Digital and more autonomous than the 2019 Mercedes A-Class W177 is currently not a compact. It will be more practical, bigger and more comfortable. Almost like a big Daimler.
Now you just have to find a parking space. So far, the A-Class has done everything right. Upon request, it has listed the main attractions of the Old Town of Split. More than the sentence “I would like to see sights in Split” was not necessary. They can then take over directly as Naviziel and you can start. The new A-Class understands. At least most.
The left arm is lying relaxed on the windowsill, the thumb strokes occasionally gently the small touchpad on the steering wheel. Otherwise, the request comes to take your hands on the steering wheel. The 2019 Mercedes A-Class directs itself, brakes, changes the lane, keeps the distance and the speed limit, before curves it goes from the gas, at stop-and-go she drives alone again. Just like the big Daimler S-Class or CLS. It’s better that way because you easily lose yourself in what Mercedes MBUX calls “Mercedes-Benz User Experience”.
The voice control is only part of it. Whole worlds open up. “Theme worlds”, which are called “experience”, “efficiency” or “journey”. Infotainment and the digital instrument panel adapt, the lighting mood and the driving mode. Sometimes fuel consumption or a graphic about driving style comes into focus, Dynamic Select switches from Comfort to Eco. Or power output and current torque are displayed as well as tachometer and speed. To do this, the A-Class changes to Sports mode. You are also allowed to program such theme worlds yourself.
Performance in Test
But you can also easily drive with the new A-Class, which is quite good despite all the digital distraction. For example, in the A 200. Under its hood sits the 1.33-liter four-cylinder from the cooperation with Renault. With its 163 hp and 250 Newton meters of torque, you can swim on the city highway. You roll relaxed, the small turbo cylinder deactivation hardly sounds.
Until you force it to give the sound: Then the micromotor turns happy, but sounds uncouth and too loud. Mercedes says only the fuselage engine comes from Renault. Vote and periphery are pure Mercedes. Nevertheless, if you want smooth running and a smooth sound, is wrong here. Whereby for the A 200 of the detached generation W 176 was also valid.
Getrag’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DCT) is also new. It works a bit more harmoniously than the DCT in the predecessor. When starting from a standing position, it has problems and sends too much moment to the front wheels. When kicking down, it lets the small turbo briefly turn up before it changes gears. And: Especially on gradients, it sometimes shuts down a gear too much, if you ask for a little more power. Then the engine yells and you can feel how small it is.
The rest of the A-class became much bigger. Mercedes has extended the wheelbase compared to the W176 by three centimeters. The entire car grew by almost 12 centimeters. A space wonder is not the A-Class with its 4.42 meters in length, as little as the old. But in the trunk now fit 370 liters (plus 29 liters), the flap is 20 centimeters wide cut free and the legroom on the rear seats grew. Above all, the new generation will be more comfortable and, well, more serious.
This means: It now springs like a larger Mercedes. At least with the optionally adjustable chassis and the multi-link rear axle. There are standard with the strong engines, so currently only in the A 250th The small A-Class drive with torsion beam axle. The more elaborate construction comes with the adaptive suspension for 1,178 euros.
Soft the A-class goes over waves and edges, always swinging it a little. Typical Mercedes. In sports mode, the suspension tightens noticeably, the car tilts more about humps. This is almost old A-class and nice for fast, winding country roads. It is a bit too rough for bad asphalt. We lack the golden mean for home use.
The longer wheelbase can be felt in curves. The A-Class is fuller than its predecessor, more stable and less playful. The rear remains in the lane, even on the brakes. More C-Class than A-Class W176? Absolutely. As a consolation, there is a lot of neutrality and precision as well as very little understeer. The ESP regulates in Sport mode pleasantly relaxed and castrated the performance never too much.
The A 200 would be hardly worth it, the A 250 already rather. The new 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 224 hp and 350 Nm of torque, the power is transmitted via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. For the time being only to the front wheels, all-wheel models will follow in October. M 260 is the name of the engine, it was derived from the M 264 for longitudinal installation in the larger models.
Unlike in the C or E class, Mercedes does not provide electric assistance in the A-Class. The system with 48-volt electrical system and belt-driven starter generator does not fit easily into the transverse engine platform. An electrified A-Class will come, but that will take a while.
Performance is still not missing, but the engine seems a little constricted. We entered the A 250 on mountain roads – and somehow missing the last punch, which one expects given the present performance data. The big gasoline engine harmonizes better with its old, advanced seven-speed DCG as the little gasoline engine with the new transmission.
2019 Mercedes A-Class W177 Interior Features & Changes
While the A-Class does its thing on the city highway, there is time to let the view a bit. Everything so new here, down to the smallest details: new turn signal and automatic selector lever, new windows, new symbols everywhere, new surfaces and new shapes. Not only digital changes Mercedes in the A-Class almost everything, but also analog.
Most of these are successful changes, as far as can be assessed in the top equipped test car. The synthetic leather on the dashboard and door panel looks great, the plastic under the aluminum decor also, the leather on the seats anyway. Almost everything looks solid, but the glossy piano finish on the center tunnel is likely to be unsightly. Hard plastic can be found, for example, on the center tunnel, which was the same with its predecessor. This is normal in this class. Not nice: In front of the flap of the middle compartment disturbs a hard plastic clasp with sharp edges.
The MBUX graphics look more playful than usual from Mercedes, the noble air vents from the big Mercedes coupes shine from the inside out. LED strips in the doors and on the dashboard also shine in all possible colors, if you want. In tunnels or at night, the MBUX displays light up.
2019 Mercedes A-Class W177 Price Tag
Of course, all this is not free of charge. Even in the base, as A 200 with the six-speed manual transmission, the A-Class costs 30,230 euros. The big gasoline engine is almost 36,500 euros. However, the widescreen display with the two 10.25-inch screens wants to be paid extra. As standard, there are two 7-inch screens. What does that look like in real life? Cars with such simple features Mercedes had so far not there. In the online configurator, the base is easy to recognize.
After all, the driver assistance package is cheap with almost 1,800 euros, at least for Mercedes standards. And so you get functions into the car, which are so far unique in the compact class. But even MBUX can not do much in the base. The “advanced features”, such as the Linguatronic also cost extra.
And: the voice control has to get even better. Although she usually understands when you want to have it warmer. She opens the sunroof on command and shows restaurants when hungry. But not everything that one says there is understood by the system. And instead of just jumping on “Hey, Mercedes”, the Linguatronic often reacts when you just say “Mercedes”. But the system should be able to learn. The commands end up in the cloud, understanding continues to evolve.
For the time being visit the old town does not help. The route proposed by the navigation system leads through a pedestrian zone. Although MBUX warns against entering it, it does not calculate a good alternative. Even in the digital world, one sometimes has to go by foot quite analogously.