Mercedes A-Class side view

Is the Mercedes A-Class Underpowered? (Spoiler: Yes and No)

Is the Mercedes A-Class underpowered? It’s a question many people are asking.

The little hatchback is stylish, efficient, and well-equipped. But some people have been critical of its lack of power.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the engine specs of the A-Class and see how it compares to other models in its class.

As a general rule, the Mercedes A-Class is not underpowered. However, some Mercedes A-Class models equipped with less powerful engines, like the A160d, may feel underpowered by drivers used to higher-powered cars.

So is the A-Class underpowered? Let’s take a closer look.

Which engines are offered on the Mercedes A-Class?

The Mercedes A-Class is a compact executive car produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz.

The first generation (W168) was introduced in 1997 and has undergone multiple redesigns to keep up with changing trends and technologies. The latest (fourth) generation of the A-Class is the facelift of the W177, released in 2022 onwards.

The A-Class has been available in hatchback and sedan body styles and is positioned below the Mercedes C-Class in terms of size and price.

Despite its position as an entry-level model, the A-Class has been consistently praised for its upscale interior and cutting-edge technology. For example, you may find that some A-Class models are equipped with ambient lighting, and some may even have Apple CarPlay.

But what about its engines? Let’s take a look!

Here is an overview of all engines available on the latest generation Mercedes A-Class (W177):

ModelEnginePower (hp)ModelEnginePower (hp)
A1601.3 T109A160d1.5 T95
A1801.3 T136 – 150A180d2.0 T116
A2001.3 T163 – 177A200d2.0 T150
A2201.3 T / 2.0 T190 – 204A220d2.0 T190
A2502.0 T224 – 238
A250e1.3 T218
A35 AMG2.0 T306 – 320
A45s AMG2.0 T421

Tip: Read our comparisons of the A180 vs. the A200, the A200 vs. the A200d, and the A200 vs. the A250 here!

A 1.3-liter petrol engine in the Mercedes A180
A 1.3-liter petrol engine in the Mercedes A180

As you can see, the power of a Mercedes A-Class engine differs quite a lot depending on which A-Class model you’re looking at.

The least powerful Mercedes A-Class is the A160d with 95 horsepower, while the most potent A-Class is the A45s AMG with 421 horsepower.

So, let’s go back to the question you came here for:

Why the Mercedes A-Class is (not) underpowered

To answer this question correctly, you must first have a definition of ‘underpowered.’

When is a car underpowered?

Unfortunately, ‘underpowered’ is quite a vague word. It’s simply a term that car reviewers use if they feel like the car has too small of an engine, making accelerating onto the highway or overtaking more challenging.

LED headlights and AMG wheels on Mercedes A-Class

So, for this article, we’re going to assume that a car is ‘underpowered’ when its acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) takes longer than 12.0 seconds.

Does that make any of the Mercedes A-Class models underpowered?

Well, yes, it does!

The Mercedes A160d of the W177 generation is the only A-Class taking longer than 12.0 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h). To be precise, it takes 12.4 seconds.

To conclude, we would call the Mercedes A160d underpowered. However, all other models of the Mercedes A-Class have sufficient power to navigate through day-to-day traffic effortlessly.

Remember that the Mercedes A-Class is a relatively compact and light car. So, it doesn’t need that big of an engine compared to an SUV to accelerate quickly!

How fast is the Mercedes A-Class compared to its competitors?

Now that we know that almost all Mercedes A-Class models have sufficient acceleration, let’s see how it stacks up against its competitors.

The Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, and Mercedes A-Class are all similar in price and size, so let’s compare them!

We will compare the following models:

  • The slowest petrol & diesel versions
  • The fastest petrol & diesel versions

Take a look at the comparison table below:

CategoryModelVariantEnginePower (hp)0 to 62 mph
(0 to 100 km/h)
Slowest petrolA-ClassA1601.3 T10910.9 s
A330 TFSI1.0 T11010.6 s
1 Series116i1.5 T10910.6 s
Slowest dieselA-ClassA160d1.5 T9512.4 s
A330 TDI2.0 T11610.1 s
1 Series116d1.5 T11610.1 s
Fastest petrolA-ClassA45s AMG2.0 T4213.9 s
A3RS32.5 T4003.8 s
1 SeriesM135i2.0 T3064.8 s
Fastest dieselA-ClassA220d2.0 T1907.2 s
A335 TDI2.0 T1508.4 s
1 Series120d2.0 T1907.0 s

So, what do we learn from this comparison?

We can see that when we’re looking at the slowest diesel and petrol versions of the Mercedes A-Class, they are definitely slower than its competitors.

However, looking at the fastest petrol and diesel versions, we can see that the A-Class can definitely compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

All in all, though, there is not much difference between them!

What are the pros and cons of a Mercedes A-Class?

The Mercedes A-Class is worth considering if you’re in the market for a luxury car.

Mercedes A-Class interior W177

The A-Class is a popular car because it’s reliable, stylish, and luxurious.

But what are some reasons you should or shouldn’t get one?

These are the ten pros and cons of the Mercedes A-Class:

  • Pros
    1. It has a luxurious interior with ambient lighting.
    2. It has a stylish exterior design.
    3. It is small and economical.
    4. It has Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system.
    5. It is available with multiple safety features.
    6. It is available as a sedan or hatchback.
    7. It is a product of German engineering.
  • Cons
    1. It has a high price tag.
    2. The maintenance costs are high.
    3. The cargo space is limited.

If you want to learn more about these pros and cons, we covered them in-depth in this article!

Tip: Are you buying used? If so, you can find which A-Class years to avoid here!


The Mercedes A-Class is a popular luxury car, but some critics have argued that it is underpowered.

While the A-Class may have a less powerful engine than its competitors in some cases, it still offers plenty of power for most drivers.

The only Mercedes A-Class that we may consider underpowered is the Mercedes A160d. It’s equipped with a 1.5-liter diesel engine putting out a meager 95 horsepower.

As a result, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 12.4 seconds.

Let us know what you think in the comments below! Do you think the Mercedes A-Class is underpowered?

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