Mercedes-Benz is a byword for luxury, quality, and performance, so it’s not often that we use the words cheapest car in connection with the German brand. That contradiction, cheap Mercedes-Benz, creates a fascinating question. What is the cheapest Mercedes car you can buy in 2022 and is it worth it?
When it comes to entry-level Mercedes luxury, we’re talking about the A-Class sedan. The brand’s least expensive vehicle starts at $33,950 for the A220 model. Is that enough Mercedes to suit your needs?
2022 Mercedes-Benz A220: Performance and economy
If we are going to stick with the lowest price, we need to look at the A220 sedan. The entry-level Merc comes in front-wheel-drive form, 4MATIC all-wheel drive adds an additional $2000 to the price, and is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 188 horsepower.
The turbo-four is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and gives the A220 a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.1 seconds. The EPA suggests that the A220 will return 24 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway.
Let’s be honest with each other for a moment, neither the performance nor the efficiency is all that spectacular. Indeed, the A220 is not a sports car, but it really does need more horsepower. When you pair a small engine with a heavy car, in this case, a 3,285-pound car, you can lose some economy. The engine has to work harder to move the vehicle, burning more fuel in the process. Teaming the A-Class’ engine to a hybrid system would be the way to go, but sadly that is not available from Mercedes. That would give the best combination of performance and economy.
Exterior design and features
The A-Class is definitely a handsome car. It follows Mercedes’ design language and looks like a smaller version of the big vehicles. That is not a bad thing, as Mercedes is doing a pretty good job of designing cars that look modern, stylish, and won’t quickly look dated.
You can have your A220 in any color you want, as long as it is black or white. Silver, gray, rose gold, red, and a few other options are available but carry a $750 premium.
17-inch silver wheels are standard, and all of the optional AMG wheels require the inclusion of other trim packages. Those packages can range from $2700 to an additional $3100 above the base A220 price tag.
A panoramic sunroof is standard, as are LED running lights and LED taillights.
Comfort and multimedia
This is where you would expect the Mercedes A220 to come good. Mercedes is known for its comfort and high-tech features, so there is every reason to expect that even the base model cars will be well above average in this department.
The A220 comes with MB-Tex seating. It’s not leather or fabric but a synthetic material that is much more durable than leather. That goes well with the aluminum trim throughout the cabin. Power adjustment is standard on the seats, as well as dual-zone climate control and remote start. The remote start operates from a phone app.
The focal point of the cabin is the screens. There is a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a seven-inch touchscreen for multimedia controls. This is similar to the digital dashboard and infotainment systems found in Mercedes’ much more expensive offerings, including the S-Class. A touchpad on the center console can also control the touchscreen. Five USB-C ports are standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It’s a pretty solid set of standard features that offers a bit more luxury, comfort, and technology than other cars at this price point.
The mini-Merc does pretty well on the safety front. Mercedes takes safety very seriously, and even in their cheapest car, the A220 gets a host of standard features to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
Active brake assist, attention assist, electronic stability control, blind-spot monitoring, backup camera, and eight airbags are just a few of the safety features. Both the NHTSA and IIHS have not tested the A-Class, but over in Europe, it has earned a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Along with all of the active and passive safety features you expect from a modern car, the A220 comes standard with an alarm and Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call service.
Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz A220 worth it?
$35,000 with the $1050 destination fee puts the A220 into the mix with some higher spec models from brands with less prestige. The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, for example. You can have more kit on a Camry or Accord for the same money, but neither is a Mercedes-Benz. And while it might seem outdated and cliche, there is something to be said for owning a car with the three-pointed star on the hood.
Often, the way a car feels or makes you feel, as an owner, is just as important as all the features, options, and technology it has. From a purely data-driven perspective, other cars at that price range are more efficient, have more performance, and have more options. But the cheapest car Mercedes makes will always have the badge, and that tends to make you feel a bit special.
The A220 won’t drive like a fire-breathing AMG model, but it can do everything you need it to do. It’s comfortable, drives well, and doesn’t look like a stripped-down bare-bones car. If having all the tech toys and features is essential, skip the base model, but if you want to get into a small luxury sedan for $12,000 less than the average price of a car in the U.S, then the A220 may be just the ticket.