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Are second hand A Class a huge risk?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by littlejohn, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. littlejohn

    littlejohn Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bristol
    Your Mercedes:
    E320 Avantgarde S211
    Hi folks

    We're thinking about getting an A Class as an economical commuter car as a third car (mainly for me, as I'm now driving the V8 daily at the moment and it does 18mpg on a good day ...), and the prices for 8-10 year old A160 are really attractive.

    But when googling for reviews, it seems that there's just as many consumer reviews saying it's the worst/most unreliable car ever as there are saying it's fantastic. Some of the stories of breakdowns in the first year from new are really surprising.

    Was there a period of poor manufacturing at MB or something? I've tried looking here for an A-Class buyers guide, apologies if I missed it (in which case please could someone could point me to it)

    Cheers
    John
     
  2. AnthonyUK

    AnthonyUK Senior Member

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    Location:
    Alton, Hants
    Your Mercedes:
    C240 estate 2002
    I can't help with exact info but the A class is pretty affordable but many people do not factor in the cost of maintenance which with MB dealer prices, can be expensive. I would guess that an A class is no more or less reliable than anything else if it is maintained.
    Something like a Fiesta may have been engineered to require a little less maintenance though so are a bit more forgiving and in my experience annoyingly reliable.

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/mercedes/a-class/reliability
     
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  3. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ruislip
    Your Mercedes:
    CL500 -W215, A140-W168
    We’ve had our 2001 A140 since about 2003. It’s been great, regular maintenance is the key.
    Last year it had its first replacement exhaust (£57 ebay) and this year I had the auto box rebuilt (£900). The ability to completely remove the rear seats is fantastic - it becomes a small van! I’m sure there will be good ones out there. Happy hunting.
     
  4. GLK

    GLK Senior Member

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    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Location:
    Northampton
    Your Mercedes:
    A200 Avantgarde Special Edition Sports Coupé • C169
    Had a few W168s, and now into my fourth year of W169 ownership (well, strictly speaking, it's C169 - A200 coupé 2006).

    All automatic (169 is CVT). The previous car (A160 2001) was a high mileage when I bought it, and after four years had a TCU refurb at 107k, which wasn't too bad I thought. The current only had 29k on the clock, so should hopefully last me a good while.

    As above - regular maintenance, and generally looking after it (and knowing it's been looked after, by previous owner) makes all the difference.

    As you're looking into facelift W169, you'll avoid the door seal rust problem - major nuisance.
     
  5. mercedes13156

    mercedes13156 Senior Member

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    West Lothian
    Your Mercedes:
    CLK 200 Cabrio and a Ford Kuga
    We had two 168s, both diesels with previous history. Both cost less than £3000. They both ran on to 160,000+ miles without a hitch. One was scrapped after taking a rear end strike from an articulated lorry on a roundabout and the other is still going strong after we sold it three years ago with about 165,000 on the clock. It needed a new starter and a back box. That was it. Both gave over 50mpg as standard and had a dog's life with lugging stuff around. We once had a dismantled king size bed, complete with mattress in it. We had to take the passenger seat out for that. Pity I forgot the bolts to put it back together and had to go back for them. Great little cars.
     
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  6. V6Matty

    V6Matty Senior Member

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    Location:
    Newark, Notts
    Your Mercedes:
    S212/10/E350(His) W169/2005/A180 (Hers)
    We've had the wife's 169 for 2 1/2 years, had a few things wrong unfortunately but we put this done to previous owner neglecting it and doing only basic maintenance. So far we've had a gearbox rebuild, reluctor rings on the front, springs front and back, all glow plugs and pretty much all fluids changed at least a couple of times, has cost us probably almost as much as we paid for the car but we know it's all in good condition now so will last her quite a few more years.
     
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  7. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    West London
    Your Mercedes:
    W221 S65 AMG - W204 C63 AMG + Various other MB's
    AS above both 168's and 169's are reliable, watch out for rust on the 169 doors.

    Imo I would go for the manual or TCS semi auto on the 168. The 168 Auto boxes are a bit rubbish and the 169's CVT can be problematic.
     
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  8. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Windsor Berkshire
    Your Mercedes:
    CL500 2009 5.5
    Had our A160 Auto from new since 2002.
    61,000 miles.
    Very reliable other than ...
    Major Failures:-
    1. gearbox controller £640 plus labour to take engine out and split the gearbox at 47,000 MB paid for it after a fight.
    2. Starter motor . Engine dropped job circa £1400 at Main Dealer, 2 Indys quoted £700; eventually done by London Indy for £435 with a genuine MB new starter.
    3. Timing chain tensioner at 61,000 miles cost £85 plus an hours labour. Surprised at that, as its had Mobil 1 0W40 every 5,000 miles. Note if you buy one over 40K use Mobil 1 5W50 much quieter.

    But just discovered a sort of graunch-rubbing noise if full lock is applied, and one drives off smartly, sounds just like a tyre rubbing in a plastic wheel arch ... no idea what it causes it ... will know on Monday when it goes in.

    But then she is 16 years ( pampered ) old! Undecided if this is a good or average experience.

    Other minor bills, rear door hydraulic strut .. bought 2 on ebay for £13! ( normally buy everything MB but hey its not part of the engine, drivetrain or electrics.)

    4. Flat battery issues ... resolved by upgrading the battery to the one they use on the big diesel version .. that sorted all the problems out.

    In hindsight I would go for a small C Class or CLK. Especially if you want to work on it your self. This engine / gearbox is weird, and many common things are very hard to access.
    8F273A63-1140-400B-87E9-F4786FEA43E4.jpeg

    As Alex said they Auto box is not as good as a C Class ( more like a proper Mercedes ), but hey it works fine and the wife is fine with it. She says its an ideal shopping / short journey to work 3 miles each way.
    Try parking a CL 500 in Waitrose!

    On the positive side, they are strong, we saw a new Alpha romeo crash straight into a parked A Class at about 50 mph, (tourists not paying attention) it destroyed the entire front end of the Alpha, concertinaed wings & bonnet, blown airbags the lot, definitely looked a write off, but the A Class drove off pefectly with just a mangled rear bumper!

    Personally as it is surprisingly heavy I would look for an engine 1.6 or larger.
     
  9. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Ruislip
    Your Mercedes:
    CL500 -W215, A140-W168
    Ours is around 110k miles Des at Forrera did the gearbox rebuild for me
     
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  10. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    CL500 2009 5.5
    Great people, they sorted out the wifes A Class graunch on full lock ... some plastic clip had come loose and a plate was touching something, as he was doing the timing chain tensioner, he sorted that and checked over all the suspension etc.
    :):)
     
  11. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    france
    Your Mercedes:
    clk3202001,sl6002003 with everything,A class 170cdi auto
    I have 2 .one for spares and still running . Grand economical shoppng cars diesel auto.have serpentine belt and pulleys done .change oils and filters if timing chain not noisy yr good to go .
     

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