2020 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2020 Honda Accord

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes A-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Accord doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A-Class’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Accord doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A-Class and the Accord have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 192) than the Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes A-Class is faster than the Honda Accord 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder (automatics tested):

A-Class

Accord

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.9 sec

19.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

121 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Accord doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Accord doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord:

A-Class

Accord

Accord 2.0T/Sport

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.5 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Accord:

A-Class

Accord

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Accord doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Accord Sport pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A 220 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Accord EX (26.5 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A-Class’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Accord’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The A-Class’ turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Accord Sport Manual/2.0T’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

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The A-Class is 1 foot, 1.1 inches shorter than the Accord, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the A-Class is 1.5 inches lower than the Accord (15” vs. 16.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A-Class’ trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Accord’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The A-Class’ standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The A-Class uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 55% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Accord EX-L/Touring, the A-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the A-Class and the Accord have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A-Class is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The A-Class’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Accord’s power window (except driver window), power lock and power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The A-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Accord doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The A-Class’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring.

The A-Class offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the A-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the A-Class and the Accord offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A-Class has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Accord doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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