2020 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/18

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 Toyota Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla only offers a rear monitor.

Both the A-Class and the Corolla have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 Corolla’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Engine

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The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 49 more horsepower (188 vs. 139) and 95 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 126) than the Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder. The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 19 more horsepower (188 vs. 169) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 151) than the Corolla SE/XSE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes A-Class is faster than the Toyota Corolla:

A-Class

Corolla 1.8

Corolla SE/XSE

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

10.2 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

17.8 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.3 MPH

81 MPH

86.4 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 Corolla 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 more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Corolla 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 Corolla:

A-Class

Corolla

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.2 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Corolla:

A-Class

Corolla

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/18

For better traction, the A-Class has larger standard tires than the Corolla (205/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).

The A-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Corolla L’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A-Class has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla L. The A-Class’ optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Corolla SE/XSE.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The A-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Corolla’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Corolla doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A-Class’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Corolla (107.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A-Class is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than on the Corolla.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Corolla XSE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A 220 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Corolla XSE (26.5 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The A-Class is 3.2 inches shorter than the Corolla, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes A-Class amounts to more than styling. The A-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Corolla (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The A-Class has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corolla (93 vs. 88.6).

The A-Class has 2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Corolla.

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 Corolla’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the A-Class. The Corolla doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the A-Class, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Corolla doesn’t offer a memory system.

The A-Class’ standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Corolla doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Corolla doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Corolla’s power window (except driver window) and power lock 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 Corolla L’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Corolla LE/SE/XLE/XLS’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The A-Class’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota only offers heated mirrors on the Corolla LE/SE/XLE/XSE.

When the A-Class is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Corolla’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A-Class’ optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Corolla doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The A-Class’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the A-Class and the Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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