Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new A-Class hatchback with a host of fresh features, calling it the ‘benchmark’ of the compact class.
The German brand has given this fourth-generation an aggressive facelift with a lowered front end, new grille, longer and wider wheelbase, and larger wheel arches for a more spacious feel.
Intelligent voice control features for the first time in a Mercedes-Benz and can be activated using the phrase: ‘Hey, Mercedes’. This can control destination input, phone calls, music selection, messaging, weather forecasting and climate control.
The dashboard has been replaced by two ‘floating’ screens – as seen in other Mercedes models.
Customers can select either two 7in displays, two 10.25in screens or one of each. Under the bonnet the A-Class is available with either a 1.4- or 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with 161bhp and 221bhp respectively, or 1.5-litre (114bhp) diesel engine.
Meanwhile, new MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension should lead to a better ride and improved handling.
Ambient lighting with 64 colours, illuminated air vents in a turbine look, heated seats, climate control and massaging seats are also optional extras.
An array of new safety tech includes Distronic distance control, active steering assist, emergency stop assist, active lane change and a semi-autonomous driving mode.
However, the A-Class still retains its practical nature. The longer and wider body gives occupants more shoulder, head and leg room as well as increased space for luggage. A Night exterior package is also available, with 18-inch alloys, black mirror housing, a diamond grille, and tinted windows.
Gorden Wagener, chief design officer, said, “The interior represents modern luxury at a level previously unattained in this class.”
Mercedes has yet to release prices for the car, but the current generation starts at £20,715.