THE new Mercedes-Benz A-Class completely redefines modern luxury in the compact class, revolutionises interior design and brings a new high in driver assistance technology.
It brings functions previously the preserve of the luxury class and in certain driving situations can 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 – with particulate filters on the 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 A-Class, the brand introduces the new highlight MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – first in the compact class rather than the luxury class. This underlines that the A-Class is more mature and comfortable than ever before.
Technologically, it is not only the new MBUX infotainment system that sets it apart from the competition – it also offers a range of safety and driver assistance systems brought down from the S-Class together with assertive redesigned appearance.
Chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche said: “The A-Class has been a big driver of change at Mercedes-Benz. It is the single best example on how we managed to rejuvenate our entire brand.
“There’s not much of an ‘entry-level’ feel left in our new entry-level car. This grown-up A-Class fully incorporates our definition of ‘modern luxury’. And it’s unparalleled in this segment.”
Britta Seeger, the member of the Daimler AG board responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars sales, said: “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. With MBUX we are creating a completely new customer experience.”
Ola Kallenius, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars said MBUX “combines intuitive and natural operation with intelligent, learning software.”
The exterior of the new A-Class stands for sportiness, dynamism and emotion with a low bonnet, flat LED headlamps with chrome elements and torch-like daytime driving lamps. The striking radiator grille with Mercedes star 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 with slim, two-section tail lights for a wider opening rear hatch.
For the first time in the compact class, Mercedes-Benz uses an optional two-section Airpanel louvre system behind the radiator grille opening depending on the cooling requirement. There is an additional louvre system in the air inlet below the registration plate, which further improves system performance.
The interior of the new A-Class is completely redefined with a completely new approach with a new feeling of spaciousness. For the first time there is no cowl above the cockpit so that the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other while 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 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.
New era of connectivity
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
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 by 10 per cent over the previous model. 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, the loading aperture is 20 cm wider than before, and the luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm longer.
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, vibration-free driving characteristics are a major factor in the grown-up, premium driving impression made by the new A‑Class. 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 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.
New, efficient petrol and diesel engines
The following three engine variants will be available on the launch of the A-Class, or later in the year
- A 200 (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 (comb fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 133 g/km)
- A 250 with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission (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 (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.
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. 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 15mm 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.
New Mercedes-Benz A-Class models at UK market launch:
|A 200*||A 200***||A 250**||A 180 d*|
|Power output (kW/hp)||120/163||120/163||165/224||85/116|
|Peak torque (Nm)||250||250||350||260|
|Fuel consumption, combined (l/100 km)||5.1||5.6||6.0||4.1|
|CO2 emissions, combined (g/km)||120||133||141||108|
0-100 km/h (s)
|Top speed (km/h)||225||225||250||202|
*Available from launch **Summer 2018 ***End of 2018