Confused? Mercedes positions the slinky CLA as a coupé, despite its four-door body, leaving space for a full-size saloon based on the A-Class platform that offers more rear headroom and a bigger boot than the CLA. It’s a grown-up look that will play well for business users as well as those who prefer the classic three-box format.
The A-Class design cues of assertive grille, sweeping bonnet line and smooth flanks translates well to the saloon body style, helped by the fact that the A-Class Saloon is longer than the hatchback. Its boot is 420 litres, which is more than the hatchback A-Class offers with both rear seats up, although the saloon format and separate boot means there’s less capacity for bulky loads.
At launch in the UK the range includes the petrol A200 which is powered by an advanced 1.3-litre engine. This unit develops 163hp, giving it a 0-62mph time of 8.1 seconds. As with every A-Class, it comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard and returns 53.3mpg. For even better fuel economy, there's the 1.5-litre A 180D diesel, returning up to 67.3mpg counterbalanced by a slower 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds. In time further petrol models are expected to extend the range, including the more powerful A220 and A250 models. All models are front-wheel drive apart from the forthcoming A220 4MATIC which has all-wheel drive.
The Mercedes-Benz innovative MBUX infotainment system is considered by many to be the best in its class, and this is offered across the A-Class range. As well as voice command, you can also control infotainment by touchscreen, a touchpad on the centre console or touch-sensitive panels on the steering wheel. Twin displays measuring seven inches each come as standard, and one or both screens can be upgraded to 10.25 inches in size for the full widescreen effect. Sport specification includes LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, Artico man-made leather seats, a sports steering wheel and dual-zone climate control as standard.
Next level AMG Line introduces a sporty body kit and 'diamond' front grille, along with dual chrome exhaust finishers integrated into the rear bumper. It also includes 18-inch five-spoke AMG alloy wheels and a three-spoke sports steering wheel. Upgrades include Executive, with 10.25-inch media display, heated front seats and Active Parking Assist. Premium adds ambient lighting, illuminated door sills, the keyless-entry starting function, a rear armrest and a mid-range sound system, while Premium Plus adds front memory seats, multibeam LEDs with Adaptive Highbeam, and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Business users – and customers whose mental image of a Mercedes-Benz includes four doors and a boot – will love the A-Class saloon, because it has all the advantages of a compact car with the gravitas of a larger one. Once you’re settled into the interior there’s not much difference between saloon and hatchback, but that’s a good thing. Both have an interior generally acclaimed as the class of the field. And both have the coveted three-pointed star on the grille.
|Vehicle length||4292 mm / 169 in|
|Vehicle width||1780 mm / 70.1 in|
|Vehicle height||(unladen) 1433 mm / 56.4 in|
|Wheelbase||2699 mm / 106.3 in|
|Unladen weight (DIN)||1370 kg / 3020 lb|
|Engine / Cylinders||1.6-litre/4|
|Engine Capacity||1595 cc|
|Max Torque||200 nm @ 1250-4000 rpm|
|Max Power||90 kW @ 5000 rpm|
|Top Speed||126 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 9.2 sec|
|Combined cycle||51.4 mpg|
|Urban cycle||37.7 mpg|