The New Mercedes Hatchback: In A-Class of Its Own?
This 5-door premium hatchback is set to rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series with its high-end and user-friendly tech, elegant cabin design and increased spaciousness.
This fourth-generation model is leaner, longer (by 12cms!) and much lower than its predecessor in an attempt by Mercedes to break into the younger-but-sleeker market. In this, they succeeded with buyers of the new A-Class model being on average 13 years younger than those who bought the first-generation models.
It’s not just aesthetically more appealing to a younger market, though. Mercedes spotted that today’s buyers seem to prefer more interesting tech than for the particulars of drive and handling. Knowing this, designers packed in the high-tech features to such a degree that the car’s outer design may simply be overlooked once you sit inside and marvel at what this model can do.
It is lucky, however, that Mercedes haven’t overlooked the comfort and quality of the ride, despite this new marketing direction. The suspension allows a smooth and comfortable ride. The all-round sound-proofing provides a quiet journey, particularly on motorways. ‘Grip’ does what it says on the tin, so there’s no worry of veering off tight country road corners in this car.
The new A-Class boasts one predominantly exciting new feature: the dual-panel panoramic glass screens which span right the way across the dashboard. This houses the instrument cluster and the ‘fun’ multimedia functions beautifully in its space-age design style. With the distinct lack of conventional dials, the controls now come in the form of the elegant touchscreen, or the slick, central ‘twitch pad’… and Mercedes’s voice controlled personal assistant, ‘Hey Mercedes!’. General feedback suggests that this is a key area where Mercedes needs to go back to their planning notes and take another look. ‘Hey Mercedes!’ struggles to discern basic verbal instructions, making the ‘ease’ of use of the available technological ‘support’ during your journey slightly frustrating. According to Sinead McCann at CarsIreland.ie, the longer you spend talking to the car then the more the technology will start to pick up your individual accent and start to understand - and accurately act upon - your commands more easily. There you have it; all you need to do is talk to it more - befriend it, even. If that means driving the A-Class more often to achieve this, then I am 100% on board with this idea.
In Mercedes’ defence, the other functions work extremely well. In particular, the control pads found between the driver and passenger seats, and two smaller pads on the steering wheel, make mid-journey tech-controlling fun and straight-forward.
A new addition is the interior having its key components clearly-yet-stylishly lit up when in night-mode, making this design choice a practical feature. Whilst we’re discussing practicalities, there’s an awful lot of room inside in both the front and the back, and the boot is now bigger than its predecessor (and easily accessible too!).
Overall, the A-Class will, for many, be the cheapest way to access the dizzying heights of the unofficial ‘Mercedes Drivers’ Club’, but what is economised in cost will in no way be done so in quality.
Fancy joining ‘the club’? Contact us to discuss our huge variety of rental options for the new Mercedes A-Class.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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