A restful drive to-and-from work, between states, visiting relatives or off on holiday helps make the time pass quickly and can help sweep away any load you might have on your shoulders. A car that helps you to arrive at your destination feeling fresh and ready for action is a car I’d want to own. Coincidently, I recently spent some time inside a Mercedes Benz B-Class – the bigger sibling to the new A-Class car. I was impressed with the new B-Class comfort levels, so when reviewing the all-new Mercedes Benz A-Class, I had the B-Class experience going through my mind. How does the A-Class drive? Let’s take a look.
As I viewed the car from a distance, my first impressions of the A-Class were that the four-door hatch design appeared the same sort of size and shape as the new Toyota Corolla. Of course the Merc had a flavour all of its own, and there was a bit more bling to the car’s finish. Carefully sculptured indentations on the side panelling, a clean body-coloured side skirt, beautiful alloys and charcoal coloured mesh for the detailing in the front air dam helped to set the crisp metallic blue paintwork off nicely (though I’m sure that any of the startling fresh colours of the new A-Class are going to look great), while the chrome three-point star at the front end always looks classy. I also thought the new A-class sat sweetly on all fours, and looked a balanced picture. Perhaps, the older Mercedes A-Class was a little top heavy in its appearance, and that’s why the curvy, low roofline and sporty stance of the new model stands out so much. Yes, the new A-class is fresh and flavoursome, and somehow the smallest of the Mercedes Benz family looks very grown up and roomy.
Slipping into the car’s interior reveals plenty of great design and flair. The seats are sexy and the new dash design eye-catching – especially with the triple sphere air vents in the centre of the dash. Below the vents sits the control panel for on-board functions like the climate control, and above the three vents is a classy HD screen for following satellite directions and other communications, audio 20 and journey data. Driving the new Mercedes Benz A-Class gets you feeling high-tech and sophisticated.
One of the great delights about the new A-Class is that it performs and handles beautifully. This is one little car that you can force hard around corners and you just know that she’s going to hold on. Great steering feedback and body control allows the driver to enjoy the dynamic A-Class chassis and sprightly engine performance. It’s great to see Mercedes Benz ensuring that the smallest model with the three-point star is a driving enthusiast’s car.
Two 1.6-litre engines and a 2.0-litre unit run on petrol, while a 1.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine provides a great alternative. Recently developed, the four-cylinder petrol engines use homogenous direct injection, variable valve control and turbocharging to provide great levels of torque and power outputs more readily associated with bigger engines. Obviously, the sport model is very quick, with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.6 seconds.
The turbo-diesel engine is placed in the 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model, and for good reason, because it flies and sips gently at the same time. The turbocharger has a variable nozzle turbine that can send a full 300 Nm of torque to the wheels at a mere 1250 rpm. This full level of torque is available through to 4000 rpm. Acceleration is instantaneous – just look at the 0-100 km/h time of 9.1 seconds which tells a story. All the engines available for the Mercedes Benz A-Class feature the ECO Start/Stop function ensuring that the engine is temporarily switched off in stationary traffic to save on your fuel bill.
Very neatly built, the A-Class is at the top end of the safety class. Nine airbags, Acceleration Skid Control (ASC), ABS, Brake Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, ESP, parking sensors and a reversing camera are all standard items on every model.
A variety of equipment and trim is available, even for those who are on a budget. And for those who enjoy as much as possible, there are packages like the Exclusive package with full leather upholstery and contrasting topstitching, an upper dashboard in black Artico man-made leather, fully powered front seats with a memory function, heated front seats, Thermotronic dual-zone climate control with rear vents, convenience infrared opening/closing, a passenger mirror with a reverse parking position and floor mats with edging in the car’s interior colour. The AMG Exclusive package offers Black Red Cut leather upholstery with red contrasting topstitching – and it looks stunning, believe me!
Mercedes Benz has got it exactly right on this one. Do test drive an A-Class if you’re on the lookout for a top-end small hatch.
The current Mercedes Benz A Class models include the:
For any more information on the new Mercedes Benz A Class or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Mercedes Benz dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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