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Since the original Baby Benz A-Class was launched in 1998 Mercedes-Benz have introduced numerous new models with successive improvements in technology and performance.
The idea of the A-class was to give greater flexibility to a hatchback and it has been a huge success. The rear seats fold flat and can be removed which makes these cars roomier than most hatches.
Although updated versions are around there is a good second hand market for the older A140s which became one of the best known cars in Europe for a while on the back of an aggressive marketing campaign. In the late nineties they were a particular success in Germany, Italy and Japan. The marketing was all about a unique concept car but also a true Mercedes Benz class. It was successfully sold as a niche product in a saturated market because many people were still prepared to pay a little more for what was perceived to be special Mercedes quality.
Some feel the smaller engine makes drivers work hard on the road but the A140
is generally regarded as fine for handling in both city and motorway traffic. It could be a problem uphill with a full load.