Mercedes Class A 180 d, Test
The Mercedes Class A is a key model within the range of the German manufacturer not only for being the model of access to the brand in terms of price but also to attract new customers. Throughout all its generations, more than three million units have been sold worldwide.
The fourth generation of the German compact has recently arrived at the dealers and, after our first video contact in its presentation; we have been able to live with it for a few days to get to know him thoroughly. Looking back, the evolution of this model since its birth is impressive.
The first Class A arrived in 1997 in a compact MPV format that was maintained for two generations. In 2012 it was fully reinterpreted and Class A became a compact hatchback with a much more youthful and attractive design, a design that was later inherited by other models.
This new conception of Class A caused the average age of European drivers of that model to decrease by 10 years. It attracted a new type of customer, not only within the brand but also seduced an audience that had never considered having a Mercedes. I give you an example: in 2017, in Europe, more than 70% of people who bought a Class A had never had a Mercedes before
The aesthetics of the new Class A is a reinterpretation of the previous model and especially the side and rear views let glimpse those similarities between both generations. On the contrary, the front has undergone a remarkable change and draws attention to show a very low, wide and flat nose.
In this front stand, the LED Multibeam headlights that cost 557 EUROS and are highly recommended for its adaptive lighting system. Each of the 18 light-emitting diodes of the headlight can be switched off individually in milliseconds to distribute the light accurately.
More unnoticed another optional element that may be interesting. It is the Airpanel, which are two blinds behind the grill that open or close their slats according to the cooling demand, improving aerodynamics. It’s an extra that only costs 109 euros so it’s worth it.
Mercedes proposes a progressive line with a more avant-garde look and the AMG Line that enhances the sports side. The possibilities of customization go through the Night package with numerous elements in black, nine different shades for the body and up to ten sets of alloy wheels between 17 and 19 inches. Who prefers a model with three volumes can consider the Mercedes Class A Sedan 2019.
The sybarite interior of the Mercedes S-class has been extended to other models of the brand and with the Class A 2018 reaches the expensive hands. The interior design is avant-garde and striking and has been given a modern touch with ventilation diffusers in the form of a turbine with a galvanized surface.
At the disposal of the client, there are six types of moldings, fifteen combinations of upholstery and an interior lighting system with 64 colors to recreate different environments. Pity that in all options is always very present bright black plastic generates a good first impression but it is a very undesirable material in the long run because it is soon filled with dirt, fingerprints, and scratches.
The technological section is evidenced in a strong way with two huge screens of 10.25 inches each one standing out on the dashboard. One belongs to the fully customizable digital instrument panel, which is an optional item that costs € 545. It is definitely worth investing in it. The information can be complemented with a head-up display.
The other screen is touch and belongs to the multimedia system MBUX , completely new and really fascinating. It is one of the keys of Class A 2018 because in addition to all the options that can be expected from an infotainment system, the MBUX has an interface that shines through its natural voice recognition and that is able to learn thanks to artificial intelligence.
In this way we can talk directly with the car to indicate that it guides us to an address or a specific store, that the radio station changes, that it calls one of the contacts in the calendar, that activates the heating of the seat, that tell us the weather that makes a place or that tells us the price of fuel at the next gas station. the possibilities are endless
What makes this voice recognition system the best of the moment is that it is not necessary to give specific voice commands, but it tries to understand what we are asking for? For example, we can lower the temperature of the air conditioner saying “Mercedes, lower the temperature of the air conditioner”, “Mercedes, cool the car” or “Mercedes, I’m hot”,
An impressive range of instructions without moving a finger accommodated in our armchair. The ones in this unit are the sports seats with integrated headrest, optional for 315 euros. They are very hot in summer but the ergonomics have been very careful and among the multiple regulations, there is a six-inch extension seat that increases the support surface for the thighs of tall drivers.
The rear seats enjoy a good space along and up and are designed for two passengers because the central seat is much narrower in uncomfortable. Over the heads, the optional panoramic sliding sunroof brings to light, which, when opened, is able to automatically adapt the folding glass section in three positions as a function of the running speed, minimizing aerodynamic noise.
With a capacity of 370 liters, the trunk is 29 liters larger than its predecessor. Also, the access mouth is wider, facilitating the introduction of bulky loads. Space is very well finished and under the floor, there is a useful compartment for storing small objects. Folding the rear seats, a task that is carried out very simply, it reaches 1,210 liters of volume.
A Faultless Behavior
Gasoline options abound in the range of the German compact with the A 180, the A 200 and the A 220, which will be added to no less than three AMG versions. The only diesel version that is available at the moment is the A 180d and it is the main driver here. The previous generation had it but it has been updated and is now more powerful and complies with the new European emission regulations. Its (controversial) origin is Renault being the result of a collaboration agreement between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
It is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a power of 116 hp, a priori a relatively modest figure for a premium cut model but in practice shows a lot of drive and energy. It is true that with the stopwatch in hand the benefits are not particularly high (0-100 in 10.5 seconds) but of course no more horsepower is needed at any time and the 260 Nm of maximum torque that is achieved is very willful
The diesel engine can only be associated with the 7G-DCT double clutch and seven relations that have a very smooth operation without being particularly fast in gear transitions. Of course, you can also drive with the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The direction has a very artificial touch and is not very informative, moving without any effort when performing maneuvers. The guidance is very faithful and Class A obeys the controls without complaining about exhibiting a neutral behavior that brings a lot of confidence to the driver go at the pace that goes.
The suspension of the series is very comfortable although the inertias in the curves are translated that some small but evident balances of the bodywork. Optionally Mercedes offers variable active damping with electronic regulation that adjusts its performance either by going for a walk or by a spirited driving.
The star compact has Dynamic Select driving modes that modify engine response, gearbox, undercarriage, climate control or steering. The four available programs are Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual and the first of them perfectly fulfills because it is the most grateful with the qualities of the car bringing out one of its best qualities: it gives a superb driving comfort. No vibrations are transmitted to the passenger compartment, and the rolling is extremely quiet and smooth. Is it the most comfortable car in segment C? It will be yes.
The security equipment is very generous and is always welcome. However, it should be noted that the behavior of the lane maintenance assistant is too intrusive. It usually has a normal operation, that is, it makes a small correction of direction to stay between the road markings and issues a warning. However, very sporadically, the assistant decides to stop the car in an abrupt manner. An alarmist and disconcerting action that ends up inviting to disconnect the system.
The Class A 180d has an approved average consumption (NEDC) of 4.2 l / 100 km. To my surprise, this data can not only be achieved but even improve if the circumstances accompany and we strive to conduct a decisively efficient driving. Thus, it is possible to lower 4 l / 100 although in a carefree and varied driving the usual will be around 5 l / 100 km. If the routes are almost always in the urban environment, the most unfavorable scenario, it can be around 5.5 l / 100km. It is clear that the consumption is excellent at all times and without a doubt, it is the most economical version of the range at least until the future plug-in hybrid version A 220 e arrives.
With this new generation the Mercedes Class A ahead of its rivals to be placed in the highest segment C, at least in terms of technology and comfort. The A 180d is a very good option for its good performance associated with a very low fuel consumption and unparalleled driving comfort in this category. The main obstacle when deciding on this model will be the available budget.
Class A diesel is on sale from 32,700 euros resulting in 3,900 € more expensive than the A 180 gasoline and 136 hp. Also, keep in mind that the list of extras is very broad and can significantly increase the price. The unit we have tested exceeds the barrier of 38,000 dollars even though it does not have all the possible gadgets. Therefore we must be clear about what we want and what we can do without so as not to take a scare with the final bill.