The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is here and it is much better than it has ever been before. Especially since that first one we saw back in 1997, but it was the third generation that really changed the “A-Game”, if you will. And now, this new A-Class is taking things to a new level with what’s on offer. Is this the most technologically advanced car in its segment? Definitely!
The design philosophy, aptly named, “Sensual Purity,” strikes that balance between being bold, yet simple, striking yet subtle. It’s more youthful than it has ever been before yet is also grown up. It is bigger than the previous model but 20 kg lighter.
Step inside and you will notice just how differently Mercedes-Benz has approached this cabin. It feels more spacious and even the boot has been increased by 29-litres, now offering a more practical 370-litres of cargo space. But it is the MBUX system that really impresses. It learns and adapts to the driver through artificial intelligence so that it will eventually know you better than anyone (ok, maybe not that well!). Just say the words “Hey Mercedes” and you can adjust the air conditioning, send a text message, find the quickest route out of the city or play your favourite song.
“The new A-Class offers modern luxury at a level previously unthought of in the compact segment. It uses technology to create an emotional connection between the vehicle and driver,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa. “In many ways, our devices are extensions of our personalities and we’re now extending this approach to your car. You shouldn’t have to adapt to your car, your car should adapt to you.” The new A-Class even offers the ability to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations.
There are two engine choices available, namely the A 200 with its 1.33-litre engine or the A 250 which sees a 2.0-litre engine under the bonnet. A diesel engine is expected in South Africa in early 2019. The A 200 is predicted to be the bigger seller and with a claimed fuel consumption of just 5.2L/100 km, it is easy to see why. You don’t lose out on much power either with this engine pushing out 120 kW and 250 Nm of torque.
Mercedes-Benz has really listened to its customers and has developed a product that it can be truly proud of. It also gets us quite excited to see just how far this product can go in the future if this is what is already on offer. But for now, it is a comfortable and sophisticated compact hatch that will certainly appeal to the tech-savvy among us. It will remain to be seen just how long the ‘wow factor’ will last though, because there is sure to be more budget-friendly cars coming up the ranks in the near future with some impressive tech to match.
PRICING OF THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS
A 200: R499 000
A 250: R593 300