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2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220 First Drive Review

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2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220 First Drive Review

Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly needed to relearn a easy lesson: An air of European sophistication does not make a car bought abroad play in America. The circa 2001 C-Class hatchback was a poor match, however the GLA and CLA have since then come nearer to the best components for each side of the Atlantic. The brand new A-Class, coming to our shores as an A 220 sedan, is even higher suited to our tastes.

Word that this is not a CLA alternative. The CLA is a “4-door coupe”, and the A is a correct sedan. They’re definitely comparable – two entrance-drive-based mostly 4-doorways under the C-Class – however the CLA will soldier alongside for a bit, analogous to the CLS and E-Class state of affairs. So Mercedes says. The brand new, sharp strains of the A-Class and the age of the CLA, which debuted in 2013, cannot be discounted.

Truly, the styling is clean and clear; a few character creases, however all the things else is an train in discount. There is a extra typical pertness to the rear, a brief overhang with out the droop current within the greater C-Class. Distinction the extra uncommon proportions of the CLA with the A’s smaller, extra angular headlights set extra flushly right into a handsomely upright fascia. Much less is extra, we think.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 220

The interior of our loaded-up Premium Package deal A 220 is not understated within the least, an extremely-modern riot of shade and texture. Dive right into a tunnel and the ambient lighting, backlit metallic eyeball vents, and twin screens all scream in your consideration. It is shock and awe with a whiff of a Virgin Atlantic cabin – sparkly like a fishing lure to hook a purchaser. Will it age properly? Will consumers look nearer and discover the tough edges and cheaper supplies in any other case hidden by the glare of the aptitude? Who cares? Promote the factor and transfer on. A minimum of there is no extra hand-wringing about whether or not this kind of factor will postpone “conventional Mercedes consumers” – everybody needs tech-ahead, youthful signaling, and the A Class delivers.

There’s a lot much less emphasis on the mechanicals, not almost so flashy because the tech-intensive interior expertise. The turbocharged inline 4, rated at 188 horsepower and 221 pound-ft of torque, makes the A 220 swift however not thrilling – and fewer highly effective than the CLA 250. A 7-velocity transaxle sends energy to both the entrance wheels, or in 4Matic guise, all wheels. There are wheel-mounted shift paddles, however based mostly on sluggish responses and a bent to second-guess the driving force’s inputs, it is best to go away it to fend for itself. That is in all probability OK – and the AMG A 35 (and perhaps A forty five) would be the car for the opposite sort of purchaser.

188 horsepower is not rather a lot today, however the torque comes on richly, and the A 220 does not appear to weigh a lot. About that: we do not have a curb weight. Mercedes would not present even a ballpark. Similar goes for lots of different specs. These are pre-manufacturing automobiles, and the specifications might change earlier than it goes on sale, nevertheless it’s irritating to not even have estimates to share with you.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 220

Base A 220s have a torsion beam rear axle, however all-wheel drive fashions and entrance-drive automobiles with bigger wheels or adaptive dampers feature a multi-hyperlink design with torsion bars at each ends. There are a number of out there suspension tunes: consolation, “lowered consolation with AMG Line”, or an adaptive suspension.

Each of our test automobiles have been fitted with the AMG Line suspension and the identical wheel and tire package deal. Cornering is about the identical for each, with roll properly-managed, however the journey high quality in a straight line was drastically totally different. The 4Matic car is poorly damped, bouncing on its springs over each street imperfection – sufficient, in all probability, to induce carsickness in these susceptible to it. Distinction this with the standard European-type damping of the entrance-drive car, firmly absorbing most bumps with a little bit of crash over bigger ones. The elective 19-inch wheels are in all probability liable for the crashiness, and different trims will supply smaller sizes. However we do not know how one can clarify the discrepancy between the 2 ostensibly equal suspensions, which different drivers reported of their 4Matic automobiles. We hope Mercedes makes an adjustment right here earlier than the automobiles go on sale. Because it stands, the entrance-driver has a vastly superior experience.

This can be a compact car, however save a scarcity of driver headroom the remaining is fairly sized. The entrance seats are bolstered sufficient to carry the entrance passengers in place with out jostling the kidneys. One tester had full leather-based seats, the opposite had microfiber inserts – each appeared and felt premium. The rear seats match my body properly (I am 5’10”, about one hundred fifty five lbs) though there wasn’t a lot additional room for knees with the seat in entrance set for a equally-sized grownup. Behind the seats, the trunk seemed large enough to swallow three or 4 roll-aboards. Once more, we do not have interior quantity numbers to share, however no a part of the interior appears unusually cramped.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 2202019 Mercedes-Benz A 220

The interior area within the A 220 is dominated by the MBUX infotainment expertise and the non-compulsory twin 10.25-inch screens (twin 7-inchers are standard). The suitable-hand display is now a touchscreen, with slightly touchpad on the middle console and two little thumb controls on the steering wheel as alternate interfaces. The opposite interface is aural – say “hey Mercedes” and it will ask you what you need to do. Extra precisely, say just about something after which “Mercedes” – like “my Mercedes” or “that Mercedes” – and the system perks up, hoping you will ask it to do one thing.

What it might do, theoretically, is formidable. Pure language recognition and cloud-based mostly processing ought to help you ask it for “the highest-rated Mexican restaurant with burritos close by” or a equally-complicated question, and it will truly parse that and offer you a number of choices. In the actual world, not each query like that generated an actual response. Extra aggravatingly, MBUX will not inform you what concerning the query was unclear – not that we anticipated it to, since that is not within the billing for MBUX. However after utilizing it, that is what we would like.

After loads of “hey Mercedes” testing – and numerous unprompted interruptions from MBUX hoping we have been asking it one thing – we came upon you possibly can flip it off within the system menu. You’ll be able to nonetheless press the speech button on the steering wheel, like lengthy urgent on the house button on most iPhones, and the system will deliver up the speech recognition immediate. However there’s a lot of potential right here. It is hooked as much as the car’s bodily methods – the HVAC, even a bit of studying mild within the mirror, that type of factor – so you do not have to dive into settings menus to regulate some issues. In any other case, the touchscreen reacts shortly, and the brand new menu codecs work nicely. The touchpad is even intuitive – one thing that Lexus engineers ought to examine rigorously.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220

For all of the promise of the A-Class it’d stand out extra if it did not share a showroom with two older counterparts occupying the underside rungs of the Mercedes ladder. The older, dowdier CLA theoretically is positioned above the A 220, and the GLA sits within the scorching crossover phase. Have been neither to exist, we think Mercedes would have a neater time explaining this car’s objective to potential clients. Given the flashy new interior and tauter exterior, would you need to be “upsold” right into a CLA? By the best way, pricing can also be TBA, however given the CLA 250’s roughly $33,000 beginning price, we anticipate it to start out slightly below that. Given our tester’s in depth choices listing, we have been in all probability driving $forty five-50,000 automobiles.

At the very least the competitors is slim. The A3 has a minimalistic attraction, and Digital Cockpit is neat, however the A 220 has as much as 20.5 inches of display to point out off. Mechanically it is principally a draw, however the A 220 can also be not insignificantly greater. BMW does not have a direct competitor, however the 2 Collection is inside putting distance – and rear-drive based mostly. Have been it not for its stablemates muddying the gross sales pitch, the A 220 would make higher waves.

Excepting the confounding journey of the A 220 4Matic, the car has an inherent goodness to it. It is simply probably the most good-looking of the model’s entry-degree trio, snug for an extended drive, sporty with out being onerous-edged, proper-sized, and it presents an unparalleled interior expertise at this finish of the market. Contemplating all of the A 220 does proper, why does the CLA have to exist? The A-Class is extra good-looking, feels extra premium inside, and is rakish sufficient to make the excellence between it and its “4-door coupe” counterpart appear educational. Even in case you settle for the CLA’s existence within the lineup with out query, drive an A 220 and you will find it is the true Mercedes of compact sedans.

– 2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220 First Drive Review –

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