The A-Class is going to be the most affordable Mercedes ever but the company hopes that you will want to buy it for reasons other than that. The A-Class packs in technology and luxury in equal quantities, as you will discover in our detailed review below.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review
What is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine all about?
India is a changing country with a more affluent younger population that has the desire to own luxury products. That makes the segment of entry-level luxury cars quite appealing in terms of market share and also for buyers who can realistically dream about getting that fancy car earlier in their lives. The A-Class is for that kind of buyer.
It’s interesting to note that Mercedes launched the A-Class brand as a hatchback some years back, but this new car is a proper luxury sedan. The reason is clear and simple: the Indian market is not that matured to accept a 40 lakh hatchback, but a sporty and stylish sedan fits the bill better. The A-Class limousine would also be the cheapest Mercedes sedan below the C-Class while also being the most affordable Mercedes ever.
How does it look?
The A-Class Limousine is a proper Mercedes but it is not the kind you normally see as this one has a clear youthful persona. The styling is very much like the old CLA or the bigger CLS where it looks more like a four-door coupe rather than a typical sedan like the E-Class. It is more stylish and features very much an attractive design.
We particularly like the long and shapely hood while the roof slopes down. Further on, the headlamps and the grille being decorated with small diamond-like bits is a premium touch. The A-Class is smaller than the C-Class but has balanced proportions with a length of 4549mm along with a width of 1796mm. Indian spec cars also have their ground clearance increased plus you have 17-inch alloy wheels on offer. In total you have six colors on offer.
What about the interiors?
Step inside and you are surprised by the amount of room on offer or the air lay-out. You do not expect such a compact car on the outside to have a cabin like this. Also, the A-Class Limousine looks and feels expensive just like any Mercedes would or should. The steering wheel is a sporty three-spoke unit but what grabs your attention the most is a couple of displays being joined together. Both are 10.25-inches in size and we are glad that Mercedes is giving a proper digital display and not cutting costs.
You also get a nice slab of wood finish that continues across the entire cabin. Look closer and the quality is the same as you would get in an E-Class. The steering controls have a knurled look for the volume scroller while the air vents actually look like jet turbines! The buttons below are also of high quality. If you look elsewhere, there is also a touchpad to control various functions of the car.
Is the A-Class Limousine feature-rich?
Yes. Also, entry-level or not, the A-Class Limousine is still going to be a Rs 40 lakh car, so obviously features are what you expect and get. You get the basic 10.25-inch screens including a digital instrument cluster plus cruise control, paddle shifters, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, 64-colour ambient lighting, wireless charger, touchpad with haptic feedback, connected technology, and more.
What about the technology on offer?
Let’s start with the two screens as first of all. The display along with graphics is top class while the quality is also brilliant along with the layout. The digital instrument also has various displays and you can customize to your liking. Nothing has been pared down for this car.
The A-Class Limousine also has the latest Mercedes infotainment system called the MBUX. You can access it via voice commands with the phrase “Hey Mercedes”. The connected car technology has 43 features including live traffic, remote functions and even Alexa plus Google home integration. Hence you can pair your car with home assistance like Alexa or Google home which means you can control various functions of the car from your home!
Other functions include a “what3words” navigation function and technology like autonomous brake assist.
Is A-Class Limousine spacious?
The A-Class Limousine has a wheelbase of 2729mm and also has headroom of 944mm. Hence it is a lot more spacious than the previous CLA and also other luxury cars. While the transmission tunnel limits it to being a four-seater, the A-Class limousine has enough comfort and headroom for even tall passengers.
How is it to drive?
The A-Class Limousine comes with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol is a 1.4-liter turbo unit which makes 163hp and 250nm. It has a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The petrol engine is decent to drive but it is not very fast and you have to work the engine to extract the performance. That said, for a comfortable, luxurious cruiser, the A-Class petrol fits the bill and the gearbox is also quite responsive in the city.
If you want performance, then diesel is a better bet. It is a 2.0 turbo unit that makes 150hp and 320Nm while the gearbox is a new 8-speed auto. The diesel is more effortless and offers better performance along with snappier shifts. It is also more efficient over petrol engline at 21.3 kmpl with the petrol giving 17.5kmpl.
For India, the A-Class Limousine has its suspension tweaked and is also raised from the ground a bit more than the international spec, which means speed-breakers are a no worry. The ride quality is also nice and the suspension has the typical soft Mercedes feel which owners would like. The only issue we had — there is some road noise that filters in.
Should I buy A-Class Limousine?
There is plenty on offer for you to consider the A-Class Limousine, especially with its styling, features and technology, plus it has the proper Mercedes feeling of luxury. It does not feel like it is some sedan that has been slapped on a Mercedes badge. At Rs 40 lakh starting, the A-Class Limousine could be the perfect luxury car for the successful young Indian.