Written by: Jan Tuček
The new compact Mercedes-Benz A-Class plays on both reason and emotion. Besides a five-door family model there is a new, sporty three-door version, as the heretofore typically ladies’ auto strives to appeal to men.
THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS is distinguished by its dynamic design, a single-space body with lots of glass, and outstanding use of the interior. Once again the secret lies in the sandwich construction of the chassis, with its double floor, thanks to which there is more space for passengers. Compared with its predecessor, of which 1.1 million have been sold in the last seven years, the new A class is 23 cm longer and 4.5 cm wider. With an overall length of 3.84 meters, its interior space is comparable to that of cars over 4 meters long. Its standard arrangement has luggage space of 435 liters, and when the asymmetrically divided rear seats are folded down, loads of up to 1,370 liters can be carried. Optional is the Easy Vario Plus system: the right front seat has a back that folds forward, and the whole seat is easily removed, so half the interior accomodates a bed surface that is 2.75 meters long. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has brand-new engines – three four-cylinder gasoline and three turbodiesels. The front wheels of the A 150, A 170, and A 200 models are driven by 1.5-l, 1.7-l, and 2.0-l gasoline engines (95, 116, and 136 hp/70, 85, and 100 kW), and the A 160 CDI, A 180 CDI, and A 200 CDI all have 2.0-l turbodiesels tuned to 82, 109, and 140 hp (60, 80, and 103 kW). Besides five- and six-speed manual transmissions, the Autotronic, a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox is now available. New Mercedes-Benz A-Class prices start at CZK 478,000 for the three-door A 150, and the five-door A 160 CDI with an economic turbodiesel sells for CZK 540,000.