Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the definitive production model of its A-class sedan at the 2018 Beijing motor show.
The sixth member of Mercedes-Benz’s compact car line-up – which goes under the internal codename Z177 – draws heavily on the earlier Concept A sedan unveiled at last year’s Shanghai motor show. Its appearance combines the distinctive front-end styling of the recently introduced fourth-generation A-class hatchback, while its rear end is reminiscent of the latest third-generation CLS.
Although the A-class sedan sold in China (or the A-class L sedan as it is officially named) receives a 60mm longer wheelbase than what the automaker has planned for sale global markets (at 2,279mm), officials confirm the two variants of the new four-door boast the same styling. The shorter wheelbase reduces its length to 4,549mm, making it 91mm longer than the Audi A3 sedan.
The new Mercedes-Benz model is specifically aimed at rivalling the Audi A3 sedan. Not to be confused with the yet-to-be revealed second-gen CLA, the A-class sedan is one of eight compact new compact models planned by the German carmaker. The other seven including the new A-class hatchback as well as successors to the existing B-class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA. A new compact SUV is also in the works and likely to be named the GLB another yet-to-be-confirmed model is also planned.
Inside, the new A-class sedan adopts the same high-quality dashboard and advanced infotainment functions as the new A-class hatchback, including Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX operating system that introduces touchscreen control, conversational speech recognition and the ability for two users to connect simultaneously.
In China, the A-class sedan will initially be sold with a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 136hp in base form or 163hp in a mildly higher state of tune. It will be joined shortly after the new four-door’s introduction by a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 190hp. Both engines will be offered exclusively with a standard seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.
India launch under evaluation
As we reported in February 2018, Mercedes is conducting a study evaluating the possibility of introducing the new A-class(standard wheelbase) in India. It has to decide between the new A-class sedan and the yet-to-be-revealed next-gen CLA as both models have their strengths that will appeal to Indian buyers.
While A-class is more practical and has a greater back seat usability, the CLA has a coupé-like exterior that lends the model a sporty look. The current-gen CLA has found reasonable success in India. However, the cramped rear seat of the CLA has left some prospective customers asking for more.
Merc's team conducting the study for India will have to evaluate some key points such as, are owners in this class only looking for a self-drive car at this price point? Will the greater practicality of the sedan’s back seat appeal to them? If the new A sedan is vehicle of choice for India, it could take the German carmaker up to a year to introduce it in the country.
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-class sedan image gallery