Review: Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan — When Style Meets Aerodynamics

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Mercedes-Benz is known to have the most inviting interiors with the top-notch build quality. Their cars offer comfort, luxury, and performance too. If the brand has been given the task of making their most affordable offering by retaining the core values of the brand, what would it look like? Let's meet the A-Class Limousine.

We have recently driven the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine on the streets of Goa with a scenic backdrop and narrow twisty roads. Does the A-Class meet the standards set by the luxury brand? Time to find out!

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Design & Style
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class features some of the brand's signature design elements all-around. However, the highlight of the new A-Class's design has to be its super slippery body shape. It is the world's most aerodynamic production car with a drag coefficient value of Cd 0.22. To achieve a slippery body design, the A-Class features a subtle design with clean lines on the bonnet and the side profile of the sedan.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Starting with the front design of the luxury-sedan, the sleek look LED headlamps with integrated LED DRLs catches the attention. Between the headlamps is the brand's signature design elements with a large three-pointed star placed between the chrome studded front grille. The front grille also houses a chrome strip that extends to either end, which enhances the rich look of the sedan.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The lower part of the front bumper houses the air dam at the centre and two air pockets at either end for better airflow and cooling. There are front sensors placed across the front bumper as well. To top it off, the company has placed another Mercedes-Benz logo just above the front grille, which is also a signature design element of the brand.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Coming to the side profile of the car, the dual-tone 17-inch alloy wheels immediately grab attention. Because the alloy wheels feature a black-element in between the spokes which will also help cut through the air easily, helping the aerodynamic design of the sedan.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The side profile of the sedan is enhanced by the chrome-finished window line and a dual-tone ORVM with integrated turn-signal indicators. The side profile of the A-Class sedan features a strong shoulder line between headlamps and taillamps, which gives the car an aggressive design.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The rear profile of the car features some more quirks, which includes a boot-lip spoiler, split-LED taillamps and dual chrome-finished exhaust tips. The taillamps of the A-Class Limousine have a unique design that stands out and adds to the elegant and flowy design of the car. The rear bumper also features a chrome strip between the exhaust tips at either end.

Finishing the rear design are the variant badging and the Mercedes-Benz logo placed on the boot-lid. The rear-view camera is neatly tucked in next to the boot-lid release button. It comes out of the housing only when the car is put in reverse.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been kept simple to achieve an aerodynamic body. It is made up of smooth curves and a flowing design with subtle use of chrome around the car to give a rich and luxurious look.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Cockpit & Interiors
Moving to the inside of the new A-Class, you will be surprised by the number of features that the sedan packs in. The interiors are well-laid out with the use of soft-touch materials on the dashboard, doors, centre console and more. The feel of the interiors is further enhanced by the use of wood on the dashboard and doors.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Adding a modern touch to the luxury-cabin are the turbine-style chrome-finished air-vents, chrome finished air-con switches, a multifunction steering wheel with mounted controls and the large-display unit, which comprises two 10.25-inch screens for infotainment and instrument cluster, respectively.

The touchscreen infotainment system is very smooth to operate and is responsive to touch. The interface is well laid-out and is easy to use. The infotainment system can be operated in multiple ways. This includes the touchpad buttons on the steering, the touchpad unit on the centre console, via the MBUX voice assistant and the old-fashioned touch inputs on the screen itself.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Speaking about the MBUX voice-assistance, the feature helps the user to control various features of the car by giving voice commands. The system also integrates to ‘Mercedes Me' mobile application, which enables remote operation of the car. This includes operations such as remote lock-unlock, vehicle status check, geo-fencing and more. The MBUX also features Alexa and Google Home integration, which is a segment-first feature.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Apart from the MBUX assistance, the sedan features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless smartphone connectivity feature as well. The A-Class also comes with a premium 12-speaker audio system from Burmester.

The instrument cluster of the car features a host of customization options. The user can choose from a host of dials and layouts, which will display all the information as per the driver's preference. The dials can be easily read regardless of the lighting conditions inside the cabin. The right-section of the steering mounted controls is used for the customization of the instrument cluster.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Speaking about the driver's preference and lighting condition, the cabin features ambient lighting, which can be customized to 64 different colour options. Giving more flexibility to the occupants are the power-operated driver and co-passenger seats with adjustable under-thigh support and memory function. The new A-Class features dual-zone climate control, which adds to the luxury experience of the sedan.

Below the three air-con vents on the dashboard is a wireless smartphone charging pad and a USB Type-C charging port and a 12-volt socket. There are a total of five USB Type-C ports placed across the cabin of the sedan.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Moving to the rear section of the sedan's interiors, the passenger does get two rear air-con vents. Below the rear ac vents are USB charging slots for smartphones and the rear of the front seats features pockets for storage. Finally, the interiors of the A-Class Limousine are offered in two colour schemes: Artico Black and Artico Macchiato Beige.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Mercedes-Benz cars are known to have the best interiors in terms of layout, design, features, feel, fit and finish. The A-Class Limousine is no different as the cabin feels airy, luxurious, comfortable and packed with features. The overall cabin experience is further enhanced by the inclusion of a large panoramic sunroof.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Comfort, Practicality & Boot Space
The seats of the A-Class Limousine offer excellent comfort. The front seats are well-bolstered keeping the front passenger in place with very less movement. The lumbar support on the front seats can also be adjusted to suit occupants.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The rear seats are fixed in position with a good amount of recline. However, taller passengers when sitting up-right will fight for headroom at the back. The knee room at the back is decent and will accommodate tall passengers easily. The rear seat comfort is further enhanced by the inclusion of the central armrest, which also features two neatly integrated cup-holders.

Speaking about practicality, the cabin features a host of storages spaced across the cabin. Starting with the front glove-box, which is big enough to hold a couple of water bottles along with basic documentation.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The centre console features two cup holders with adjustable flaps to fit different cup sizes. The front door pockets can take two 1-litre bottles and 1 half-litre bottle. On the other hand, the rear door pockets can hold 1-litre and half-litre bottles each.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan features a boot space of 405-litres (A200) and 395-litres (A200d), which is the largest in its segment. The brand has given the A-Class sedan a wider boot opening, which will help in loading wide and large luggage with ease.

Dimensions

Dimensions Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine
Length 4549mm
Width 1796mm
Height 1446mm
Wheelbase 2729mm
Boot Space 405-Litres
Ground Clearance 127mm
Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be offered in petrol and diesel engine options with automatic transmission as standard. We drove both petrol and diesel variants of the A-Class sedan and here are our impressions.

Starting with the petrol variant, it is powered by the 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine. It produces a maximum of 161bhp and a peak torque of 250Nm between 1620rpm and 4000rpm. The engine comes mated to a seven-speed (DCT) Dual-Clutch Transmission as standard.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Interest fact is that the 1.3-litre unit is the same one that powers the Nissan Kicks and the Renault Duster turbo variants. However, the unit of the A-Class produces more power and the DCT makes a world of a difference.

The petrol engine on the A-Class does not offer outright performance. With that said, there is plenty of low down torque and maximum torque kicks in at just above like 1500rpm. Nothing to get excited about, rev it hard and it will stifle your driving enthusiasm. Also, you can feel the engine is a bit strained at higher RPMs.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Moving to the diesel variant, the sedan is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit that is all-new from the brand. It produces a maximum of 148bhp and a peak torque of 320Nm between 1400rpm and 3200rpm. The engine comes mated to an 8-speed DCT.

The new 2.0-litre engine feels more powerful than its petrol-powered counterpart. This is mostly because of increased torque figures that comes even lower than the turbo-petrol unit. Considering it is a diesel unit, it offers excellent refinement, but at the same time a punchy power delivery.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The company claims an ARAI rated mileage of 17.50 kmpl for the A200 petrol variant and 21.35 kmpl on the A200d. With the limited-time we were unable to get an exact real-world figure. However, it is expected to be much lesser than the claimed figures.

The automatic gearbox on both engine options feels smooth going up the gears. However, the seven-speed unit could have done with smoother downshifts as the rev-matching makes the gearbox feel notchy at times. On the other hand, the eight-speed unit on the diesel variant is smooth in downshifts as well. Both gearboxes are very responsive when you take control manually via the paddle shifters.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The steering is direct and accurate allowing you to place the car where you want to go. In terms of feel, the feedback the steering offers is very little, but there is a nice natural feeling the way this steering builds weight when hitting the twisties.

And finally, in terms of the Chassis and suspension, we are driving this in Goa and the roads are quite narrow and twisty. Considering this, the A-Class handles the twistier sections with finesse and offers uptight body control; however, push it hard through corners and there is a bit of body lean, but it doesn't get upset during quick changes of direction. Also, there is a tad bit of tyre roar while driving on less than smooth surfaces.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

The A-Class also features the ‘Dynamic Select' system from Mercedes-Benz that features four drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport & Individual. The differences between each mode are the throttle response, steering characteristics, and gearbox behaviour.

On Eco mode, the sedan is set up to offer maximum fuel-efficiency with a light steering setup. The gearbox changes quickly giving prominence to higher gears. However, in Sport mode, the sedan is set up for sport driving with tighter steering and is very responsive to even the slightest of throttle inputs. The transmission in sport mode tends to hold gears at higher RPMs and will shift down with heavy inputs in acceleration for immediate power. The Comfort mode strikes a balance between both Eco and Sport driving modes.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

On the braking performance, the initial brake bite is excellent and comes with emergency brake assist as well. Overall, the A-Class is composed and pleasing to drive around town and higher speeds.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

Safety & Key Features
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is offered with a host of features inside and out.

  • LED lighting all around (headlamps, DRLs, taillights & turn signals)
  • 17-Inch two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • Leather upholstery
  • A 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • A 10.25-inch customisable TFT instrument cluster
  • 64 colour ambient lighting
  • Electrically-adjustable driver & co-passenger seats
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • MBUX voice assistance
  • Alexa & Google Home integration
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

    The A-Class sedan also comes packed with a host of safety features.

    • 7 Airbags
    • Blindspot information system
    • Hill-hold control
    • Traction control,
    • Electronic stability control
    • ABS with EBD
    • Electric parking brake
    • Emergency Brake Assist
    • ISOFIX child seat anchors
    • Reverse parking camera
    • Perimeter/volumetric alarm
    • Mercedes Me breakdown & crash assist
    • Pre-Safe head restraints
    • Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      Variants, Colours & Pricing
      The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be offered in single top-spec trim in both A200 petrol and A200d diesel variants. Mercedes-Benz will be offering the more performance-oriented A 35 AMG version in India as well. The A 35 sedan will be the second AMG model to be assembled in the Indian market, which will allow the German carmaker to price it competitively.

      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      The colour options on the A-Class sedan include Polar White, Mojave Silver, Mountain Grey, Cosmos Black, Denim Blue, & Iridium Silver. Only the Iridium Silver paint scheme option features the black interior scheme. The rest of the colours are offered with beige interiors.

      Pricing for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is yet to be revealed for the Indian market. The company will launch the luxury-sedan on March 25th, 2021. However, considering it is the brand's entry-level offering, we expect it to bear a starting price tag of Rs 40 lakh, ex-showroom (India).

      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      Warranty Offered
      Mercedes-Benz is offering the A-Class Limousine with a three-year comprehensive warranty. Also, the company is offering a segment-first eight-year warranty for unlimited kilometres for the engine and transmission as standard at no extra cost. The eight-year warranty is fully transferable to the next owner as well. This will help reduce the cost of ownership by a huge margin.

      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      Along with the standard warranty package, the company is also offering a host of maintenance packages for customers to purchase at an additional cost. The company is offering 24x7 (RSA) Road-side Assistance as well.

      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      Competitors & Fact Check!
      Once launched, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will rival the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe in the Indian market. Here is how both sedans stack up against each other in numbers:
      Fact Check

      Specifications Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe
      Engine 1.3-litre Turbo-Petrol / 2.0-litre Diesel 2.0-litre Turbo-Petrol / 2.0-litre Diesel
      Power 161bhp/ 148bhp 189bhp/ 188bhp
      Torque 250Nm/ 320Nm 400Nm/ 280Nm
      Transmission 7-Speed DCT/ 8-Speed DCT 7-Speed DCT/ 8-Speed DCT
      Starting Price* TBA** 40.40 Lakh

      *All Prices are Ex-Showroom (Delhi)
      **To Be Announced

      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review (First Drive): Design, Interiors, Performance, Handling, Specs, Features & Other Details

      Verdict!
      The entry-level luxury car class just got more exciting. There is absolutely no doubt, the A-Class gets a straight A for its interior, fit and finish and sophisticated infotainment system. It's an absolute dream if this is what you are looking out for and is decent to drive. With a host of engine and transmission options, potential buyers will be able to find a sedan to fit their requirements and get A-Class-ed!

      Written by Punith Bharadwaj; Reviewed by Jobo Kuruvilla and Punith Bharadwaj

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Read more on: #review #mercedes benz
Article Published On: Monday, March 1, 2021, 11:00 [IST]
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