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First Drive – Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The new A-Class is as different from its predecessor as it is possible to be


The domination of Audi’s A3 and the BMW 1 series in the premium hatchback market is about to be challenged by Mercedes new A-class

What is it?  Unrecognizable from the model it replaces, the new A-Class is longer, wider and slicker. It is not only one of the best looking hatchbacks around but it is the most affordable car with a three-pointed star.

First impressions of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The bold muscular front is enhanced by the dominant new diamond grille and over-sized three-pointed star. Our test model with the AMG trim bears the most resemblance to the A-Class concept car and is stunningly finished.

What about the interior? Inside the interior is a delicate mix of carbon-fibre trim and minimalist sophistication and is far more reminiscent of the SLS supercar than traditional Mercedes. There is also a host of gadgetry compatible for the iPhone, iPad and optional on board high-tech functionality such as voice-activated units and iPad music and Apps can be played through the car’s infotainment system.

And on the road? At the launch we had the opportunity to drive the Mercedes-Benz A-Class A180 CDI AMG Sport.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the city: The A-class is light and nimble with decent feedback from the steering.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the open road: On the road it is refined and even at high speed it is quiet while the ride quality is easily a match for rivals.

How Much? Priced directly against the competitors €26,435 is the starting price for the A-Class petrol 1.8 while the 1.8 diesel starts at €28,550.

How Safe?  A host of safety features have been passed down to the A-Class from its bigger siblings including emergency braking anti-collision systems, attention assist and tyre pressure warnings as standard.

What about my options: Power for the new A-Class comes from a 1.8-litre, 2.0 litre and 2.5 petrol engine. Diesel engines include  1.8 and 2.0 litre options. All models are available with a choice of three specifications and equipment lines – Style, Urban and Sports Pack. A full blown AMG sports version with all wheel drive and a whopping 350bhp  will arrive at the end of next year.

3 words to describe the Mercedes-Benz A-Class; Ravishing, Economical, Muscular

For more information check out Mercedes-Benz.ie or the Mercedes Benz facebook page

4th December, 2012

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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