Technically, this is the fifteenth launch for Mercedes-Benz India this calendar year, fulfilling its promise of “15 launches in 2015”. Of course, some of these have been updates like the new A-Class we see here. It has taken a couple of months but the newer version of Merc’s beautiful small car is here, assuring more efficient engines and a better drive experience.
We all loved the A-Class at first sight when it first broke cover globally in 2012, thanks to its stunning design. It was unlike any everyday Merc we had seen before. Not surprisingly, they haven’t tinkered much with the overall design for the mid-life refresh. In case you are scratching your head as to what is new, let us point out to the nose that now looks more pointy, thanks to the redesigned bumpers. It is less rounded and more edgy. This makes the grille stand out more prominently now. By the way, the single-louver diamond-cut grille will now be standard across models.
Headlamps have gone the LED route while the tail lamps get a design tweak. If you want to instantly point out a new A-Class from the old, look for the twin rear exhausts which now get embedded into the redesigned rear bumpers. Keeping in sync with the new naming nomenclature of all Mercedes models, the CDI badging on the A200 now changes to a simple‘d’.
Speaking of engines, the same options continue. On the diesel front is the 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit which now churns out 134bhp and 300Nm of torque. Merc claims it is also more efficient. We have little reason to doubt their claim and sources tell us that the real world fuel efficiency figure for the new A-Class diesel should be in the range of 13-14kpl. The petrol version gets the 1.6-litre Blue-Efficiency unit with 121hp and 200Nm. Both engines are teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch auto ’box, sending power to the front wheels.
Just like the exteriors, Merc hasn’t tinkered much with the fabulous interiors, but updated it with a larger multimedia display. Merc has integrated Apple Car Play into the COMAND system for a more seamless integration between the phone and the car’s onboard system. Yes, this is similar to the one Maruti-Suzuki also offers on the Baleno. Something that iPhone users will appreciate more than the rest of the world.
Merc has also taken the opportunity to include software updates to some of its systems. Like the Collision Prevention Assist which now comes with a ‘Plus’ that equips the A-Class with the capability of autonomous partial braking in an emergency. So far it only used its radar to warn of a collision and assists with the Adaptive Brake Assist system. Driver Attention Assist, which warns of levels of driver fatigue through some smartly placed sensors, now operates in a wider 60-220kph range. Not surprisingly, prices have also been updated. The A180 Sport is priced at ₹24.95 Lakhs, while the A200 d now retails at ₹25.95 Lakhs.
The baby Merc gets a minor facelift, more efficient engines, and gets more expensive.
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