Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off its all-new 2018 A-Class, boasting an evolutionary styling that is said to be youthful but “grown-up and comfortable”.
“With the fourth generation of the A-Class, we are redefining modern luxury in the compact class. To do this we have opted for a combination of uncompromisingly dynamic design and an intuitive operating concept,” says Britta Seeger, the member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars sales.
The car’s exterior design represents the next step in Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The aggressive lines of the 3rd-generation model have been banished in favour of more elegant and mature design.
The vehicle is visually extended by the longer wheelbase and character line along the side. The bonnet slopes down more heavily than in the outgoing model, emphasising the dynamic, upright front. The larger wheel arches house wheels ranging from 16 to 19 inches and the vehicle has a wider look at the rear end thanks to a more heavily waisted greenhouse, which also emphasises the shoulders, and to the wider-spaced rear reflectors in the modular, two-section rear bumper. The slim, two-section tail lights also give the car a wider stance.
The new A-Class’ interior shows the greatest departure from the old model. The cabin features a more sophisticated avant-garde design with the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extending from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. The main feature of the cabin is no doubt the free-standing widescreen display and turbine-look air vents.
Buyers can choose from either two 7-inch displays, one 7-inch and one 10.25-inch display, or two 10.25-inch displays.
Like Apple’s iPhones, uttering ‘Hey Mercedes’ will invoke the what Mercedes dubbed the MBUX, or Mercedes-Benz User Experience. The new multimedia system has the ability to learn, thanks to Artificial Intelligence technology, which Mercedes says could create an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
The navigation display is offered with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speed recognition.
There’s also a head-up display, Car-to-X communication, Vehicle Tracker and the Mercedes Me app collection.
The A-Class has grown up
The luggage compartment behind the rear seats is now 370 litres – 29 litres more than in the preceding model. Thanks to two-section rear lights, the loading aperture is 20 cm wider than before, and the luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm longer. In conjunction with the Load Compartment package, the rear seat backrest can be positioned more upright, e.g. to accommodate bulky boxes.
The oddments compartment in the centre console ahead of the shift lever has been considerably enlarged. A cup holder on the centre tunnel for mugs, cans and bottles up to 0.5 litres is a new feature in conjunction with the equipment lines. Much detailed effort has also gone into the improved all-round visibility. All in all, the area obscured by the pillars has been reduced by 10 percent compared to the preceding model.
The all-new A-Class also features seat climate control and a Multicontour Seat package with massage function for the first time (front seats).
On the road, many of the flagship S-Class’ features have made their way into the A-Class, including Active Distance Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist and Active Brake Assist, while the PRE-SAFE Plus function can recognise an imminent rear-end collision and firmly apply the brakes, minimizing a potential forward jolt.
What’s under the bonnet
The following three engine variants will be available on the launch of the A-Class, or shortly afterwards:
- A 200 (120kW/163 hp, 250 Nm; with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission combined fuel consumption 5.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 120 g/km) or six-speed manual transmission (combined fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 133 g/km)
- A 250 with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission (165kW/224 hp, 350 Nm; combined fuel consumption 6.0 l/100 km, combined CO2emissions 141 g/km)
- A 180 d with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission (85kW/116 hp, 260 Nm; combined fuel consumption 4.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 108 g/km)
Buyers can also opt for the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system along with a choice of suspension systems.
The all-new 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class will go on sale in Europe next month, with a likely Australian sale date towards the second half of this year.