Design with high strength steel alloys and bonded joints, the W169 have several airbags that include rear side airbags and side-curtain airbag that are optional. Also there is head and thorax protection airbags that are standard. The front airbags are adaptive because of the air generator that operates according to the severity of the accident impact.
The seat belt system is capable of adapting dynamically depending on the nature of collision so as to control the force it exerts during the collision. For rear collision, the driver and the front passenger are protected from neck injury by the head active restrain that is standard.
The A-pillar angle is more flattered compared to the windshield angle. The cargo capacity of W169, compared to that of W168 was increased by 15%. There are seven types of 4-cylinder motors available; three diesel (A 200 CDI, A 180 CDI, A 160 CDI) and four gasoline (A 150, A 170, A 200, A200 Turbo) each having either 5 or 6-speedmanual transmission while it is optional for the CVT automatic system.
The petrol A 200 Turbo provides 193hp and 280Nm (207lbft) worth of torque. The diesel A 200 CDI has 140hp and 300Nm (221lbft) torque. The most powerful model has an acceleration of 0 to 100km/hr (62mph) in 8.0 seconds with a top speed of 218km/h (135mph). The newly developed direct injection CDI diesel engines fuel consumption is efficient as it uses a common-trail direct injection system that also reduces exhaust emissions and noise.
The engines have met the entire tight EU4 emissions limit. An optional particular filter system that filters 99% of emissions without need for addictives is available for diesel engines.
Being a front wheel drive, A-Class features a traction control, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes as standard safety features. Handling has been improved by accurate tracking and an anti-roll support and a parabolic rear axle. A Selective Dumping System that is standard for all engines allows the shock absorbers forces to act differently depending on the driving conditions. At normal conditions, it operates at soft absorption and when cornering at speed it operates as full dumping force.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes Car Group, said that the target sales of W169 which was 50000 units for 2004 was reached even before the vehicles arrived at the dealer showrooms.
In 2005-0204, Japan models went on sale. The A 170, A170 Elegance and A 200 Elegance were the early models with 5-door right drive versions. In 2005-11-10, 5-door right drive version of A 200 TURBO Elegance was added. However due to its width being larger than 1700mm, it was not registered as small car in Japan.