The new-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has finally been unveiled, boasting more sophisticated looks compared to its predecessor, more efficient engines and plenty of modern safety and convenience tech.
As far as styling is concerned, the new A-Class represents a next step in Mercedes‘ design philosophy of Sensual Purity. Gone are the aggressive lines of the third-generation model, replaced by a more elegant and mature aesthetic, similar in design to the all-new CLS.
The sixth-generation set-up features a newly developed MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) function that brings touchscreen control, an innovative voice control system and augmented reality navigation not even offered on Mercedes’ range-topping S-Class.
If you want revolution, rather than evolution, then look inside. The ground-breaking design (which was first seen last year) features a pair of free-standing instrument panels and turbine-style air vents, with ambient lighting used to highlight the separate sections of the dashboard.
Future buyers can choose between the following three touchscreen display combos: either two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), one 7-inch and one 10.25-inch (26 cm) display or two massive 10.25-inch displays.
Since this model has grown up in more ways than one, we should mention that there is more shoulder, elbow and headroom than ever before, and it’s all thanks to the longer wheelbase and wider track. There’s even more room for luggage with a total of 370 liters (13 cu.ft) available – 29 liters (1.02 cu.ft) more than in the previous model.
The car is is based on a modified version of the outgoing model’s MFA platform and features a 30mm longer wheelbase and 14mm wider front track. The new Mercedes hatch, which has the internal codename W177, is also claimed to offer vastly improved levels of refinement. This is thanks to improvements in the rigidity of its body structure, altered axle mountings and more comprehensive sound-deadening measures. There are also enhanced aerodynamics: Mercedes-Benz claims a class- leading drag coefficient of 0.25 for the new A-Class.
The newly designed headlights can be specified with optional Multibeam LED technology with adaptive high-beam assist plus, as well as individual city and motorway lighting functions and cornering lights.
New LED rear lights help to make the tailgate aperture of the A-Class 20mm wider than that of the outgoing model. Larger wheelhouses also allow Mercedes to offer 19in wheels as an option on non-AMG models for the first time.
The adoption of the larger platform has led to an incremental increase in the car’s external dimensions. Length is up by 120mm at 4419mm, width increases by 16mm to 1796mm and height extends by 2mm to 1440mm.
There will eventually be a full range of engines, but at launch the A-Class will come with just two engines. Both are brand new turbocharged units, and the A 200 has a four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol engine that develops 161bhp. When paired with the dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission, it has cylinder shut-off technology that helps to give claimed fuel economy of 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 120g/km.
Meanwhile, to start with, the only diesel option is the A 180d. This turbocharged 1.5-litre unit develops 114bhp, has claimed fuel economy of 68.9mpg and emits 108g/km of CO2.
On request, buyers can opt for the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system as well as a choice of suspension systems, with available active damping control.
The 2018 all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will go on sale next month, taking the fight to the likes of the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3, Infiniti Q30 and Volvo V40.