Mercedes-Benz has a new entry-level model in the A-Class, which makes its Canadian debut for 2019. Available as a sedan and hatchback, the A-Class slots in below the CLA and replaces the B-Class as the brand's least-expensive model.
The name might be new, but the styling is familiar to the rest of the Benz range, and there are links under the hood, too. All models use a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In A 220 models, it's tuned for 188 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, and the A 250 gets a boost to 221 hp and 258 lb-ft. Both models are front-wheel drive to start but can be optioned with the 4Matic AWD system. A seven-speed automatic transmission is the only one Benz offers.
Small luxury cars are popular right now with aspirational young buyers, and Mercedes is looking to capitalize on that. Some of the A-Class's competitors are the Audi A3, the Mini Cooper and the BMW 2 Series.
We will be curious to see whether the A-Class can keep up, sales-wise, with Benz's own GLA-Class compact crossover. Utility vehicles are taking the industry by storm: we're actually a little surprised Mercedes-Benz brought the A-Class here instead of finding a way to shoehorn another utility into its crowded lineup.
The A-Class comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors, 17-inch wheels, Artico upholstery, heated front seats with power lumbar, leather-trimmed steering wheel, keyless start, 7.0-inch digital gauge display, a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, automatic climate control, the Mercedes Me Connect system, heated windshield washers, power-adjustable driver's seat, electric parking brake and rain-sensing wipers.
Most options are grouped into packages. A premium group brings blind spot assist, auto-dimming mirrors, rear cross traffic alert, MBUX voice control, passive keyless entry, 10.25-inch gauge cluster display, hands-free tailgate, ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A sport package bundles upgraded brakes, 18-inch AMG wheels and styling package and sport seats and steering wheel. A night package builds on that and adds high-gloss black trim.
A navigation group brings navigation, live traffic, traffic sign assist and augmented reality.
A tech package has upgraded LED headlights and automatic high beams and radar cruise control.
Mercedes-Benz's fuel consumption estimates are 9.4/6.8 L/100 km (city/highway) for the A 250; 9.7/6.8 L/100 km in the A 220; and 9.6/7.1 for the A 220 4Matic. At the time of this writing, Benz had yet to publish figures for the A 250 4Matic.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed