2019 Mercedes A-Class — Not some cut-rate sedan

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(August 11, 2018) The 2019 A-Class sedan goes on sale in the U.S. later this year as a new addition to a line that includes the CLA and GLA, as well as (though not in the U.S.) the A-Class hatchback. It’s a far cry from the 1997 sandwich-floor hatchback that tripped over a moose in testing, having become a sporty entrée into the Mercedes-Benz lifestyle, rather than an entry-level competitor for VW’s Golf.

This isn’t some cut-rate sedan. Mercedes’ MBUX — Mercedes-Benz User Experience — multimedia system makes its debut in the A-Class, not the S-Class, and you can talk to it like you would Siri (“Hey Mercedes….”) through the voice-recognition system.

The available driver assistance systems are, Mercedes claims, the equal of the S-Class. Plus, the freestanding instrumentation comes in two sizes (a pair of 7.0-in. displays or two 10.25-in. screens) with backlit turbine-look air vents, and the optional head-up display and 64-color ambient lighting continue the big-car look and feel.

The 2019 A-Class sedan sits on a 107.4-iinch wheelbase, stretches 179.1inches overall, stands 56.9 inches high, and is 70.7 inches wide. It has been designed for greater rear headroom than its CLA stablemate, and has a wide and regularly shaped trunk opening for easy loading and unloading.

There will be two models available at launch, the front-drive A220 and all-wheel drive A220 4Matic. Both will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Power output is 188 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. Rumored AMG variants will follow with 300 to 400 horsepower, and an undoubtedly higher price tag.

All A-Class sedans will feature MacPherson strut front suspension. However, the front-drive models will use a torsion-beam rear axle, while 4Matic models will use a four-link independent rear suspension design. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 19 inches.

The Virtual Driver