VIDEO: All-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class – premium German hatch gets larger and smarter for 2018

Published 02 February 2018

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new generation A-Class. On sale from March, pricing is expected to mirror the outgoing model with the range starting at £21,000.

Larger and more luxurious than ever before, the premium hatchback will rival the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. It gets sophisticated semi-autonomous tech that will allow it to drive itself under human supervision.

Longer (120mm) and wider (16mm) than the outgoing car, the fourth-generation A-Class will have more head and legroom in the front and back. Driver visibility should be better too with the corner pillars reduced in size by 10 per cent to minimise blind spots.

The new A-Class will be more practical, with 370 litres of bootspace. This means it will carry more than both the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series when the rear seats are in place.

The cabin quality has also been bolstered with more soft touch materials while the design echoes the latest E-Class. The dashboard is dominated by twin HD displays that – depending on spec – will measure between seven and 10 inches apiece.

Like Audi’s virtual cockpit system, the driver will get a digital instrument binnacle that can be customised to show navigation directions, traffic reports and in-car settings.

The central screen will operate all of the in-car apps and features, as well as display maps and points of interest for navigation. There will be a new ambient lighting system with 64 colours. The turbine style air vents will also light up in the dark. 

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Ride quality and comfort should be better than before, thanks to the 30mm longer wheelbase and reworked multi-link rear suspension. Mercedes-Benz is promising affordable fuel costs too, with the A180d 116PS diesel returning an official 68.8mpg and 108g/km of CO2.

Given the backlash against diesels, petrol power should be far more prominent in the A-Class than before. There will be two engines to choose from and both will get cylinder deactivation tech that will save fuel by switching from four to two-cylinders under light loads.

The entry-level 1.4-litre unit will be the only engine to get a manual gearbox and produces 163PS with an advertised 55.3mpg. The 2.0-litre 224PS petrol - linked to the same seven-speed dual clutch auto as the diesel - will return 40.3mpg with 141g/km of CO2. 

As well as all-new mechanical underpinnings, the A-Class will boast an array of semi-autonomous tech that allows it to effectively drive itself under human supervision. Operated by a system of radar and cameras, the A-Class will be able to control its speed, change lanes and read traffic signs. It will also perform a full automatic emergency stop if required and apply the brakes if it detects a rear-end impact.   

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Arminius JP    on 3 February 2018

Should we avoid the ones with the Renault engines?

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