Mercedes is set to upgrade its smallest hatchback to keep it fresh and running amid competition from its traditional rivals, BMW and Audi as well as the fast rising rivals from the east. Although the new 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is slotted to go on sale next year (2017) as a 2018 model, we have already caught up with its prototype undergoing testing in Germany. The photos are a huge welcome considering the current third generation has been in the market for over 4 years now.
Although the first and second generations were not that much popular, the current generation was a huge hit due to its urban and stylish appearance not forgetting its luxurious cabin synonymous with Mercedes. The vehicle was a welcome for those buyers looking for a compact yet luxurious hauler. The model is a huge hit in Europe and Asia particular in India due to their small and usually congested roads. Read along to find out what the small hatch has to offer:
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Exterior
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class prototype that we saw testing was under heavy camouflage. However, from the mule we can predict that the model will carry many changes compared to the current model. The front fascia will feature a refined radiator grille and a more aggressive bumper. Flanking the grille will be LED headlights housed in new clusters. For improved illumination in dimly lit terrains, the model will feature LED DRLs.
The sides are likely to feature a black trim on the mirrors and door handles. The mirrors will be integrated with new turn signals. The side profile will also wear creases that are more aggressive and a more aggressive design for the wheels.
At the rear, the small hatch will feature LED taillights and a modified rear bumper. The rear also looks sharper due to the new roof spoiler.
Overall, the 2018 A-Class appears sharper than the current model which features more rounded surfaces. From the prototype, the model seems to be slightly longer and wider. Its rear doors look slightly larger which hints at extra legroom.
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Interior
While the exterior was under heavy camouflage, the interior is a mystery at this point in time. However, I expect the cabin to be very luxurious. The cabin will likely feature a multi-function steering wheel and a larger TFT screen display. A dual pod instrument cluster is also likely.
The model will also feature another touch-screen to host the infotainment system which will be mounted on the center console. As you would expect, the dash and seats will be upholstered in premium leather. I also expect the automaker to update the current model’s infotainment system with some semi autonomous driving technologies as hinted by the radars on the prototype’s windscreen.
Due to the expanded dimensions, the model will have a slightly better legroom and cargo space compared to the outgoing model and other rival models in the segment.
Engine and performance
The luxurious small hatch will be motivated by either a gasoline or a petrol engine. The petrol unit is a 1.6 L 4-cylinder mill good for 122 hp. This engine powers the hatch to 62 mph from standstill in 8.1 seconds and has a top speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).
The diesel engine, on the other hand is a 2.2 L, mill rated at 136 hp in the current model. With the diesel mill, the hatch hits 62 mph from standstill in a slower 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). The performance-oriented AMG 4Matic will be powered by an upgraded engine capable of over 400 horses.
Price and release date
It is too early to put a price tag on the hatch. However, the automaker won’t increase the prices significantly to avoid losing its market share to its rivals. We will update you on more about the hatch close to its release date which is scheduled sometime next year, probably the second or third quarter of 2017.
The A-Class is Mercedes answer to the BMW 1 Series, Audi A1 as well as the Volvo V40. The rivalry does not end there, the AMG 4Matic variant will, on the other hand, go head to head with the BMW M2 and Audi RS3.