Remember Mercedes-Benz’s Concept A from the Shanghai show a year ago April? That’s pretty much what the production Mercedes A-Class sedan looks like, and we get it later this year as a 2019 model.
That’s right, since its launch in 1997 the A-Class has never been sold here until now, Mercedes figuring the CLA sedan was as downmarket as it wanted to go. Over three generations, though, the A-Class has grown in both size and stature. The company thinks this fourth generation is ready for the U.S. market.
Thus the A220 and A220 4MATIC; both sedans use a 2.0-liter turbo four for power, producing 188 hp and 221 lb-ft, mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Mercedes hasn’t given a zero to 60 mph time but did say the car is limited to a 130-mph top speed. The A-Class’ 179-inch overall length puts it within five inches of Audi’s A3 sedan and just a few inches shorter than the company’s CLA sedan.
The A-Class debuts a multimedia system the company says is a “new era for connectivity.” Mercedes calls it MBUX, an artificial-intelligence system that can be operated by voice control (just say “hey, Mercedes”), the touchpad or the touchscreen (a Mercedes first). The standard safety equipment list includes active brake assist and adaptive braking technology while options include AMG Line trim and keyless-go with hands-free access.
The interior is a highlight if you get the optional high-res digital instrument cluster. The dash looks fantastic, extending without visual interruption from door to door. The whole thing looks upscale — as though it came straight out of an S-Class.
Other S-Class goodies trickle down too. Active distance assist distronic cruise control predictively adjusts the speed when approaching corners or roundabouts. Active emergency stop assist and active lane change assist are included as part of the Driver Assistance Package.
Prices weren’t announced yet, but the CLA starts at $33,100 so we’re guessing the A sedan will be in that range. We also suspect the car is going to spawn the next-generation GLA, the closest thing to an A-Class we’ve driven here.