Mercedes A-Class W169 Review, History, Engine Specs, Pros And Cons

The Mercedes A-Class W169 is one of the few cars of this brand that confirms the stereotype that a car with a star on the hood is chosen primarily by the elderly. What’s there to know about the little Mercedes W169?

Mercedes A-Class W169 Engine Specs Reviews Problems Reliability

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W169 History

The second generation Mercedes A-Class made its debut in autumn 2004. Unlike its predecessor W168, this car is offered not only in a 5-door body, but also in a 3-door body. A year after its debut, the 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine produced an impressive 193 hp for this class.

Three years later, the car was modernized. Among other things, the front and rear bumpers were replaced, the new grille was inserted, and the lights and indicators were also renovated. The A-Class facelift equipment is enriched with the Park Assist system, which facilitates parallel parking.

In 2012, the car was withdrawn from production, and its successor started a new chapter in the history of the brand. The car is currently competing not in the B segment, but in the compact class of the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. So far, this is the best strategy that Mercedes can choose for this model.

W169 Specs

The interior design of the Mercedes A-Class W169 differs significantly from the signature car of this brand. Unlike the larger models (with the exception of the B-Class), propulsion is transmitted only to the front wheels, no RWD or AWD system is available here.

W169 Engine


  • R4 1.5 L (95 HP) A150
  • R4 1.7 L (115 HP) A170
  • R4 2.0 L (136 HP) A200
  • R4 2.0 L Turbo (193 HP) A200 Turbo


  • R4 2.0L (109-140hp) A160 CDI, A180 CDI, A200 CDI

The engine is located transversely, and the torque transmission to the wheels is handled by a 5 or 6 speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable automatic CVT transmission. The front suspension uses MacPherson supports and the rear is a parabolic beam. It must be a car that is too small and too cheap for a multi-link system. Security? The car received a set of 5 stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.

A-Class W169 Problems & Reliability

Electronics and electricity are the main problems of A-Class. The electric power steering breaks down most often. Problems are also caused by central locking, keys, steering sensors, steering lock module, electric mirrors and electric windows. The starter and alternator also did not last long. In many instances, the instrument cluster integrated with the clock also broke down frequently.

Before buying the A-Class, be sure to check the condition of the drive connection because it is not durable. The AC compressor can also get damaged (the cost of buying a replacement is well over $ 270). If warm air flows from the vent grille in this car you’re looking at, regardless of the temperature setting, then something is up.

The steering wheel and steering rod ends were also not durable. When deciding on a specific item, it’s also a good idea to check for holds. Its weakest point is the wishbone pin at the front and leaky shock absorbers at the rear. Electro-hydraulic control fails in continuously variable transmission.

The gasoline engine proposed for the A-Class did not cause serious problems in its operation. If you want to completely eliminate the risk of malfunction, choose the naturally aspirated version. Admittedly, the supercharged is also not too problematic, but due to the negligence of the previous owner, the turbocharger could be damaged. The optimal choice is the 1.7 liter version with 115 HP (accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 10.9 seconds) or the slightly more powerful 2.0 liter (136 HP). I advise against buying a petrol engine as it is too weak for this car.

In addition to the petrol engines, the lineup includes the 2.0-liter Common Rail Diesel engine, available in three power levels. Unfortunately, in diesel engines, problems occur more frequently. The injectors, the dual-mass flywheel and the EGR exhaust recirculation valve break down. These elements don’t come cheap, so it’s best to avoid CDI units even if there are cars that are well maintained.

Since most Mercedes A-Class cars generally drive around town, and some diesel engines have a DPF particulate filter, you should be prepared for a possible service fee for this element. There are three ways around this: You can replace the entire filter, just the cartridge or just cut it.

Many seemingly minor repairs require removing or even downgrading the engine, which significantly increases service costs. Even worse, not all mechanics are willing to rummage through it – the engine compartment is tight. Increasingly, there are traces of corrosion on doors, rear doors and some elements of the chassis – be sure to look under the car’s body during inspection.

What are the advantages of this W169 model? Attractive design, rich equipment, various machines and spacious interior.

Disadvantages of W169? High costs, both in terms of purchase and operation, the problem of finding a good mechanic who wants to repair the car, troublesome electrical disturbances, too stiff suspension, questionable quality of interior finishing and less effective protection against corrosion.


Before buying a used Mercedes A-Class W169, you should check its condition carefully by a reliable service. Attention! There are many cars on the market that previously operated as fleet cars or taxis and are often in poor condition. Fortunately, you can also find this car which is well maintained.

4.8/5 - (41 votes)

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