The 2019 A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz to get MBUX - An AI-based infotainment system
Last year, Mercedes-Benz gave us a taste of what the fourth-generation A-Class could look like by unveiling the A-Class Sedan concept at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show. Now, Mercedes-Benz showcased the fourth generation A-Class hatchback at an event in Amsterdam earlier this month. What’s surprising, however, is that Mercedes-Benz is also planning on launching a sedan version of the A-Class hatchback this time around. Wasn’t the CLA supposed to the sedan version of the A-Class then? Well, yes and no. You see, Mercedes-Benz has now decided to launch a sedan version of the A-Class that promises to offer more legroom while retaining the existing CLA for a younger set of buyers. Think of it like the relationship between the E-Class sedan and the CLS, a four-door sedan with a coupe roofline.
Intrigued by the new A-Class? Read on
The new A-Class hatchback has grown in dimensions when compared to its predecessor. It is now 120mm longer, 16mm wider and the wheelbase has also gone up by 30mm. In terms of design, it gets a wider grille, slimmer headlamps and larger air dams that make the car look aggressive and lend it a wider stance. The overall design is more attractive now and it looks particularly smart at the rear thanks to its Porsche-like LED tail lamps and the huge rear bumper, which has twin exhausts peeping out of its blacked-out lower half. The side profile is neat and the increased length is prominent, with a not so sharp shoulder line running across it. This time around the A-Class gets optional 19-inch alloy wheels as well along with 16-,17- and 18- inch units, which are also on offer with the previous model. Speaking of the sedan variant, Mercedes has not said anything about the A-Class sedan, however, it is likely to look similar to the A-Class Sedan concept which was previewed at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show.
The new A-Class’ interior has been improved significantly when compared to the previous generation. The dashboard now gets a dual-screen setup like the ones found on other modern Mercedes cars such as the S-Class, the G-Class and the recently unveiled C-Class facelift. The setup is offered with three different screen options: two 7-inch screens, one 7-and one 10.25-inch screen and two 10.25-inch screens (depending on variant), one of which acts as the instrument cluster while other acts as the infotainment screen. The dashboard continues to get circular AC vents; however, they have been restyled and now feature an air turbine-like design.
Thanks to its grown dimensions, the cabin space on the A-Class hatchback has also gone up. With the increased shoulder, elbow and headroom, it also gets a larger boot of 370-litres (29 more than before).
The new A-Class hatchback is the first car in the manufacturer’s lineup to get an MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes says that with the help of AI, this system can adapt to the user’s need and provide him/her a personalized experience. It consists of a ‘Linguatronic’ voice assistant which can help you with playing songs, finding a parking spot, finding points of interest, and suggesting the best routes to those points, among other functions. It is activated by a hot word: ‘Hey Mercedes’. This system also gets touch controls in the form of a touchpad on the centre console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel along with a heads-up display. Other modern gadgetry offered on the new A-Class includes 64-colour ambient lighting system and multi-contour seats with climate control.
The new A-Class hatchback gets modern gadgetry to keep the occupants safe. It gets semi-autonomous driving and various driver assistance systems such as distance assist, emergency stop assist, active lane change assist and active brake assist. The new A-Class is also equipped with ‘Pre-Safe Plus’ that can predict imminent rear collision and prepare the onboard system such as brakes to minimise injuries inside the cabin.
Mercedes-Benz is offering the new A-Class with three engine options: 1.4-litre petrol, 2.0-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. The 1.4-litre petrol engine produces 163PS/250Nm while the 2.0-litre petrol is good for 224PS/350Nm. The lone 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 116PS of power and 260Nm of torque. All the engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; however, the 2.0 -litre petrol engine is also offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Mercedes-Benz currently offers only the A-Class hatchback in India. But since luxury sedans are more popular than hatchbacks in India, the German carmaker might introduce the new A-Class sedan here later in 2018 or in 2019.
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