Mercedes-Benz has released a car that few people had actually seen coming. An A-Class saloon is now in showrooms and on sale with deliveries arriving early in 2019.
Audi has been occupying the prestige small-saloon market for some time now with their A3 Saloon and there’s been little in the way of competition. Mercedes are now hoping to jump onboard and upset Audi’s market share with this new A-Class saloon.
The A-Class Saloon will be equipped with a choice of two engines. Firstly, a petrol ‘A200’ unit which is actually a 1.3-litre petrol engine which will put out a pokey 161 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque. More potent petrol alternatives will surely follow down the line and we’d also expect some form of AMG version to compete with the outrageous Audi RS3 saloon.
The second engine choice will be an ‘A180d’ model featuring a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. This will be more frugal than the petrol and benefit from more torque (194 lb/ft to be exact) but it will only put down about 114 horsepower. Again, expect more diesel engines to join the lineup soon enough and they will all carry a bit more grunt.
Both models come with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and both are front wheel drive.
Interestingly, the Saloon model might be more economical than the hatchback despite weighing more. This is because of its aerodynamic drag coefficient which, Mercedes claim, isn’t only the best in the segment, but it’s the best of any car on sale in the world. That’s right, the current world record for the lowest drag coefficient is held by the Mercedes CLA-Class at 0.22 (the lower the better) and the new A-Class saloon will match this figure.
Despite both the saloon and hatchback sharing the same engines, the saloon will be slightly more economical as it cuts through the air more efficiently.
Another highlight of the A-Class saloon is the safety tech which is on-par with the ultra-luxurious S-Class. Every A-Class saloon will come equipped with the ‘Pre-Safe plus’ system which anticipates a rear-end collision, alerts the driver, then firmly applies the brakes if the impact is imminent. Other functions include the semi-autonomous mode which can be used in a number of scenarios, most favourably on motorway journeys. There is also the active lane assist which reads your position within the lane and will correct you if you start to merge without indicating.
So, down to pricing, the hatchback starts from £23,075 and the A-Class saloon is priced from £27,895.