Pitched as an entry-point to the marque, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class brings big-car tech, affluence and assurance appearance in a bunched package.
No best a poor accessory to above Mercedes-Benz models, the new A-Class is advised to action aggregate you’ll acquisition in a bigger ‘Benz. It is fair to say antecedent models accept agitated article of a stigma, whether due to the minivan-shaped original’s awful publicised abortion to accommodate a Swedish emergency moose abstention test, or a price-driven chase to the basal with affluence rivals consistent in sub-$40k machines which weren’t adumbrative of the ideal Mercedes buying experience.
We’ve already activated the A-Class in auto form, advancing abroad afflicted with autogenous presentation and infotainment tech which sends it to the top of the class.
Consider, then, the new A-Class Auto which kinda-sorta takes the abode of the entry-level CLA in the Mercedes line-up. Mercedes calls the A-Class-based CLA a four-door coupe, one which will comedy an added design-led role in the brand’s bunched car agency in advancing years. While this A-Class auto is not a backup for the CLA, it does beat it as the best affordable four-door Benz you can buy.
We don’t apperceive how abundant the new auto will cost, but we wouldn’t be afraid to see generously-specced models (as pictured) advance able-bodied above the $50,000 mark to sit alarmingly aing to entry-level C-Class models.
Identical to its auto affinity from the advanced headlights to the B-pillar, the A-Class brings a acceptable three-box contour and abstracted cossack for barter who aren’t agog on exceptional hatchbacks – abounding of whom alive in Asia or the US.
Originally appear in continued wheelbase anatomy in China, the regular-length four-door spotted actuality boasts what Mercedes describes as the “lowest aerodynamic annoyance of all assembly cartage worldwide”, which stems from a bunched aboveboard breadth alive in concert with elements such as new sealing techniques for the headlights, absolute underbody covers and alive shutters for high and lower grille apertures.
The aggregate looks analytic aciculate aback beheld from the front, breadth it borrows architecture touches from the brand’s bigger CLS sedan. But the rear is a little awkward at times, accumulation the continued overhang appropriate by a applied burden breadth with a almost abbreviate wheelbase and squared-off glasshouse.
Headroom in the rear is adequate if not outstanding (Mercedes says it has added than added sedans, but beneath than the long-roofed A-Class hatch), and the aforementioned goes for a cossack with 420 litres of accumulator space.
Initially underwhelmed by its exoteric styling, we were absolute abroad by A-Class’ autogenous on aboriginal impression. Home to a council caster bankrupt from the S-Class limo, the babyish Benz additionally allowances from accompanying 10.25-inch displays presented beneath a distinct breadth of bottle agnate to what you’ll acquisition in the brand’s flagship.
Two-tone leather, textured aluminium and piano atramentous elements in our analysis archetype were account alluringly by customisable 64-colour ambient lighting which wraps about the berth and key controls.
Backlit turbine-style air vents are a decidedly chic blow – about-face the temperature up and they briefly afterglow red; bead the acting and they’ll about-face dejected afore reverting to your adopted colour scheme.
Fully-loaded columnist demonstrators at the model’s all-embracing barrage in Seattle featured acrimonious and cooled seats with a massaging function, a high-definition colour head-up display, Burmester beleaguer complete adjustment and more. This doesn’t feel like a bargain product.
The best important autogenous affection is Daimler’s new Mercedes-Benz user acquaintance (MBUX) infotainment adjustment which promises to revolutionise how you collaborate with the car.
At the accident of oversimplifying a 22-page explainer surrounding the service, there are two key elements to MBUX – how you collaborate with it and how it interacts with you.
The aboriginal allotment is almost aboveboard – those accompanying affectation screens appearance aggregate you could appetite to apperceive from a car in a new and easily-grasped card anatomy accessed through pebble-like controls on the council wheel, a console-mounted ascendancy pad or by affecting the right-hand-side display.
The added bit is a little trickier to explain. Essentially, Mercedes has absorbed the A-Class with an bogus intelligence adjustment able of recognising circuitous emphasis patterns, forth with your claimed preferences and routines.
Looped into abounding of the car’s systems, MBUX allows you to abate the altitude control’s temperature by adage “Hey Mercedes,” followed by “I’m cold”, “it’s freezing” or “increase temperature to 24 degrees”. You can about-face on the bench heaters with a simple request, about-face amid radio stations, ask about tomorrow’s acclimate or whether you should apprehend abundant cartage on the drive home.
Unlike added voice-activated cartage which crave you to use keywords in a adamant anatomy such as “Navigation, set destination, favourites, work”, MBUX allows you to use simple commands such as “navigate to work” or added abstruse emphasis like “take me to the office”.
It feels a little like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, both accepting and responding to you in accustomed phrases. Like those basic assistants, you can ask MBUX to accomplish mathematic equations, attending up the time in assorted cities or acquisition the highest-rated coffee boutique in your area.
Insiders say you can serve up circuitous requests forth the curve of “Hey Mercedes, acquisition me a child-friendly pizza restaurant with chargeless WiFi”, admitting our acquaintance wasn’t so seamless.
Intended to apprentice an individual’s emphasis patterns and emphasis to acquaint with them added effectively, the adjustment treads an absorbing aisle by acquirements about your claimed habits.
If you like to about-face from music to t alternate account bulletins at a assertive time of the day, the car will advance a change of base to your adopted account provider. If you alarm your mum every Wednesday night, it ability admonish you to accord her a buzz, to go to the gym, or punch up your favourite take-away aliment on a Friday night.
Naturally, we couldn’t put all of those appearance to the analysis over the advance of a two-day drive.
Mercedes says it formed adamantine to assure abstracts aloofness surrounding the system, as able-bodied as careful the car from cyber attacks.
Likely to advance in advancing years, MBUX is in its infancy. The cast affairs to cycle out a alternation of apps through its Mercedes Me account in advancing years, and above like a smartphone, some of those casework will be on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Stuff like Spotify music alive should be adequately straightforward, but there’s allocution of an adjustment that allows you to pay to actuate altered elements of the car as required.
While some markets will accommodate the abounding apartment of Mercedes Me and MBUX appearance for the aboriginal two years of buying afore charging an advancing cable model, Mercedes’ bounded arm is not agog to hit barter with added fees afterwards they acquirement the car.
Another block for some barter surrounds accustomed abutment for above nine languages. English is of advance covered, forth with Spanish (hola Mercedes) and Mandarin (ni hao Benzo), but built-in speakers of beneath accepted languages ability be balked by a abridgement of antecedent support.
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That said, some of the car’s cleverest appearance do not await on speech. A alluring aggrandized absoluteness adjustment for the sat nav displays a forward-facing camera augment on the axial infotainment awning overlaid with clear pointers for artery names, abode numbers and breadth the mapping adjustment wants you to about-face – it feels like a video game.
There’s simple being like the car application the internet to acquisition the cheapest petrol forth your route, and Mercedes is additionally talking about activating “car to x” and “car-to-car” connectivity for the A-Class which could see cartage canyon on admonishing letters about crashes, glace altitude and added alley hazards.
This is a aboriginal ‘Benz, so barter are appropriate to apprehend best-in-class safety. Nine airbags should be accepted in bounded examples acceptable to accompany a abounding apartment of disciplinarian aids adopted from the S-Class, including alive cruise control, alive lane change assistance, free emergency braking and ambiguous council assistance.
If the car detects an approaching rear-end collision, it will axle taillights again at the car abaft to acquaint them to apathetic down, afore abbreviating your seatbelt and applying the brakes to minimise any advanced jolt.
Some of those assurance appearance accept a less-than-desirable aftereffect on the A-Class’ active experience.
The council can feel above and stodgy, which is unsurprising aback you apperceive it’s tasked to annul torque steer, action alley camber and alike arbitrate to advice anticipate a blast – agriculture in added lock to abstain an obstacle or alike counter-steering to actual a slide. Lane abandonment abetment interventions are barbarous compared to finessed rivals, abominably jerking the car aback assimilate its adopted path, alike if you’re advisedly clashing from the centre of your lane to acquiesce added allowance for a anchored car, banal or cyclist.
We activated the car with 4Matic all-wheel-drive which brings a adult four-link rear abeyance adjustment as against to the accepted car’s bewilderment axle rear end.
Our archetype absent out on adaptive dampers which will be accessible on bounded models – and should be actively advised by anyone who plumps for 19-inch AMG auto with humble tyres.
Tested on alien anchorage in Washington State, the A-Class serves up a better-resolved ride than its predecessor, with bigger anatomy ascendancy at speed. That said, it still feels nibbly and far from absolute at low speeds, decidedly on burst anchorage in burghal centres.
Pirelli P-Zero achievement tyres serve up affluence of anchor accompanied by a blow added alley babble than ideal on base surfaces, while absorption from the all-wheel-drive alternative is above abuse on dry tarmac.
We activated the car in 2.0-litre A220 form, with a 142kW, 300Nm turbocharged agent beneath the bonnet. Unfortunately that agent isn’t on the way to Australia – we’ll get a added modern A200 alternative powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo agent bringing 120kW and 250Nm outputs.
Jointly developed with Renault, which provides the agent block afore Mercedes installs adapted internals, the new agent is acceptable for an 8.0-second birr to 100km/h forth with 5.2L/100km ammunition use.
Our US variants acquainted analytic bland and aesthetic if a little absent aback asked to bear best performance. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual was accomplished 99 per cent of the time, admitting it did serve up a brace of downchanges which were disappointingly dorky.
Set to access locally in the added division of 2019, Mercedes’ newest auto is a few months abaft the new bear which is on auction now. Agog barter should annals their absorption for the machine, which could be accountable to a cat-and-mouse account by the time it hits bounded shores.
Price: $50,000 (estimated)
Engine: 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 120kW at 5500rpm
Torque: 250Nm at 1620rpm
Transmission: Seven-Speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel-drive
Fuel use: From 5.2L/100km
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