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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class revealed in the metal

By Cameron Kirby, 05 Feb 2018 Car News

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class revealed in the metal

Fourth-generation German hatch brings class-leading tech to woo younger buyers

Since its arrival, the current third-generation A-Class has given Mercedes-Benz a massive leg-up in winning over a younger demographic. As it stands, the average buyer age of Benz’s entry-level hatchback is ten years under that of other model lines, much to the pleasure of company executives.

And the German carmaker is hoping to continue wooing a younger crowd with the all-new fourth-gen Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatch, which comes packing the kind of tech traditionally reserved for the S-Class sedan flagship.

At the core of the new A-Class’s appeal is the debut of the ‘MBUX’ infotainment system. Courtesy of artificial intelligence tech, Mercedes-Benz claims the system will be able to adapt to the user to understand your preferences and speech patterns. Vocal instructions like ‘Hey Mercedes, I’m cold’, will result in the temperature being raised by a couple of degrees, for example.

If you don’t feel like using voice recognition to control the infotainment, the system can be interacted with through a 10.5-inch touchscreen (paired beside another 10.5-inch screen for all your driving information such as speed, navigation, and tachometer).

The improvements aren’t just electronic either. The new A-Class has grown over the previous model, with most of that growth being seen inside the cabin. Boot space has increased to 370 litres with the rear seats up, while shoulder room, elbow room, and headroom have all been improved front and rear.

There will be three different engines available at launch - the carryover 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine producing 165kW and 350Nm; an all-new 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol developed with Renault making 120kW and 250Nm; a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder putting out 85kW and 260Nm.

In Australia all will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with both front- and all-wheel-drive available.

It’s likely the A200 will be the first model to arrive in Australia (estimated to be around the third quarter), with WhichCar understanding the 1.4-litre petrol engine is will be the powerplant of choice for that variant.

However, the final details on engine range and specifications are yet to be announced.

High-powered A45 and A35 AMG models are expected to be revealed next year and will sit atop the A-Class family tree.

Aussie pricing will be revealed closer to the local launch.