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Mercedes A-Class facelift driving report

Arturo Rivas
Mercedes A-class driving report
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E in a subtle reference to the return to old virtues? Mercedes diesel models no longer have a CDI or Bluetec at the rear, but only a simple 'D' - as in the good, old pre-chamber times, when a Benz was allowed to be cozy and did not have to wag its competitors. In the meantime, Mercedes itself knows that it was overdone when tuning the A-Class presented in 2012.

Even the basic chassis springs gentler

For this reason, the chassis was adjusted to be more comfortable during the facelift, and adaptive dampers are also available (1,238 euros), the hardness of which can be regulated.

The silver Dynamic Select So switch our A 220 Diesel to Comfort and go. What is immediately noticeable: The new suspension responds very sensitively to transverse joints and frost breaks without appearing soft. It even takes the tips of the strong stimuli from deep potholes, making bad jogging tracks bearable. The increase in comfort was made possible, among other things, by electronically controlled valves in the dampers, which regulate the flow and thus the hardness.

In an emergency it's tough

However, the preselection is overruled as soon as sensors report violent body movements or yaw rates. At such moments, the electronics turn hard to make it easier for the driver to control. Fortunately, we are spared such situations here in the Dresden area, where Mercedes is letting journalists behind the wheel of the new A-Class for the first time. We therefore enjoy the evenly meandering country roads, which we plow through precisely thanks to the soulful, not overly pointed steering, and we are happy about the stable straight-line stability on the motorway. As expected, the powerful 177 PS diesel (seven PS more than before) has no problems with the A, but when turning it sounds quite pithy.

The rough rolling over the Saxon cobblestones, on the other hand, is the mighty 18-inch -Wheels. Smaller wheels should therefore further increase comfort.

Mercedes A-Class with different driving modes

What is also noticeable is how strongly the driving modes influence the character of the entire car: there is no sport only the suspension is harder, the 2.1-liter diesel also reacts much more motivatedAccelerator pedal movements while the power steering reduces its assistance. On Eco, on the other hand, the seven-speed dual clutch transmission prevents hectic downshifts as much as possible and instead uses the 350 Nm torque of the direct injection.

Otherwise, the changes are limited: The new aprons and lamp designs (front with LED instead of xenon light as an option) should only be noticed by experts, as is the larger navigation monitor. From the beginning of 2016, the infotainment should at least play apps from the smartphone via the Apple Carplay and Mirrorlink interfaces. Since navigation apps are also running, many A-Class buyers should save the hefty surcharge of over 3,500 euros for the Comand Online.

The new basic petrol engine in the A 160 (1st , 6-liter with 102 hp) which reduces the cost price to 23,746 euros. At the other end of the performance spectrum, the two-liter turbo in the A 45 AMG got 21 extra hp and now produces 381 hp.

The new one Design is well received

The space and clarity, however, are still at a modest level, which, however, did not damage the sales of the A-Class: Compared to its pragmatic high seat predecessor, the Baby-Benz gained 60 Percent, while the average age of buyers fell by 13 years. Together with the new variants such as the CLA, Mercedes sells more than twice as many front-wheel drive cars as before. There will be no complete return to old virtues despite the ā€œDā€ on the rear.


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