driven and spent sometime looking under the bonnet, I decided I hadn't seen a steering column so today I looked harder and be assured harder you have to look! I just hope the MB have got the column right on this car because my initial impression is that this column isn't coming out without taking out, or at least dropping the engine. Mind you I could be wrong! I just hope so.
Oh yes this is going to please a few people the bulbs can be got at, I didn't release the dome A but it looked remarkably like the ones that allow access to bulbs on the present 'A' Class.
The rear suspension has been completely changed with very substantial base plates for the rear springs. Lets hope the MB have upgraded the springs which are a problem on the existing 'A's and that they are interchangeable? between the various models.
The New rear suspension definitely gives a better ride. However I fear it is extremely vulnerable in a rear impact situation. Repairs bills I feel sure will be high, and I very much doubt if a tow bar could be fitted to this model of 'A' Class.
The exhaust layout has changed considerably there are now being several bends in the rear pipe, how this will affect the life of the exhaust only system only time will tell.
In summery I found this car very comfortable to drive responsive to the accelerator and much more positive in all respects than even my car. I was quite disappointed when I went from car to car and experienced the noise difference In some respects getting back into mine was like getting into a van, it was that different, although I suspect that some of it was tyre noise.
Whether I would trade mine in against this model in particular is doubtful, as it lacks some of the luxury and home comforts like the arm rest, and the walnut trim on central consul and doors. This car had a price tag of £15275. That's a lot of any bodies money. But it is a New Car in all respects, this is not a face lift!
The New 'A' Class 'Elegance Model' has really hit the Showrooms of Mercedes-Benz of Chichester this morning, no fewer than three cars in the showroom and at least two outside and all of them looking great.
One or two more photographs of the car most of which are of the Elegance Model the one I would be interested it, .
Not quite so much walnut trim but it its there in the most prominent places the upholstery is a little pale in this car for me but I don't doubt it will suit many, I would only want to drive in my best cloths, for fear of making it dirty: that I afraid would take the pleasure out of owning such a car.
Earlier on this site I mentioned that I'd owned cars that had been fitted with two horns and that on my present 'A' Class I'd had only located one. Well on this Elegance there are two and they are situated in such a way that it can only improve their performance, I didn't have the nerve to sound them in the showroom But I was tempted!
However having purchased a 2009 classic 2011/12 I discovered that there was only one horn which sounds like a strangled cat, Oh yes the position for the second horn is there but Mercedes couldn't afford to put it on the Classic SE model or the person who was fitting them went for tea!.
So have they got the safety of the public and drivers in mind? NO they delete the red warning light on the doors as are fitted to the Advantgarde and Elegance and the fit one horn, So in my mind they have cut the safety of the driver and passengers and pedestrians by fitting a lower standard of safety on the Classic SE model totally inexcusable.
Every time I look round this New car I find something that is different to the face lift model. On this occasion I note that the are red light situated in the bottom of the doors a very good safety aspect, again I wished that Mercedes had included this feature on all models, I certainly didn't note it on the Classic Model? Why the difference if its to enhance the safety?
Oh I remembered to take a another look at the Air conditioning carbon filter housing, there are three small clips release those and yes you can remove the old filter and replace the new about a 5 minute job max. So will this modification help keep the servicing costs on the NEW 'A' Class down?
When the rear seats are folded forward the space appears massive, this is where the double level floor really comes into its own making one level of flooring and yet allowing greater stowage when just the boot space is in use.
I think this is my preferred colour so far, a dark Blue, very smart indeed although I'm sure it will turn black in the dark.
I really do think Mercedes-Benz Should have had a competition to see who could spot the most differences between the latest face lift, and the New 'A' Class Model, they could have even let their Head Office staff join in! They wouldn't have won because they know very little about the existing 'A' Class and what they do they wont share with the owners! I'm quite sure all hell will break loose when they discover there is a New One! But it would have given us enthusiasts a chance.
Well done Mercedes-Benz, Nice Car, and I like the colour range.
Thank you Mercedes-Benz of Bognor Road Chichester West Sussex
for letting me take the photographs and for the loan of this car for the day. If you have questions about this car or any other model of Mercedes-Benz please direct your questions to :- Mercedes-Benz of Chichester West Sussex who's Staff are friendly and helpful.
Thank you for visiting my home page, I will continue to add to the information and add photographs from time to time, so please call again. May I wish all visitors to this site a TROUBLE FREE & SAFE MOTORING.
Oh don't forget to visit the site where everything is 'A' class http://baby-benz.com
as well as pay Mykp a visit, another site which includes the 'A' Class as well as a number of other