The Mercedes-Benz A-Class second generation model (W169) appeared in late 2004. The second generation W169 introduced a 3-door hatchback alongside of the already existing 5-door hatchback. The A-Class is represents the entry level model of Mercedes-Benz.
The W169 is constructed with high-strength steel alloys with bonded joints. It has a large number of airbags including optional rear side airbags, optional side-curtain airbags, and standard head and thorax-protection side airbags. The front airbags are adaptive with two-stage gas generators operating according to the severity of accident.
Seven types of motors are available, and all are four-cylinders: four petrol (gasoline) (A150, A170, A200, A200 Turbo) and three diesel (A160 CDI, A180 CDI, A200 CDI) partnered with either five- or six-speed manual gearbox. A continuously variable transmission system called "Autotronic Constantly Variable Transmission" (CVT) is an optional feature. The newly developed direct-injection CDI diesel units use a common-rail direct injection system that improves fuel consumption and reduces exhaust emissions and noise levels.
The A-Class is a front wheel drive car and features traction control (ASR) as standard, as well as electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes (ABS).
Handling is improved by precision tracking and anti-roll support, and by a Parabolic Rear Axle.
A "Selective Damping System", in which the shock absorber forces respond differently according to conditions, is standard. For example, under normal conditions it operates at soft absorption; while cornering at speed it changes to full damping force.
The W169 optionally comes with light-alloy wheels, with a run-flat feature, Tirefit tire sealant and a tire-pressure-loss warning device.
There are three trim levels available; the classic, elegance and avantgarde.