At the New York International Auto Show earlier this year, we got a Facebook Live video demonstration of the latest feature to debut in the next-generation A-Class sedan: its latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system. Now, Stuttgart’s Silver Arrow revealed the rest of the car for the U.S. market earlier this evening in the heart of Brooklyn, in the Big Apple.
Making its debut is the world’s first-ever A-Class sedan as the model enters its fourth-generation. At launch, it will be available as the A 220 and the A 220 4MATIC, meaning the only differentiation thus far is the choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The A-Class sedan joins the latest A-Class five-door hatchback in Europe, while joining the CLA-Class here in America as another variant to the A-Class lineup. The A-Class sedan originally broke cover at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, following the debut of the A-Class five-door hatchback for Europe.
Initially, the A-Class was only available in Europe as a luxury B-Car, or subcompact as we Americans classify it. Originally a bulbous people-mover, the A-Class eventually morphed into a traditional five-door hatchback for the third generation while the B-Class assumed the role as the entry-level people-mover.
As automakers saw potential in the compact luxury market in the United States, Mercedes-Benz created the four-door coupe version of the A-Class, which we got in America as the CLA-Class.
The new A-Class sedan is the second variant to the A-Class lineup sold stateside, following the CLA-Class to arrive stateside back in 2013. The CLA-Class was the first compact model sold by Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. market.
At a length of 179.1 inches, 70.7 inches wide, and 59.6 inches tall, it’s a little shorter, but otherwise similar in size than the soon-to-be-outgoing CLA-Class. The wheelbase too is also slightly longer than the CLA’s at 107.4 inches versus 106.3.
Though with a higher roofline and more upright profile, versus the CLA’s slick back and lowered roofline – which mimics that of the larger CLS-Class – the new A-Class sedan offers more practicality and interior space. Another highlight for the interior is the introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s User Experience infotainment system, modeled off the dual-screen versions similarly found on more expensive models, such as the S-Class and upper tiers of the C-Class and E-Class.
That means A-Class sedan buyers can benefit from the vibrant and beautiful dual widescreen infotainment and gauge display previously seen on other models. To better fit the A-Class’s smaller interior, the standard model gets two 7-inch displays while higher-optioned models gain two 10.25-inch displays. But not only can one treat themselves with glitzy eye candy and technology as the inclusion of MBUX allows other technologies from the flagship S-Class sedan. Such includes Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, or Mercedes’ clever radar-guided cruise control, which utilizes GPS and navigation data to allow the A-class sedan to adjust its cruise control speed when approaching curves or intersections.
There’s also Active Brake Assist, or automatic forward braking and collision warning, lane-keep assist and PRE-SAFE predictive collision protection. The latter can detect an imminent collision and essentially “prepare” the vehicle and its occupants for the accident, by performing specific actions to try and reduce the severity of the impact.
Power comes from a gasoline 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet torque, mated exclusively to a 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic.
Suspending the new A-Class sedan up front lies a MacPherson fully-independent setup, while the rear axle is of a weight and cost-saving semi-independent torsion beam arrangement.
Opt for 4MATIC all-wheel drive however, and the rear-suspension changes to a fully-independent four-way multilink setup, which certainly promises better ride quality and handling over the cheaper torsion beam setup of the front-wheel drive model.
Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but we can expect such information to surface when it launches at local dealers sometime later this year. Stay tuned for our first driving impressions as well.