Used Mercedes-Benz A-Class (1998 - 2004) Safety & Reliability

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 21 Jan 2014
A-Class scores on several counts. It's an intelligent compromise between city car and people-carrier, it's undoubtedly practical, reliable and stylish and it's got the Stuttgart star on the grille.
4 out of 5



Euro NCAP logo Euro NCAP

Provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe.

Visit Euro NCAP for more info

  • Adult Occupant Rating

    4 out of 5
  • Pedestrian Test Rating

    4 out of 5

Famous for failing the Swedish 'elk test' — an early car fell over when braking and steering sharply — A-Class is now one of the safest small cars around. A four-star Euro NCAP rating, electronic stability control, ABS, traction control, and twin front and side airbags all help to keep car and occupants out of trouble. Security is good for a small car, with an immobiliser, central locking, built-in radio and a visible VIN.

2 out of 5


Check the comments on Parkers website owners reviews. Plenty of problems, nothing consistent, but Mercedes-Benz must be very concerned.

Car check problem points


Check doors for car park scrapes, paint chipping problems, leaks from sunroof.


Should run like clockwork, occasional fuel-injection problems, check the service history.


Electrical faults, worn anti-roll bar links. A-class models built between April 2002 and April 2003 should have visited Mercedes-Benz workshops for a precautionary inspection. In the worst case, cracks in the recess for the plastic covers of the wiper arms can cause the wiper arms to become detached.