Buying an older A Class

Mercedes 190E

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Hi All

My parents have an old Ford KA that they are looking to change very soon. They can't afford more than £6000 and want something slightly bigger than the old car. I have suggested an A Class to them, an idea my Dad quite likes! Obviously, for that money, they would be looking at the old shape and from a brief look at cars for sale would seem to be a 52-53-04 registration, probably a 140 or 160 petrol.

I have always liked the A Class, but know nothing about them.I would be really grateful for any advice on what to look for, common faults etc. I have searched the forum with no luck.Can anyone either point me at the right thread or give me any advice?

Many thanks! :smile:
 

Micman

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Seriously, I would recommend you look at something else.

The old shape A-class is not very good. I owned one.

I had problems with gearbox linkages, petrol smell entering the interior and countless problems with the rear suspension needing wishbones replaced, new dampers and all manner of other bits associated with the rear suspension. This also caused uneven tyre wear and extra costs.

I had mine when it was 2 years old so had the luxury of a warranty. It was good in it's day as there was nothing else like it, but ten years on there are plenty more small 'people carrier' type cars out there and I would be looking at them. I know it says Mercedes on the tin and that might suck you in, but trust me when I say it wasn't their finest hour!

I've posted threads about my A-class experiences before so you might want to search the Threads.

I think you will find I'm not alone in my opinion.

Also, unless you are a fan of the film 'Driving Miss Daisy' I'd stay away from the gutless 140 engine.

:D
 
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jibcl500

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Go the next model A class W169 shape the early ones are rubbish.

jib
 

rhud

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Yes - 2005 onwards or nothing.
 

Dave Brooker

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I have always liked the A Class, but know nothing about them.I would be really grateful for any advice on what to look for, common faults etc. I have searched the forum with no luck.Can anyone either point me at the right thread or give me any advice?

Buy a facelift car with full history, avoid the diesels and keep well clear of the autos and semi-autos.

Not bad little cars though, build quality can be a bit suspect.

At least they don't rust though.
 

jp williams

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Hi All

My parents have an old Ford KA that they are looking to change very soon. They can't afford more than £6000 and want something slightly bigger than the old car. I have suggested an A Class to them, an idea my Dad quite likes! Obviously, for that money, they would be looking at the old shape and from a brief look at cars for sale would seem to be a 52-53-04 registration, probably a 140 or 160 petrol.

I have always liked the A Class, but know nothing about them.I would be really grateful for any advice on what to look for, common faults etc. I have searched the forum with no luck.Can anyone either point me at the right thread or give me any advice?

Many thanks! :smile:

Wouldn`t touch it with a barge pole!
Do as others have said and consider the second generation.
Better still look at Honestjohn`s website and then buy a Toyota Corolla!

Happy motoring
Regards
John
 

Rory

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Even of they could afford the later shape then it's not a good idea to buy an MB on a tight budget - almost any repair could wipe them out.

I know you could say that about any car - but A Class has a reputation in this area.


How old is there Ka? Does it qualify for scrappage?
 
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Mercedes 190E

Mercedes 190E

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  • Thread Starter
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  • #9
I think I wasn't clear. They only have £6000 capital to buy the car-running costs are not a problem. (Particularly as we have an excellent mechanic and an indie just down the road.) Would love to go for the later shape but the cheapest I can find is 2.5K over their budget! Ther KA does qualify for scrappage but they would still be looking at paying over 8K for a Fiesta or 207 !
I can see what Micman is saying, and he has been specific, but to be honest, I was hoping for more specifics to look for other than "They are rubbish-avoid". My Dad is pretty keen on them, so it's likely he WILL get one-I just want to get the best I can !
Thanks again.:smile:
 

PeterCLK

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Well you asked and you got honest opinions.
Seem to be some pretty specific posts here.
What more do you want?
 

Top Cat

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I can see what Micman is saying, and he has been specific, but to be honest, I was hoping for more specifics to look for other than "They are rubbish-avoid". My Dad is pretty keen on them, so it's likely he WILL get one-I just want to get the best I can !
Thanks again.:smile:

Maybe do some research yourself off the forum - try sites such as Honest John, 4Car, What Car, Autoexpress and Parkers to name just a few. I'm sure on this site you will get some more very specific information if you do a few searches as well as asking for opinions from people today, as there are bound to have been issues and problems discussed in detail over the years by members who are no longer here to see this thread and reply.
 

Rory

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I think I wasn't clear. They only have £6000 capital to buy the car-running costs are not a problem. (

You say that but because of the way the car is built jobs like starter motor or clutch replacement are very complicated (ie expensive).

On the auto's, faults in the box mean a car a few years old is an economic write off.

If they do get one, they'll be needing this: http://www.aclassinfo.co.uk/mypage.1.htm
 

Micman

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I think I wasn't clear. They only have £6000 capital to buy the car-running costs are not a problem. (Particularly as we have an excellent mechanic and an indie just down the road.) Would love to go for the later shape but the cheapest I can find is 2.5K over their budget! Ther KA does qualify for scrappage but they would still be looking at paying over 8K for a Fiesta or 207 !
I can see what Micman is saying, and he has been specific, but to be honest, I was hoping for more specifics to look for other than "They are rubbish-avoid". My Dad is pretty keen on them, so it's likely he WILL get one-I just want to get the best I can !
Thanks again.:smile:

I gave you the honest opinion as someone who used to own an old shape A-class, in it's day it was a great unusual car - however by todays standards there is alot more choice out there of similar small practical mini MPV vehicles. With a budget of £6,000 you should be able to find a very nice car.

Others have backed me up too - I think I gave a fair reasoning and spoke from experience and not someone just ranting 'it's Sh*t'.

If you really really have to get an A-class then go for the next generation one which I'm led to believe is a vast improvement, I had one as a courtesy car once and I thought it felt better. But you say it's for your parents - personally I would feel rather embarressed if I got my parents an A-class knowing the issues I had experienced owning it.

I too have family and friends that between them are mechanics and a bodyshop owner etc and running costs are a bit cheaper for me too I guess thanks to this - but that has no bearing on it, I still wouldn't recommend the old shape A-class.

Don't get me wrong, compared to a Ford KA it will feel like a much more substantial car, it has that satisfying solid weighty feel when you close the doors etc and engine wise it was always reliable.

It was silly annoying things that drove me mad and it felt like it was always needing something fixed. Then when it was working you were always very concious of any new creaks, knockings or groans you heard.

I wouldn't buy one again :eek: What more can I say?!

If however you still go and get one then look for the following things:

Check tyre wear all round - especially the rear wheels, mine wore badly on the inside edges due to rear suspension problems.

The rear suspension - check this over. There was an issue with the rear wishbones and I had newer modified wishbones fitted by Mercedes - but for some reason it was never actually a recall to do this.

Bounce the rear of the car and listen out for any knocks and creaking - as I said before I had numerous suspension issues on the rear. Had new dampers, spring mounts wishbones... the list goes on.

Check for a fuel smell entering the cabin when you have been driving for a while then stop at traffic lights etc. Mercedes never did sort this one out for me, even though they could smell it too when they test drove it!!!

Check the gears engage properly - gearbox linkage rods can fail

Check the steering throughly - there are very common problems with the steering rack failing

Other than that, it's just all the normal checks you would do on any car.

Remember I had all the above issues when my A-class was only 2 years old and inside the manufacturers warranty - I dread to think what else would be wrong with it if I was still driving it today 8 years on!!

Good luck (if you buy one I think you might need it)
 
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rhud

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This is a very fair summary from Micman. Whereas it is often said of the new model: 'This is the car it always should have been'.
 
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Wouldn't it make sense to up the £6,000 budget and pay a bit more for a new shape one which will be more reliable and cheap in the long-term?
 

Cole@MBS

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There great little cars, if you get a good one!! thats a big if!!!

We have just bought 2, i have been driving our transporter around the country today picking them up,

So we will have a A140 and a A160 for sale as soon as we have fixed the pair of them!!!
 

J400uk

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I don't understand this thread.

For £6k you could EASILY get a new shape W169 A-Class. It would have to be a early A150 Classic with about 50-60k miles. There are shed loads of these about. Although Classic trim is a bit rough, the 1.5 engine is quite good. Reliability on these is A1, very highly rated in all the consumer surveys in this respect.

Heres a selection:
media

http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-u...40-4294967227/advert.action?R=200944344702018

media

http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-u...40-4294967227/advert.action?R=200942343608742

media

http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-u...40-4294967227/advert.action?R=200943344568158

media

http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-u...40-4294967227/advert.action?R=200939342312013

The Black one with the optional alloys is the best out of that bunch IMO. The 25k one is good if they want a low mileage one, but its cheap because the undesirable 3dr.

HTH

EDIT:

If your quick, this has just popped up whilst I had a look on Autotrader, 5dr 34k 05 Avantgarde with all the toys, complete bargain at this price they are selling it for trade money:
media

http://search.autotrader.co.uk/es-u...40-4294967227/advert.action?R=200943344402404
 
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Pontoneer

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I'm sure 6K would buy a very nice C Class , which would be a better car than an A .

If it were me though , I'd look around for the best 190E 2.6 I could find , and spend a lot less than 6K in the process .
 

Alex M Grieve

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I'm sure 6K would buy a very nice C Class , which would be a better car than an A .

If it were me though , I'd look around for the best 190E 2.6 I could find , and spend a lot less than 6K in the process .

Me too - and don't ignore the 190 range generally. There are some beautiful, little used, high spec cars out there for the patient. They represent terrific value and they are very robust.
 
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J400uk, how did you search Autotrader for the A Class? I was on the site yesterday and there was no option for the A Class at all.
 


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