2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Unveiled
- All-new A-Class arrives in late 2018
- First A-Class sold in the U.S.
- Driver-assist from the S-Class
- Front-drive and 4Matic available
- Slotted below the $34,095 CLA
Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the U.S. version of the all-new 2019 A-Class, a compact sedan that will go on sale late this year. Unlike previous hatchback versions of the car (which weren’t sold here), the 2019 A-Class is a compact sedan with short overhangs and an arching coupe-like profile, making it look like a junior CLA.
“In response to the wish of many customers, we now offer the A-Class for the first time as a sedan,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “Anyone looking for a compact, sporty sedan with a separate trunk now has a new, attractive alternative. It will attract new customers for Mercedes-Benz.”
The 2019 A-Class sedan, built in Aguascalientes, Mexico, will be available as a front-wheel-drive A220 and an all-wheel-drive A220 4Matic, both powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. This transverse-mounted powerplant produces 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, which gets routed to the drive wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with shift paddles. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
While both Mercedes A220s have the same basic unibody chassis incorporating generous amounts of high-strength steel, a rigid passenger cell and McPherson strut front suspension, the all-wheel-drive model has a multilink rear suspension in place of the front-drive car’s torsion beam rear axle. The wheelbase is 107.4 inches, and the overall length of 179.1 inches means this baby Mercedes is still 3.6 inches longer than an Audi A3 sedan.
Although the A-Class is M-B’s entry offering, its standard equipment is extensive. In addition to MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system with touchscreen) with Voice Control, all new 2019 A-Class sedans are equipped with sophisticated safety systems that include Active Brake Assist and adaptive braking technology with Hill Start Assist and the HOLD function. In addition to an optional AMG Line and a blacked-out Night Package, the new A-Class will also have optional Keyless Go with Hands-Free access. With this system, a simple kicking motion beneath the rear bumper opens the trunk.
Mercedes says the 2019 A-Class has the proportions of a dynamic and compact sedan with short front and rear overhangs. Character lines have been kept to a minimum, and the wheels, which range in size from 17 to 19 inches, provide a sporty stance enhanced by pronounced wheel arches. The front of the A-Class is highlighted by a low and long hood, along with slim LED headlamps. Two-piece LED taillights emphasize the width of the car, with reflectors integrated into the back bumper. Depending on model, the rear bumper has either a black diffuser or a chrome strip with chrome tailpipe tips.
Inside, the new A-Class looks avant-garde, with a design that emphasizes the spaciousness of the interior. The dash draws the most attention; a traditional instrument binnacle has been replaced by a free-standing display that looks a bit like two iPads arranged horizontally behind the steering wheel. These two 7-inch displays (standard) or two 10.25-inch ones (optional), and the ambient lighting below them accentuates the free-floating look. Up to 64 colors of ambient light are available to help set the mood, and we’re happy to report that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
Of note, Mercedes says the new 2019 A-Class sedan will be able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations, leveraging its improved camera and radar systems. The car does have the latest driver-assist programs, some adopted from the big S-Class sedan. Most of these technologies are part of the optional Driver Assistance Package. This comprehensive package includes adaptive cruise control, active steering and brake assist, speed limit, blind spot and lane-keeping assists as well as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition. The new A-Class also has PreSafe Plus, which activates the brakes when a collision from behind is deemed imminent. This helps prevent subsequent accidents.
Back in 2013, Mercedes introduced its first small car in the U.S., the CLA. In 2017, more than half of CLA buyers in the U.S. came from other brands. Mercedes hopes that conquesting trend will continue with the 2019 A-Class, which goes on sale in the U.S. in late 2018. No pricing has been announced, but we expect it to be in the low- to mid- $30,000 range, and very likely come in below the 2019 CLA250, which starts at $34,095.