2019 Mercedes A-Class
- 21st June 2018 by SGDriver
The Mercedes A-Class is “the hatchback” to beat. It’s quite spacious and a pleasure to drive.The new A-Class looks different, and it sits on a revised platform, too, with a new interior, technology and engines. The sleek exterior moves the old car’s aerodynamics into a new sexy dimension.
Mercedes says the changes it has made are equivalent to shaving 100 kg from the kerb-weight, while the improving their cooling systems. From behind the wheel, the A-Class is unrecognisable from its predecessor. Every model has digital dials and a wide central touchscreen as standard. However, it’s the technology contained within these screens that impresses most. The software is more advanced than in the S-Class flagship.
Standout features include augmented-reality navigation, which overlays images from the car’s camera with direction arrows, street names and house numbers. It activates as you approach junctions and proved surprisingly useful on our unfamiliar road or routes.
The firm’s new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) is standard on all A-Class models, however. It features the voice-activated ‘Hey Mercedes’ system, allowing you to adjust the climate control and ambient lighting or even ask for the weather forecast without taking your hands off the wheel.
The A-Class adds ‘future proof’ USB-C ports, so unless you’ve got the latest smartphone, you’ll need to buy an adapter to charge your device. Sport cars add 17-inch wheels, LED lights and automatic climate control, while AMG Line boasts sportier styling and 18-inch rims.
Active Brake Assist and Lane-Keeping Assist are included, as are a host of sensors from the S-Class. Quality is impressive, too. The blend of fine metals, plastics, wood and leather surpasses everything in the A-Class’s segment, as well as cars from the class above. Everything feels so luxurious.
The A-Class is great in corners – it’s clear that Mercedes has prioritised comfort over sporty appeal. The steering is light, and despite minimal body roll.The slick seven-speed DCT box has no trouble selecting the right cogs..
At a steady cruise it’s quiet, stable and composed. Mercedes claims it offers ‘C-Class levels of comfort’ – an assertion that is substantiated after a few hours on the road.
Basic models come with a twist-beam rear axle, but every launch car had a multi-link set-up with adaptive dampers. Overall, the set-up works well, but over harsh bumps it felt as if the suspension couldn’t keep up. Enough of this, it is still an awesome car.
Mercedes has extended the A-Class’s wheelbase by 30mm, but while this would usually add more cabin space, that extra length has been consumed by all the new safety kit and internal packaging. Headroom in the back is better, but the floor is set quite high.
This all-new Mercedes A-Class deserves to continue the success of its predecessor. It sets new benchmarks for design, quality and technology. The badge on the nose will be enough for most, but there’s much more to the firm’s latest family hatch. With the A-Class set to spawn seven further models, it bodes well for the future of Mercedes’s small car range.
Hey Mercedes, WELL DONE!