Now in its third generation, the smallest model in the Mercedes-Benz range has just received its mid-cycle refresh. The timing may seem odd for some people, as the latest A-Class was only unveiled back in 2012, but recent reports have made it clear that Mercedes-Benz is pushing for a slightly shorter shelf life for its models, down from the regular seven years to only six. The 2016 A-Class comes to confirm that Stuttgart is already making use of this strategy.

Even though this is the third-ever A-Class, it actually represents the first time that Mercedes-Benz has ventured into the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series segment, unless you also count the ill-fated C-Class SportCoupe or the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLC and the subsequent CLC. Based on a platform called MFA (Modular Front-Wheel-Drive Architecture), the latest A-Class shares most of its underpinnings with the entire compact lineup from Mercedes-Benz, namely the B-Class, GLA-Class, CLA-Class and CLA Shooting Brake.

Essentially sporting a front-wheel-drive architecture, some of its versions also offer a 4MATIC-badged AWD system, something which it desperately needs in its higher-powered variants like the awesome A45 AMG. As expected, the mid-cycle refresh did not change much in terms of exterior or interior design, while most of last year’s engines are carried over with slight improvements.

Updated 06/29/2015: Mercedes dropped the official details on the new generation Mercedes A-Class.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    102 @ 4500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    132 @ 1200
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10.6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    118 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    20100
  • Price:
  • car segment:

Exterior

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Those who were afraid of change can now rest assured, as the facelift did not change the overall appearance of the A-Class. Just like the recent B-Class refresh, the 2016 A-Class facelift consists only of redesigned bumpers, a slightly more upright grille, and mildly restyled headlamps.

Just like the recent B-Class refresh, the 2016 A-Class facelift consists only of redesigned bumpers, a slightly more upright grille, and mildly restyled headlamps.

Specifically, the standard two-slat grille has been replaced by a diamond pattern piece, which has happened with other models as well recently. The grille also sports a slightly different shape, but this is only noticeable upon close inspection. Though identical to the previous model as far as shape and size go, the headlamps do feature a mildly revised cluster and new upper LED strips. Speaking of which, the A-Class is now available with full LED headlamps. Bigger changes can be spotted in the front bumper area. The main air dam is taller and shorter, while the side intakes are significantly smaller and positioned vertically.

The side view remained quasi-identical, featuring the same upswept character line, arched beltline, and side skirts. Mercedes does offer a range of new alloy wheels.

As for the rear, there’s a redesigned bumper with integrated exhaust tips and mildly revised LED taillights. Overall, the 2016 A-Class facelift has kept its bulldog stance, while receiving a dash of sportiness.

With the facelift Mercedes also offers a Motorsport Edition model that pays homage to the successful Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. This version is distinguished by Petrol Green accents on the front and rear bumpers, as well as on the AMG-style light-alloy wheels.

Side-by-side comparison

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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Interior

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Interior
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Interior updates are also mild. Highlights include a revised instrument cluster with new dial graphics, and the free-standing display that can be had with a larger, eight-inch screen. The dashboard comes with new trim for a fresh appearance, while the seats feature cushion depth adjustment by up to 2.3 inches. There are new colors and materials for each model, a Sahara Beige/Black leather in the Exclusive package, and a new seat design with red or green highlights in the Style line.

Moving over to the Motorsport Edition, the surrounds of the A/C vents are finished in Petrol Green, as is the stitching on the seats and the arm rest. The standard sport seats are upholstered in black leather/DINAMICA microfibre and have petrol green decorative stripes.

Granted, the interior facelift is far from impressive, but it should keep the A-Class fresh for another couple of years.

Drivetrain

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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The facelifted A-Class is available with four engines and in 12 trim levels, most of which are carried over from the previous model. The gasoline range starts with a new entry-level model, the A 160 powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder rated at 102 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Next in line are the A 180 and the A 180 Blue Efficiency Edition (BEE). While both feature the same 1.6-liter four-banger tuned to generate 122 horses and 147 pound-feet, the second model sips less gas and emits less CO2. The A 200, employs a 156-horsepower and 184-pound-feet four-pot, also displacing 1.6 liters.

The facelifted A-Class is available with four engines and in 12 trim levels, most of which are carried over from the previous model

Larger engines can be found in the A 220 and A 250 models. Restricted to 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, the A 220’s 2.0-liter inline-four cranks out 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet. More power comes with the A 250 and A 250 Sport, rated at 211 horses and 258 pound-feet and 218 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, respectively.

Moving over to diesels, the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder is available in three flavors. The base A 160 d comes with 90 horses and 177 pound-feet, while the A 180 d and A 180d Blue Efficiency Edition generate 109 horsepower and 192 pound-feet. Of course, the BEE model is the more efficient version of the batch. The lineup also includes the A 200 d, powered by a 2.1-liter four-pot good for 136 horses and 221 pound-feet. Topping the diesel range is the A 220 d, motivated by the same unit but enhanced to deliver 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet.

As far as performance is concerned, the A250 Sport is obviously the quickest of them all, needing 6.3 seconds to hit 62 mph with AWD and the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Hitting the same benchmark in the base gasoline model takes 10.4 seconds with the same gearbox. As you might have already guessed, diesels are significantly slower. The entry-level A 160 d version hits 62 mph in 13.6 seconds, while the range-topping A 220 d model gets there in 7.5 ticks. Both figures are for the dual-clutch cars.

Top speed varies between 112 and 139 mph for diesel and 118 and 149 mph for gasoline models.

Drivetrain Specifications

Petrol A 160 A 180 A 180 BEE A 200 A 220 4MATIC A 250/A 250 4MATIC
Number of cylinders/arrangement 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line
Displacement (cc) 1,595 1,595 1,595 1,595 1,991 1,991
Rated output 102 HP @ 4,500-6,000 RPM 122 HP @ 5,000 RPM 122 HP @ 5,000 RPM 156 HP @ 5,300 RPM 184 HP @ 5,500 RPM 211 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Rated torque 132 LB-FT @ 1,200-3,500 RPM 147 HP @ 1,250-4,000 147 HP @ 1,250-4,000 184 HP @ 1,250-4,000 221 LB-FT @ 1200-4000 221 LB-FT @ 1200-4000
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km) 5.6–5.4 (5.4-5.1) 5.7-5.5(5.4-5.1) 5.2 5.7-5.5(5.4-5.1) [6.6-6.3] 6.7-6.6
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km) 128-124
126-119
133-127(126-119) 120 134-128(126-119) [154-148] 154-151
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 10.6 (10.4) 8.9 (8.6) 8.9 8.1 (7.8) [6.9] 6.5
Top speed (km/h) 190 (190) 202 (202) 190 224 (224) [228] 240
Diesel A 160 d A 180 d A 180 d BEE A 200 d/A 200 d 4MATIC A 220 d/A 220 d 4MATIC
Number of cylinders/arrangement 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line
Displacement (cc) 1,461 1,461 1,461 2,143 2,143
Rated output 90 HP @ 2,750-4,000 RPM 109 HP @ 4,000 RPM 109 HP @ 4,000 RPM 136 HP @ 3,200-4,000 RPM 177 HP @ 3,600-3,800 RPM
Rated torque 177 LB-FT @ 1,700-2,500 RPM 191 LB-FT @ 1,750-2,500 RPM 191 LB-FT @ 1,750-2,500 RPM 221 LB-FT @ 1,400-3,000 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 1,400-3,000 RPM
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km) 4.1-3.7(3,9-3,7) 4.1-3.7(3.9-3.7) 3.5 4.5-4.1 4.2-4.0
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km) 107-98(104-98) 107-98(104-98) 89 116-106 109-104[127-121]
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 13,8 (13,6) 11,3 (11,3) 11.3 9,3 7,5
Top speed (km/h) 180 190 190 210 224

Prices

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing information is not yet available, but we should find out more as the hatchback goes on sale starting July 3rd. Mercedes dealerships across Europe will start receiving the new A-Class by the end of September. For reference, the current A-Class starts at €24,454.50 (about $27,268) in Germany (including 16-percent VAT).

There’s no word on whether the German hatch will finally come to the U.S., but I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you.

Competition

Audi A3 Sportback

2013 Audi A3 Sportback High Resolution Exterior
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Launched at a similar time as the latest A-Class, the Audi A3 should also be heading toward a mid-cycle facelift. Knowing Audi, it will come at a later time than the refreshed A-Class, with a 2016 Geneva Motor Show premiere being the likely destination. As the first vehicle based on Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform, the third-generation Audi A3 is currently the lightest car in its segment and comes with an engine range that both Mercedes-Benz and BMW may be jealous of in some parts.

Starting from a turbocharged, 1.2-liter four-cylinder and culminating with the recently-introduced E-Tron plug-in hybrid variant, the Audi A3 also offers front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive on selected engines. As an extra compared with the A-Class, the A3 may come as either a three-door or a five-door model, while the S3 and RS3 currently take care of the sportier customers. Unlike the A-Class, the A3 Sportback is available in the U.S., but only in e-tron form for the moment.

Learn more about the A3 hatch in our review here.

2016 BMW 1 Series

2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series High Resolution Exterior
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The only rear-wheel-drive model in its segment, the BMW 1 Series also received it mid-cycle facelift for the 2016 model year. Arguably with the most criticized exterior design compared to both the A-Class and the A3, the 1 Series is in theory seen as the sportier model of the three, despite the fact that it doesn’t necessarily excel in terms of engine power or suspension sportiness.

Besides a more appealing exterior design and an updated interior, the refreshed 1 Series also received a batch of new engines, including a couple of three-cylinder units borrowed from the Mini Cooper. Outputs range from 109 to 326 horsepower in gasoline models and from 116 to 224 horses for diesel, meaning there’s a trim for nearly every version the A-Class will bring to the table.

Like the Audi A3, the 1 Series comes in either a three-door or five-door version. Base models all come with rear-wheel drive, but xDrive all-wheel-drive versions are also available on selected engines. BMW also doesn’t offer the 1 Series in the U.S.

More information on this car in our review here.

Conclusion

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Even though it follows a more classic approach in its segment, losing the innovative double-floor but also the odd styling of its two predecessors, the third generation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a resounding sales success for the Stuttgart manufacturer. A large part of its appeal most likely resides in its exterior design, but the model also backed it up with fuel-efficient and powerful-enough engines. This is probably why Mercedes-Benz didn’t mess with its styling too much for its mid-life refresh, nor it changed much under the hood.

The model’s only caveat is the fact that it only comes as a five-door, both of its two arch enemies also offering slightly cheaper and some say sportier-looking three-door variants. With the 2016 model finally bringing available full-LED headlamps and a number of slight interior improvements in terms of comfort, the redesigned A-Class should remain fresh for two more years, with the 2018 generation bringing and entirely new MFA architecture with it.

  • Leave it
    • Not as innovative as its predecessors
    • No three-door variant
    • Renault-sourced base diesel engines
    • Not for U.S. consumption

Spy Shots

March 31, 2015 - Mercedes A-Class reveals its interior

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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Mercedes-Benz started its 2015 winter testing with a camouflaged 2016 A-Class facelift, not leaving much of its new exterior features to be captured by the spy cameras. Caught somewhere in Northern Sweden, the pre-production prototype is fitted with the so-called "star grille," despite not featuring an AMG body kit. With the rear-bumper lacking a visible exhaust pipe, it is likely that the car is diesel-powered, while the rather low ground learance could signal that we are looking at a front-wheel-drive model and not a 4MATIC one.

As you can see, most of the exterior features should remain largely the same, with only the headlights, front bumper and taillights being the only body parts covered with camouflage. Naturally, since this is a pre-production prototype created purely for testing certain features, not all redesigned bits will actually be present on the vehicle, but you shouldn’t expect too many stylistic surprises anyway.

January 9, 2015 - First testing session

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

With the new generation of the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz reconciles the conflicting aims of sporty performance and enhanced comfort: With DYNAMIC SELECT the driver is able to change the car’s characteristics in just seconds – at the touch of a button the A-Class drives in a particularly comfortable, sporty or efficient manner. Mercedes-Benz has also increased the range of available engines. The A 160 with 75 kW (102 hp) is the new entry-level model. The new efficiency champion is the 80 kW (109 hp) A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition with CO2 emissions of 89 g/km. And with its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the special "Motorsport Edition" model will particularly appeal to racing fans. The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC also benefits from the model facelift. With peak output of 280 kW (381 hp) and a maximum torque of 475 Nm, the entry-level model from Mercedes-AMG is the world’s most powerful compact sports model. The revised gear ratios, aerodynamic fine-tuning and the new DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes raise overall performance to a higher level, underlining the claim to leadership in this market segment. The new-generation A-Class can be ordered from 3 July 2015. The first models will be in dealer showrooms at the end of September.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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"2012 was a year of paradigm change in the compact class. The new A-Class was a radical departure from the preceding series. And a successful one: as the most progressive model in the compact class, the model series has done much to make the Mercedes-Benz brand more youthful. With this model facelift we are now meeting the wishes of many customers for even more comfort with no loss of dynamic performance," says Ola Källenius, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. "In addition, with Apple® CarPlay® and MirrorLink® the A-Class has taken the next step for comprehensive and intuitive smartphone integration.“
Striking lines, dynamically curved surfaces and coupé-like window lines characterise the exterior of the A-Class, following the design philosophy of sensual clarity. The form of the new, more arrow-shaped front bumper takes its lead strongly from the Concept A-CLASS (2011). With a diamond grille, new LED High Performance headlamps (optional extra; standard for A 45) and newly designed rear lights with exhaust tailpipes integrated into the bumper, the new generation emphasises the sportiness and dynamism of the successful compact class series.
An instrument cluster of tubular design with high-quality dial graphics and galvanised switches upgrades the quality interior, as does the large, free-standing and frameless display of the head unit, which is now to be had with a larger screen diagonal of 20.3 cm (8 inches) on request. New colours and materials, as well as new finishes for the trim in the dashboard, ensure a fresh ambience. New features include sahara beige / black leather in the Exclusive package and a new seat design with red or green highlights in the Style line.
Optional LED High Performance headlamps and ambience lighting which can be individualised with twelve colours and five dimming levels – the equipment range for the A-Class has been judiciously expanded in many areas. Also new is seat cushion depth adjustment by up to 60 mm – a standard feature in all equipment lines.
With its dramatic design in the style of the successful MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team, the special "Motorsport Edition" model will particularly appeal to racing fans. Areas of the front and rear bumper trim are painted in petrol green, and the same colour adorns the rim flanges of the AMG light- alloy wheels. The AMG rear aerofoil is embellished with petrol green highlights, as are the exterior mirrors (only in conjunction with A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC). Eye-catching details in the interior include the petrol green surrrounds of the air vents and the contrasting topstitching in petrol green. The sport seats upholstered in black leather/DINAMICA microfibre have petrol green decorative strips, as have the seat belts. The "Motorsport Edition" is available for all engine variants from the A 200/A 200 d upwards (except the A 45).

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Drive system: engine range extended further
The A 160 with 75 kW (102 hp) is the new entry-level model in the A-Class. The new efficiency champion is the 80 kW (109 hp) A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, which is happy with an NEDC fuel consumption of just 3.5 l/100 km. Its CO2 emissions are 89 g/km. Numerous measures to enhance efficiency have made these outstanding figures possible. Also new are the manual transmission versions of the dynamic models A 250 and A 250 Sport.
The A 220 d is now 5 kW (7 hp) more powerful than before with 130 kW (177 hp), while the sport models A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC now develop 160 kW (218 hp) instead of the previous 155 kW (211 hp). In combination with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission, the A-Class now has "Launch Assist" for even faster acceleration from standstill. All in all the model range has 17 versions. The "ECO display" also takes a new form to assist the driver in maintaining an environmentally friendly style of driving.
The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC also benefits from the model facelift. With peak output of 280 kW (381 hp) and a maximum torque of 475 Nm, the entry-level model from Mercedes-AMG is the world’s most powerful compact sports model. This powerpack delivers a dynamic performance that is unrivalled: 100 km/h is already reached from standstill in 4.2 seconds. This means that the new Mercedes‑AMG A 45 accelerates 0.4 seconds faster than its predecessor. At the same time its fuel consumption has been kept at the previous level: no other high-performance model in this class can match its NEDC fuel consumption from 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres (corresponds to 162 g/km CO2).

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes-Benz is also using the A-Class model facelift as the opportunity to introduce the new nomenclature for the drive variants in this model series. While the petrol models have no suffix, the small letter "d" replaces the previous "CDI" – the A 200 CDI is now called the A 200 d, for example.Suspension: Comfort at the touch of a button
With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted in seconds at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and air conditioning at the driver’s behest. The four driving modes "Comfort", "Sport", "Eco" and "Individual" can be conveniently selected using the switch in the upper control array.
Models A 200 d 4MATIC, A 220 4MATIC, A 220 d, A 220 d 4MATIC, A 250 4MATIC, A 250 Sport and A 250 Sport 4MATIC are equipped with DYNAMIC SELECT as standard. The system is also included as standard in all models with 7G-DCT, AMG Line or a lowered suspension. DYNAMIC SELECT is available on request for all other engine variants except the two BlueEFFICIENCY Edition models.
DYNAMIC SELECT allows a particularly broad range of setting options in combination with the new suspension with adaptive damping (optional extra). In this case the driver is able to modify the vehicle’s damping characteristics using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch. There is a choice between Comfort mode with comfortable damping characteristics and Sport mode for a sporty and more taut damper setup.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Acceleration sensors are used to measure the vehicle’s body movements, and other current information about the vehicle status such as the steering angle, steering speed and yaw rate is included when calculating the damping characteristics. A proportional valve is actuated electronically at each shock absorber to control the oil flow and therefore the damping characteristics. The damping system is infinitely variable, and the configuration is individual for each wheel.
The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC is equipped with the DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" and "Individual", which are familiar from the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car and the top-of-the-line C-Class model, the Mercedes‑AMG C 63, as standard. As a new optional feature, the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package includes a mechanical front axle locking differential, the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping and the fifth DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode "Race".
Multimedia: trailblazer in smartphone integration
The new-generation A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to be available with comprehensive smartphone integration: from the beginning of 2016 the infotainment systems Apple® CarPlay® (for iPhone® owners) and MirrorLink® will become available.
In the case of e.g. Apple® CarPlay® the system supports telephoning, navigation and listening to music, receiving and sending SMS and emails as well as Siri voice control. To avoid distracting the driver during a journey, only the relevant smartphone content is displayed on-screen.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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At the same time the new generation telematics are being introduced into the A-Class. Operation is now even more intuitive, with the functions accompanied by animated menus and visual depictions on the even larger display in the head unit. On request the screen diagonal now measures 20.3 cm (8 inches), making it at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than before.
Assistance systems: Improved support, LED headlamp on request
With numerous driving assistance systems from the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST to DISTRONIC PLUS distance control, the A-Class is able to give its driver comprehensive support and protection. Some of the assistance systems have been revised. For example, the standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS extends the functions of the previous COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (radar supported proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist) with autonomous partial braking to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.
The drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST (standard) has been similarly upgraded: operating within an extended speed range (60 - 200 km/h), it now uses a five-stage bar display to visualise the driver’s current attention level.
Apart from their distinctive look, the new LED High Performance headlamps (optional extra, standard for A 45) offer added safety at night thanks to their wide beam pattern and light of a colour similar to daylight.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Success story: two out of three customers new to Mercedes-Benz
The new generation of the A-Class entered the market in September 2012. Owing to the great success enjoyed by this model around the world, it is manufactured not only in Rastatt, but, since August 2013, also by the Finnish production specialist Valmet Automotive. Unit sales soared by over 46% in Great Britain last year, and by over 51% in the growth market of China. However, most A-Class models continue to be sold to customers in Germany.
Around one in two drivers of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class or B-Class, GLA or CLA in Germany and western Europe previously drove a competitor vehicle. In the case of the A-Class, no less than two out of three European customers come from competing brands. The Mercedes-Benz brand has also undergone a noticeable rejuvenation since the introduction of the new compact models. Nowadays, the average age of European drivers owning the new A-Class is around 13 years less than for the preceding model series. In China the average age is 34 years.

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