Last week I hopped into the Mercedes Benz A 200, the sedan this time, which is based on the hatchback which won the Car of the Year 2019 Competition. It has a number of driving systems taken from the far more stately S- Class, which stands the A- Class in good stead. The new A-Class Sedan also features the new MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system, which ushers in a new era for Mercedes me connectivity.
The key dimensions of the new A-Class Sedan:
- Length/width/height: 4549/1796/1446 mm
- Wheelbase: 2729 mm
- Boot capacity: 420 litres
- Headroom front/rear: 1024/944 mm
- Elbow room front/rear: 1457/1446 mm
- Shoulder room front/rear: 1400/1372 mm
- Effective legroom front/rear: 1062/861 mm
It has a decent boot which holds 420 litres and is designed for practical usability. The boot opening is very large with a width of 950 mm and a diagonal of 462 mm between lock and lower edge of the rear window. This allows comfortable loading and unloading of larger luggage items.
The styling of the A 200 is great and the matte colour palette used was awesome. A long, low hood, pronounced shoulders, bold contours and assertive stance bring sheer excitement to the segment. It has less edges and creases to enhance it’s sleek looks.
Thanks to a range of wheels (17” to 19-inch wheels available), pronounced wheel arches, and slimline headlamps, the A-Class Sedan has a very sporty stance on the road. The front and rear wheel spoilers were optimised specifically to route the air around the wheels as efficiently as possible. The rims and tyres also underwent aerodynamic fine-tuning.
The two-part tail lamps underscore the clear rear-end that emphasises width. Depending on the selected equipment, this rear bumper is available with a black diffuser or with chrome trim strip and chrome tailpipe tips.
Space is actually quite good in the A Class, and front & rear is roomy. The centerpiece is a dashboard that dispenses with the traditional cowl to deliver a continuous surface from driver to passenger windows while the media display floats freely above. The air vents in a sporty turbine look are another highlight.
The ambient lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure. The 64 colours of the optional ambient lighting make five times as many colours available than before.
The fully free-standing cockpit is available in two versions:
- Standard with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm),
- Or Optional with two 10.25-inch displays (26.04 cm)
MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: unrivalled experience
The new sedan also makes room for an impressive display of technology. It revolutionizes the relationship between car and driver thanks to the Mercedes-Benz User Experience system (MBUX), which ushers in a new era for Mercedes me connectivity at the same time. One can access the multimedia system in a variety of ways: Touchpad, Touchscreen, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel — or even through Voice Control using every day, conversational language, which is activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes”. All the while, artificial intelligence learns about driving habits and preferences over time, ensuring that the A-Class Sedan more and more suits your style every time you take the wheel. The only problem I had was that the voice activation often did not interpret what I wanted it to do.
The A‑Class Sedan is available in two variants – the A 200 and the A 250 Sport, with the diesel model expected in South Africa in 2020. Both models benefit from new engines. The A 200 which I drove has a M282 engine which is powered by a 1.33 litre unit, which generates 120 kW and 250 Nm of torque with a 7G‑DCT dual-clutch transmission. This drive it offered was good, and the small engine performs well, even at altitude, and gear changes are seemless.
Handling in the front wheel car was good and steering was pointed.
Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class
The A-Class has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, and thus provides the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 metres ahead. The A-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance Package is able to provide route-based support to the driver in numerous situations, and to predictively and conveniently adjust the speed, e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.
The new A-Class comes with expanded Active Brake Assist as standard. Active Lane Keeping Assist is able to warn the driver by means of pulsed vibrations in the steering wheel when the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane at speeds between 60 and 200 km/h. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the stationary vehicle, thus minimising the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
The suspension with adjustable damping offers this exciting spectrum. The DYNAMIC SELECT rocker in the centre console selects the program and characteristics: “Eco”, “Comfort” or “Sport”. As though you had two suspensions in one car, refined sportiness.
The AMG suspension is systematically tuned for high cornering speeds with a low tendency to roll. As a result the dynamic potential of your vehicle can take full effect. For you this means more driving pleasure.
The comfort suspension offers you a dynamic overall package. It brings even better road holding. The suspension has been lowered by 15 millimetres and works with specially tuned springs and dampers: it has a much sportier configuration than the standard suspension. The A 200 was a great drive, needed a little more oomph for my liking, but overall a good car.
Technical data at a glance
|Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan 200||Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan 250 Sport|
|Peak torque (Nm)||250||350|
|CO2 emissions – combined (g/km)||124-119||153-148|
|Retail price (ZAR)||R533 400||R604 800|