Gorgeous looks and features from the bigger luxury Mercs

The third-generation A-Class has been around for only six years as of 2018, and Mercedes-Benz has already launched a redesigned model. That’s not exactly surprising though, as the Germans are looking to replace each model after a six-year cycle in the future and the A-Class is one of the first to be part of this strategy. Spotted stretching its wheels in Europe since early 2017, the new-generation A-Class broke cover in February 2018, about one month before its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show. And by the looks of things, the competition doesn’t stand a chance against it.

The interesting thing about the upcoming A-Class, aside from the usual upgrades involving sportier looks, a refined, roomier interior, and more powerful and efficient engines, is that it will get a sedan version. The three-box model was previewed by the A-Class Sedan Concept in 2017 and as it turns out, it shares quite a lot of design features with the new hatchback. Inspired by the new CLS, the A-Class Sedan wasn’t just a fancied up concept, with most of its features transferred on the production five-door model. But until the four-door arrives to take on the Audi A3 Sedan and the China-only BMW 1 Series Sedan, let’s have a closer look at the most technologically advanced premium hatchback on the market.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Exterior

  • CLS-inspired front fascia
  • Lower engine hood
  • Sportier nose
  • Aggressive bumper
  • Optional 19-inch wheels
  • Split-design taillights
  • Two-section Airplanel
  • Optional Multibeam LED lights
The new styling features are sportier than expected, with the front fascia design based on the latest CLS

As confirmed by our spy shots of production-ready prototypes, the new-generation A-Class retains the overall shape and size of the outgoing model. However, the new styling features are sportier than expected, with the front fascia design based on the latest CLS.

The headlamps are the first features that catch the eye, sporting an aggressive design with sharp edges. The covers are also wider toward the grille and become thinner toward the fenders, which gives the A-Class an angry, frowning look. The main grille is also based on the CLS, which in turn is borrowed from the AMG GT sports car. The element is now wider toward the bottom. On the other hand, it retains the diamond radiator layout and the silver horizontal bars on each side of the tri-star emblem. Below, the bumper was updated to the current Mercedes-Benz standard with bigger side intakes. Both include black horizontal slats for a powerful look.

The engine hood seems to have a smaller surface, but the really big news here is that it sits lower and slopes toward the nose more heavily. This not only makes the new A-Class the most aggressive Mercedes hatchback yet, but also helps with aerodynamics, contributing to the car’s amazing 0.25 Cd figure.

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The rear fascia is noticeably wider thanks to the heavily waisted greenhouse

Not much an be said about the car’s new profile. Except for a few minor changes, like larger wheel arches that can house wheels as big as 19 inches, and a slightly longer wheelbase, it remains mostly unchanged. This isn’t a bad thing though, as the A-Class already had a rather appealing side view.

The rear end boasts significantly more changes. For starters, it’s noticeably wider thanks to the heavily waisted greenhouse and the slightly wider rear fenders. The previous headlamps, which were big but not exactly inspiring, were replaced by two-piece units based on the CLS. Unlike the headlamps, they’re wider toward the fenders and thinner toward the license plate recess. Paired with the wider tailgate, the wider-spaced reflectors, and the two-section bumper that includes a sporty diffuser-like element, it gives the A-Class a more planted stance. Heck, it’s nearly as aggressive as the AMG version of the previous model!

Overall, the new A-Class is sporty, dynamic, and emotional, three important features that set compact sports cars apart from plain-looking hatchbacks.

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Overall, the new A-Class is sporty, dynamic, and emotional

The new A-Class also marks the debut of two first-in-class features. First up is the optional two-section Airpanel, an aero-enhancing system behind the radiator grille that opens its adjustable louvers depending on the cooling requirement. An additional louver system in the air inlet below the license plate which further improves system performance.

Second, it can be ordered with the optional Multibeam LED headlamps, a technology that trickled down from the company’s more expensive, more luxurious models. These allow quick and precise adjustment of the headlamps to suit the traffic situation and include 18 individually actuated LEDs under each cover. Mercedes claims that the "daylight-like light color" of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a "positive effect on concentration."

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase mm/inches 2,729/107.44
Length mm/inches 4,419/173.97
Width mm/inches 1,796/70.70
Height mm/inches 1,440/56.59

Interior

  • Best-in-class design
  • All-digital instrument cluster
  • 10.5-inch infotainment display
  • 64-color ambient lighting
  • New MBUX infotainment system
  • Extra room front and rear
  • Bigger trunk
  • Quiet ride
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The new A-Class sets a new standard for interior design and premium appointments

Not surprisingly, the interior borrows some features from the bigger Mercedes models. While the previous model was appealing enough in the more expensive trims, the new A-Class sets a new standard for interior design and premium appointments for the compact class. Mercedes describes the new interior as "avant-garde," and it’s not just PR talk. A quick glance inside the hatchback and you can see why it’s the fanciest of its kind. Just look at the wing-shaped, multi-tier dashboard, the high-tech-looking center stack, and those turbine-look air vents. It’s like the best German and American designers teamed-up to created a hatchback interior that would please all markets. And crafted it in an IKEA store with help from Swedish architects. It’s gorgeous!

The dashboard is divided into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections, with the lower section separated from the main body of the dash by a "trench." It also appears to float in front of the dashboard in certain lighting conditions. The A/C vents are placed high at each corner, while the ones in the center stack sits right between the free-standing infotainment screen and the A/C controls above the center console. The main display is set right beside the digital instrument cluster, making it seem like the car has one long screen stretching from behind the steering wheel across the center stack. This feature is also borrowed from the CLS and S-Class, but it’s missing the big hood on top. Three options are available here, with the largest including two 10.25-inch displays, just like in the big Mercs.

The A-Class also introduced the company’s latest infotainment system, the MBUX

The ambient lighting is also unique in this segment. The 64 colors of the optional ambient system make five times as many colors available than before. Mercedes also enhanced the emotive presentation, with the different colors now composed into ten "color worlds" to allow a complex lighting display with spectacular color changes. It’s pretty much like having a Christmas tree inside the car, and I’m not sure I like it, but I have to admit it’s indeed unique for a compact vehicle.

The A-Class also introduced the company’s latest infotainment system. It’s called the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) and it has the ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. It can also be customized and adapted to suit every user, thus creating an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver, and passengers. Furthermore, touchscreen operation of the media display and the navigation is made through augmented reality technology and intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition. Just make sure you activate it with the code word "Hey Mercedes" when you get inside the cabin.

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The capacity of the trunk behind the rear seats is now at 370 liters (13 cubic feet)

Comfort has been enhanced too. In addition to the extra legroom that comes with the longer wheelbase, the new A-Class also benefits from a bit more shoulder, elbow and headroom, as well as easier access to the rear seats. The hatchback is also available with seat climate control on top of the usual heating. A Multicontour Seat package with massage function is available for the front seats, making the A-Class the first compact hatchback to have such an option. You can also pick between three different front seats designs: the basic model, the comfort seat, and the sporty integral option. The latter is available for the more expensive trims though.

Luggage room has improved too. The capacity of the trunk behind the rear seats is now at 370 liters (13 cubic feet), which converts to an extra 29 liters (one cubic foot) compared to the previous model. Loading luggage and groceries in the trunk is also easier, with the loading aperture now being 20 cm (7.9 inches) wider than before. The luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm (4.5 inches) longer.

Drivetrain

  • New 4-cylinder engines
  • 163-horsepower 1.4-liter
  • 224-horsepower 2.0-liter
  • 116-horsepower 1.5-liter diesel
  • Six-speed manual
  • Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Revised 4Matic AWD
  • McPherson suspension
  • Optional active damping control
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The new generation also brings brand-new engines under the hood

The new generation also brings brand-new engines under the hood. The A-Class will go on sale in Europe with two gasoline and one diesel unit, all of which are brand-new.

The gas range begins with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder, which replaced the previous 1.6-liter unit used in the A160, A180, and A200 models. For the time being, the new turbo 1.4-liter will motivate the A200 version, which benefits from 163 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That’s nine horses more than the previous model. This mill is available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, just like its predecessor. Look for the same unit to be offered in less powerful configurations at a later date.

Next up is the A250 model with a gasoline, 2.0-liter four-pot. Although identical to the previous 2.0-liter turbo in terms of displacement and cylinders, this new unit cranks out 224 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, a 16-horsepower upgrade. The seven-speed dual-clutch is the only gearbox option for this model.

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The gas range begins with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder

Expect the same powerplant, but with a twin-scroll turbocharger, to find its way in the next-generation AMG A45 version.

Both gasoline engines feature Camtronic for the intake camshaft and new particulate filters. Fuel consumption is estimated at 5.1 l/km and 6 l/km combined on the European cycle, respectively.

Finally, the A-Class goes on sale with a diesel option too, in the form of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit. Dubbed OM 608, it replaced the previous 1.5-liter borrowed from the Renault-Nissan group. The turbodiesel is rated at 116 horsepower and 192 pound-feet in the A180d model, eight horses more than the previous version. This engine is offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and includes the company’s latest AdBlue technology and a fuel tank capacity of 43 liters (11.3 gallons) standard and 51 liters (13.5 gallons) optionally.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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The new 2.0-liter unit cranks out 224 horsepower and 258 pound-feet

Mercedes announced that more diesel engines will be introduced soon. Expect a 1.5-liter version with less output and a higher displacement mill to replace the outgoing 2.1-liter four-cylinder.

A revised 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is available for the new A-Class. It comes with a Dynamic Select switch that allows the driver to change the system’s characteristics and even send all the power to the rear axle. The AWD update also includes a rear-axle differential with an integrated multiplate clutch.

Like its predecessor, the new A-Class has a McPherson front suspension, while the A250 and all 4MATIC models have a more sophisticated four-link rear setup. The entry-level A200 and A180d models have a torsion beam rear suspension. As standard, the new A-Class is fitted with a comfort suspension with steel springs and Dynamic Select. Lowered by 15 mm (0.6 inches), it has specially configured springs and dampers for more sporty characteristics. A suspension system with active damping control is optionally available.

Drivetrain Specifications

A 200 A 200 A 250 A 180 d
Transmission 7G-DCT MT 6 7G-DCT 7G-DCT
Power output 163 HP @ 5,500 RPM 163 HP @ 5,500 RPM 224 HP @ 5,500 RPM 85 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Peak torque 184 LB-FT @ 1,620 RPM 184 LB-FT @ 1,620 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 1,800 RPM 191 LB-FT @ 1,750-2,500 RPM
Fuel consumption, combined (l/100 km) 5.1 5.6 6.0 4.1
CO2 emissions, combined (g/km) 120 133 141 108
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 8.0 8.2 6.2 10.5
Top speed (km/h) 225 225 250 202

Safety

  • State-of-the-art safety
  • Improved camera and radar system
  • Active Distance Assist
  • Active Brake Assist
  • Pre-Safe Plus package
  • Several airbags
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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Active Distance Assist Distronic is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations

There’s no surprise that the latest A-Class is packed with state-of-the-art safety features and driver aids, but I honestly didn’t expect it to feature some much tech from the S-Class. Arguably the most surprising feature is the semi-autonomous system, a first for this class. Sure, the A-Class isn’t as autonomous as the big S-Class; the system works just in certain situations. But it’s still a cool thing to have in a small hatchback.

How does it work? First, the car keeps a close eye on the traffic with an improved camera and radar systems that allow it to see up to 500 meters (0.3 miles) ahead. It also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. Active Distance Assist Distronic is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations, while predictevely adjusting the speed when approaching bends or roundabouts.

It’s also equipped with Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, and Active Brake Assist as standard. The latter can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether. Other familiar features seen on bigger Mercs include Pre-Safe Plus.

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Driver and front passenger airbags, the driver’s kneebag, and windowbags are standard

The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). This means that the design of the vehicle structure incorporates findings from research into real accidents and that every body shell component was developed according to the loads and stresses encountered. The high-rigidity of the passenger cells enables the car to handle to accident-induced stress better, including in frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions, and even rollovers.

Moving over to passive safety features, the driver and front passenger each have a three-point seat belt with belt force limiter and belt tensioner and reversible belt reel tensioners. The new A-Class is also equipped with driver and front passenger airbags, a driver’s kneebag and windowbags as standard. Unlike the competition, the A-Class’ windowbag also covers the A-pillar for more complete passenger protection. Thorax-pelvis sidebags are standard in the front and available as optional equipment for the rear passenger compartment.

Prices

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
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As with most redesigns, the fourth-gen A-Class should come with a significant premium over the current model. With the 2017 hatchback fetching €24,680 (about $30,624 as of February 2018) before options, the next-gen model could start from around €25,500 (around $31,640). Unfortunately, like the current car, the new A-Class isn’t likely to cross the pond to the U.S. due to low demand for hatchbacks in the premium segment.

Competition

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 received it mid-cycle facelift for the 2016 model year. Although frequently criticized for its design, the 1 Series is seen as the sportier model of the bunch, 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 218 horsepower in gasoline models and from 116 to 224 horses (199 to 331 pound-feet) for diesels, meaning there’s a trim for nearly every version the A-Class will bring to the table. A redesigned model with front-wheel drive is likely to follow soon. BMW also doesn’t offer the 1 Series in the U.S. In Germany, prices start from €24,700.

Read our full review of the BMW 1 Series.

Audi A3 Sportback

2017 Audi A3 Hatchback
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Some see it as the original premium compact hatch, with its first generation having been launched back in 1996, but the Audi A3 has to push in a much more crowded market nowadays. Unlike the BMW 1 Series, which is strictly rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the A3 uses a Volkswagen Golf architecture, meaning that it only comes with front-wheel drive or a Haldex-based all-wheel drive system that is traditionally marketed as Quattro. The current generation was unveiled in 2012 and updated for the 2017 model year. The hatch is offered with three gasoline and three diesel units. The former generate between 115 and 190 horsepower, while the latter crank out between 110 and 184 horses (up to 280 pound-feet of torque). The A3 Sportback is also offered with a hybrid drivetrain as the e-tron. And unlike its competitors, it’s available in the United States, but only as sedan and Sportback e-tron models.

Read our full story on the 2017 Audi A3 Sportback.

Conclusion

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I’m going to start this off by saying that I’m a bit surprised to see the new A-Class wearing that CLS-inspired front fascia. Granted, I’ve seen it first on the A-Class Sedan Concept which made things a bit obvious, but knowing Merc, I assumed that the production model would be less aggressive. But I’m happy to see that I was wrong because the new A-Class is downright gorgeous. It has just the right amount of aggressiveness and some of its styling features are actually elegant, which makes it a great way to enter the premium market without blowing a whole lot of cash on a C-Class or E-Class model. It’s interior is arguably the prettiest in the business, while its technology package is more than impressive. BMW and Audi need to act quick if they want to survive in this niche.

  • Leave it
    • * Needs a hybrid version
    • * Likely still not coming to the U.S.

References

Mercedes A-Class

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full review on the next 2018 Mercedes-Benz A40.

2013 Mercedes A-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the current 2017 Mercedes A-Class.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Update History

Updated 06/19/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Mercedes A-Class out for a new testing session around Nurburgring.

Updated 09/22/2016: Our spy photographers caught the next generation Mercedes A-Class out for a new testing session, this time around the Nurburgring race track.

Spy Shots

October 16, 2017 - Mercedes A-Class begins dropping campuflage

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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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June 19, 2017 - Mercedes A-Class reveals its interior

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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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February 17,2017 - Mercedes A-Class reveals parts of the interior

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Interior Spyshots
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September 22, 2016 - Mercedes A-Class caught testing at Nurburgring

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior Spyshots
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July 26, 2016 - First testing session

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class High Resolution Exterior Spyshots
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Press release

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is as youthful and dynamic as ever, but grown-up and comfortable like never before. It completely redefines modern luxury in the compact class, and revolutionises interior design. Technologically the new A-Class not only takes first place thanks to MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: it also offers a number of functions that were previously the preserve of the luxury class. In certain driving situations, it is able to drive semi-autonomously for the first time, and MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available on request. All models of the new A-Class are also powered by new, efficient diesel and petrol engines, and although Mercedes-Benz has retained the sporty appearance, the utility value has increased. The new A-Class can be ordered from March onwards, with first UK deliveries in June.

"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. "With MBUX – the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience – we are creating a completely new customer experience."

"New technologies must place the focus on people and make their lives easier. The new A-Class does this in many ways, and becomes an emotional and intelligent companion," says Ola Källenius, the member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One good example is MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: it combines intuitive and natural operation with intelligent, learning software."

"The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of Sensual Purity and has the potential to usher in a new design era," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. "With clear contours and sensual surfaces, we present high-tech that awakens emotions. Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. The interior represents modern luxury at a level previously unattained in this class, and translates intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience."

Exterior design: Exercise in purism

The purist, surface-accentuating design of the new A-Class is the next step in the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. On the basis of a compact two-box design, optimised dimensions and proportions have led to a new interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class’s design.

The exterior of the new A-Class stands for sportiness, dynamism and emotion. The progressive front design with a low bonnet, flat LED headlamps with chrome elements and torch-like daytime driving lamps ensures an emotionally appealing and alluring appearance. The striking radiator grille with Mercedes star, whose silhouette opens out towards the base as a reinterpretation of its predecessor, features pins in a diamond look and a central silver louvre to underline the sportiness of this model.

The vehicle is visually extended by the longer wheelbase and character line along the side. The bonnet slopes down more heavily than in the preceding model series, emphasising the dynamic, upright front. The larger wheel arches for wheels from 16 to 19 inches emphasise the sportiness of the new A-Class and make it sit more squarely on the road. 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 ensure an emotionally appealing, alluring appearance.

With a Cd figure from 0.25 and a frontal area (A) of 2.19 m2, the new A-Class is the aerodynamic leader in its segment. For the first time in the compact class, Mercedes-Benz uses a two-section AIRPANEL (optional). This louvre system behind the radiator grille opens its adjustable louvres depending on the cooling requirement. There is an additional louvre system in the air inlet below the registration plate, which further improves system performance.

Interior design: A revolution from within

The interior of the new A-Class is completely redefined with its modern, avant-garde look. Mercedes-Benz has taken a completely new approach, revolutionising the compact class from the inside with a new feeling of spaciousness. The unique interior architecture is shaped in particular by the avant-garde design of the dashboard: for the first time a cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. The Widescreen display is completely free-standing. The air vents in a sporty turbine-look are another highlight.

The dashboard is divided into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections: the lower section is visually separated from the main body of the dashboard by a "trench", and it appears to float in front of the dashboard. The ambient lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure. The 64 colours of the optional ambient lighting make five times as many colours available than before. And it is not just the variety that has increased, as the emotive presentation also sets standards in this segment: the different colours are composed into ten colour worlds to allow an avant-garde lighting display with spectacular colour changes.

The completely free-standing display is available in three versions:

with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm),
with one 7- and one 10.25-inch (26 cm) display and

with two 10.25-inch displays.

MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience: Unrivalled experience

The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the completely new multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which also ushers in a new era in Mercedes me connectivity. A unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. MBUX can be individualised and adapts to suit the user. It thus creates an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.

Its further strengths include the high-resolution Widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation of the media display, the navigation display with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the code word "Hey Mercedes". A head-up display is also available. The touchscreen is part of the comprehensive MBUX touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel.

MBUX is a revolution of the user experience in the car. Emotively appealing showcasing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure and thrill through brilliant 3D maximum-resolution graphics, which are rendered, i.e. calculated and displayed, in real time.

New and improved Mercedes me connect services are being launched with the new infotainment generation MBUX. These include navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication (information from vehicle to vehicle about events registered by sensors, e.g. emergency braking, ESP® intervention, or manual reporting e.g. of an accident by the driver), and Vehicle Tracker, which makes it easier to find the parked vehicle, as well as outputting a message if the parked vehicle suffers an impact or is towed away.

The Mercedes me app collection can be placed as an icon on the screen in a user-friendly way and can be freely sorted on the homepage like all other main applications. In addition, online content such as current filling station prices or the availability of parking spaces in the multi-storey car park are displayed in MBUX. Online updating is a simple way of allowing new content to be made available in MBUX.

Spaciousness and seating: The A-Class has grown up

Despite its sporty look, the new A-Class has considerably more utility value, making it as youthful as ever but grown-up like never before. More shoulder, elbow and headroom plus easier access to the rear are clear benefits, as is the larger and more family- and recreation-friendly luggage compartment. All-round visibility has also been considerably improved. This enhances both safety and the impression of spaciousness.

The capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats is 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 stowage concept is equally practical: 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.

At the same time, comfort features from higher vehicle segments make an appearance: on request, and for the first time in this model series, not only seat heating but also seat climate control and a Multicontour Seat package with massage function are available for the front seats. A total of three different front seats are available for the new A-Class: the basic model, the comfort seat and the sporty integral seat available in combination with the equipment lines.

As well as a special seat design, the Seat Comfort package (standard with some equipment lines) includes height adjustment of the front passenger seat and angle/depth adjustment of the front seat cushions. With the seat climate control, there is a radial fan in each seat cushion. The air taken in through the perforated seat cover flows through the seat structure and is vented downwards and to the rear. With the Multicontour Seat package, the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by an electrically driven pneumatic pump. A massage effect in the lumbar area is provided by air chambers.

Quiet running: there is strength in serenity

Quiet, vibration-free driving characteristics are a major factor in the grown-up, premium driving impression made by the new A‑Class. Alongside effective insulation of the suspension from the vehicle body and aeroacoustic measures, the bodyshell itself plays a decisive role. During the development of the A-Class, particular attention was given to high overall structural rigidity and the connecting points between the body, suspension and powertrain. Significant increases in introduction rigidities were especially achieved at the suspension connecting points that are so important to road roar, and the interior noise level was considerably reduced.

The comprehensive noise insulation concept of the new A-Class includes components such as the air and coolant management systems or trim parts in the interior being configured so as to improve noise insulation as well. Wind noises have also been significantly reduced compared to the preceding model.

Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class

The new A-Class has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 m ahead. The A-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations, and predictively and conveniently adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Also on board are e.g. Active Emergency Stop Assist and intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist.

The new A-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.

PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the vehicle when stationary, thus minimising the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.

The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. Every single bodyshell component was developed according to the loads and stresses encountered, with respect to geometry, material thickness, joining technology and material quality (increased proportion of high-strength and ultra high-strength sheet steel).

The centrepiece of the body’s safety concept is the highly rigid passenger cell. Its great rigidity when subjected to accident-induced stress e.g. in frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions and rollovers is above all due to the greater use of high-strength, ultra high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel.

The driver and front passenger each have a three-point seat belt with belt force limiter and belt tensioner. In conjunction with the PRE-SAFE® system (optional equipment), the front seats are equipped with reversible belt reel tensioners. Both of the outer rear seats are fitted with a seat belt with reel tensioner and belt force limiter. The new A-Class is equipped with driver and front passenger airbags, a driver’s kneebag and windowbags as standard. Unlike in many competing models, the windowbag also covers the A-pillar for more complete passenger protection. Thorax-pelvis sidebags are likewise standard in the front, and available as optional equipment for the rear.

MULTIBEAM LED headlamps: optimum visibility in all conditions

The optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are another example of the technology transfer from the luxury to the compact class. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation. 18 individually actuated LEDs are housed in each headlamp. The daylight-like light colour of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a positive effect on concentration. The road ahead is precisely and brightly illuminated. LED High Performance headlamps are a further option. As standard the new A-Class is equipped with halogen headlamps with integrated LED daytime driving lamps.

New, efficient petrol and diesel engines

The following three engine variants will be available on the launch of the A-Class, or shortly afterwards[1]:

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)

All the new A-Class models are powered by new, efficient engines: Two new four-cylinder petrol engines are available at market launch. Innovations in the M 282 with a displacement of 1.4 l and up to 120 kW include cylinder shutoff (initially in conjunction with the 7G-DCT transmission) and the delta shape of the cylinder head. The second new petrol engine is the M 260 with a displacement of 2.0 litres, 165 kW and 350 Nm.

New features include CAMTRONIC for the intake camshaft. Both petrol engine series have a particulate filter as standard.

Also new is the four-cylinder diesel (OM 608) with a displacement of 1.5 litres, up to 85 kW and up to 260 Nm. Its highlights are a near-engine mounted emission control system with AdBlue® technology, a turbocharger with optimised responsiveness and water intercooling. A new 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission is also being introduced. Further new engines will follow. The fuel tank has a capacity of 43 litres as standard, with a 51-litre tank optionally available.

On request the new A-Class is available with the permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC with fully variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive system has been developed further, and now offers even more driving pleasure and efficiency. Using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch, the driver is able to influence the 4MATIC characteristics even more than before. 4MATIC components include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear axle differential with an integrated multiplate clutch. This is no longer electro-hydraulically powered, but instead electro-mechanically.

Suspension: agile and comfortable

There is a choice of suspension systems for the A-Class, depending on engine variant and driver preference. 16-inch wheels are standard equipment. DYNAMIC SELECT is standard equipment, and at the touch of a button also provides an individual driving experience in conjunction with the suspension with active damping control (optional).

Like all its predecessors, the new A-Class has a McPherson front suspension. The more powerful versions such as the A 250 and all 4MATIC models have a sophisticated four-link rear suspension. The rear axle is mounted on a subframe isolated from the bodyshell by rubber bushings so that fewer vibrations are transferred from the suspension to the body. All in all, the proportion of aluminium in the suspension components is one of the highest in any suspension system in this vehicle class. The entry-level A 200 and A 180 d models have a torsion beam rear suspension.

As standard the new A-Class is equipped with a comfort suspension with steel springs and DYNAMIC SELECT. The comfort suspension lowered by 15 millimetres has specially configured springs and dampers for more sporty characteristics. The suspension with active damping control enables the driver to choose the preferred damping characteristics.

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