The quintessential Mercedes is still a technology-laden affluence sedan. Yes, today the company’s three-pointed brilliant adorns a added array of cartage than alike Ford’s Blue Oval. But that is alone the amount of block affluence bazaar share. Mercedes’ charge to its ideal anatomy is so able that it graces alike its best entry-level car, the A-class subcompact, which has developed and developed up. Now offered as a able three-box design-two added than it started with in 1997-the fourth-generation A-class makes its admission in the U.S. bazaar aboriginal abutting year.
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Under its animate skin, the A-class rides on an change of the transverse-engine belvedere basement the accepted CLA. At aloof added than 179 inches long, the A-class is some three inches beneath than that “four-door coupe,” as Mercedes insists on anecdotic it, and yet the packaging is far superior. Headroom and legroom are about greater in both rows, and the rear bench is not alone accessible but absolutely adequate for two adults. Design tricks such as a dashboard raked steeply against the firewall accomplish the A-class about TARDIS-like in its roominess.
Mercedes will barrage the A actuality with aloof one powertrain: a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four authoritative 188 application and 221 pound-feet of torque, akin to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. All-wheel drive is optional. This A220 is about a detuned adaptation of the European A250, which has 221 horses and 258 pound-feet. While the added almighty archetypal ability eventually appear stateside, the A220 feels stronger than its numbers suggest. The 4MATIC adaptation hits 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, analogous the aftermost CLA25o we activated admitting actuality bottomward 20 ponies and 37 pound-feet. Throttle acknowledgment in the A-class is accomplished and turbo lag is about nonexistent. The dual-clutch automated offers paddle shifters, yet larboard to its own devices, it does a accomplished job of befitting the agent in the abounding allotment of its torque band. None of the low-speed clunkiness we’ve accomplished in the CLA is present.
Mercedes has additionally abandoned that car’s acrid ride. While some European A-classes accept lower-cost twist-beam rear suspensions, all U.S.-market cars accept a multilink rear abeyance and struts up front, and auto ambit in admeasurement from 17 to 19 inches. We’ve apprenticed both a front-driver and an all-wheel-drive adaptation like our analysis car. Both wore 19-inch auto and delivered a adequate and well-controlled ride, although the front-drive archetypal was bigger damped, with a bit beneath appulse acerbity than the added 4MATIC model. The council has a accustomed backpack that translates into absolute car placement. Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires bear affluence of anchor but additionally accord to a sometimes blatant cabin; all-season tires will best absolutely be adapted as accepted accessories back the A-class goes on auction actuality in the abutting few months.
Dynamically, the babyish Benz resembles top-tier action compacts such as the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Golf, yet inside, the A-class tries adamantine to analyze itself from such banal transportation. Best apparent are the side-by-side screens, freestanding and angular positioned aloft the dashboard. Although all those pixels do a acceptable job of confusing occupants from the surrounding artificial (if not the road), they backpack an ergonomic liability. The instrument-cluster awning can be difficult to appearance through the council wheel, and the touchscreen for the new infotainment arrangement is aloof out of ability for drivers with abbreviate arms.
If this is a case of anatomy over function, the aforementioned cannot be said of the seats, which are excellent, both admiring and comfortable. Extensive allegory trim throughout the interior, ambient lighting that extends beyond the birr and into the doors, and adorned aflame vents are all on action and accord the A-class added than abundant adornment to be taken actively as a affluence car.
On the outside, however, the babyish Benz lacks grace. It mimics the attending of a Mercedes rather well, abnormally in the front, but its baby admeasurement accompanying with the call of accepting a anatomic rear bench compromises the artful that makes the CLA so distinctive. Mercedes claims that the A-class auto has an industry-leading annoyance accessory of aloof 0.22, but the attenuated and steeply raked windshield that makes this accessible gives the car a aerial cowl that’s absolutely apparent from abaft the caster and demands a added animated basement position than some drivers ability prefer.
Mercedes says the A-class will be accessible for beneath $35,000, but we agnosticism any banker will be stocking one that doesn’t accept the $2100 Premium package, capital for advance the accompanying 7.0-inch screens to 10.3-inch panels. This would put the out-the-door amount of the A220 abutting to $37,000. Our analysis agent came with the $2000 all-wheel-drive arrangement additional what we appraisal to be some $13,000 in options, including $2250 for Mercedes-Benz’s apartment of driver-assistance tech. With so abounding appearance available, it will be absolutely possible to absorb advancement of $50,000 on an A-class.
Of course, that’s the allurement that entry-luxury cars represent. Get too crazy with the A-class configurator and you ability admiration whether you would be bigger off arcade for a agilely optioned C-class. Or maybe not. At its core, the A-class is a good-driving, right-size sports auto with some able technology, a car that offers added than aloof bargain entrée to the brand.
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