Mercedes-Benz A-Class tyres
It may be hard to believe it now, but the arrival of the A-Class at the end of the 1990’s was quite an event in the car business. These days small cars from prestigious German manufacturers are a common sight, but this wasn’t always so. At the time, if you wanted a small German car, choice was limited to Volkswagen’s Golf or Polo. The BMW 1 Series or Audi A1 and A3, and even the new Mini, had not been invented. The A-Class was a new Mercedes-Benz at a much lower price point than was previously the case. It became an instant hit with those who wanted the cachet of the three-pointed star but for hatchback money.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, though. Early versions of this car were often maddeningly unreliable. With the amount they would cost in repairs, they could end up being more expensive than a regular Mercedes-Benz saloon and far more costly than any other hatchback.
That the A-Class ever made it to the forecourt was something of a triumph in itself. At the time, its design was ground-breaking, with the driver and front passenger sitting almost above the engine instead of behind it. The car’s short wheelbase design wasn’t without its problems. A Swedish journalist filled his test A-Class with people and set out to do the ‘elk test’ in which the car is swerved from lane to lane, and back again, at 62mph. The car fell over. This made headlines worldwide and ignited a PR crisis for its manufacturer.
First of all Mercedes-Benz denied that there was a problem. When that didn’t wash, it blamed Goodyear. Three weeks later, with gossip rife and safety reputations on the line, it finally admitted a mistake. Production was halted, orders suspended and cars recalled. Extra ESP was installed at great cost. Mercedes-Benz had dithered but then delivered. By the skin of its teeth, the A-Class got a reprieve.
Today the A-Class remains either a cheap way to Mercedes-Benz ownership or a premium but rather expensive small hatchback. Better build quality was a welcome hallmark of the second generation of the car, from 2005 to 2012, and there’s no reason to believe that reliability is an issue for new models.
Pirelli P7 tyres have been a popular factory-fitted tyre for the A-Class throughout its production run. However, many different tyres have original equipment status for different versions of this car. These include Kumho Solus tyres, Continental’s SportContact range and various Bridgestone tyres. In short, A-Class drivers have many options when replacing a worn or damaged tyre.
Since this is, after all, a Mercedes-Benz, it is not surprising that tyres from well-known brands are the most popular fitting for it with etyres customers. Continental’s EcoContact and SportContact ranges top the list, with both offering durability, ride comfort and an emphasis on grip and safety. Similar comments apply to Goodyear’s EfficientGrip tyres, and these too are premium tyres which will suit the A-Class well. These three options are not the cheapest but represent a good long-term investment.
Michelin’s Energy Saver tyres have proved a popular choice for the A-Class and it’s worth mentioning that Nexen’s NBlue range offers similar qualities of increased fuel economy at a lower price point. Pirelli’s P Zero tyres are popular for many Mercedes-Benz models, as well as for the A-Class, and their popularity stems from the high levels of grip they provide on both wet and dry roads.