Listen up, Millennials. Don’t believe this small crossover stuff you’re hearing from the diverse and sexy members of your social circle. Mercedes-Benz says you don’t need one to feel fulfilled. That’s right, Mercedes-BenzÂ â€” the brand that seems unattainable yet offers a small, $33,100 (minus destination) sedan it calls a coupe that kinda looks too cab-forward.
Maybe you’re interested in a small M-B sedan that actually looks the part? Oh hey, look what we have here! Why don’t you put down that acoustic guitar, get down from those stone front steps, and take it for a spin? Watch your knit cap getting in the door.
Surely there’s a good reason why Mercedes-Benz debuted the new A-Class in Brooklyn. The powers that be no doubt had visions of social media posts featuring images of the 2019 A 220 parked, front wheels hard over, with the Williamsburg Bridge looming in the background. Perhaps with strangely affluent hipsters going past on bikes, dark denim pant cuffs rolled up three to four inches.
As the brand’s new entry point in the U.S., the A-Class has Millennial buyers square in its sights. Basically, the same age group targeted by the CLA when it first appeared on these shores. This vehicle, however, arrives without a reputation of being a “fake Mercedes”with an unsatisfying driving experience.
Available with either front-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel grip, the A-Class’ powertrain is solitary â€” at least for now. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four generates 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, making it the weakest of the automaker’s 2.0L family. The only transmission on offer is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. At every corner, you’ll find 17- to 19-inch wheels.
Riding atop a second-generation version of the platform underpinning the existing CLA, the A 220 seeks to woo buyers with a low price point, luxurious and eye-catching interior, copious standard or available tech (read more about that here), and more pleasing proportions. Gone is the awkwardness instilled in the CLA’s design â€” the feeling that the cabin is too long for the hood. In its place is a slippery shape with a 0.22 drag coefficient.
Words like “muscular” and “sensual” appear in the automaker’s marketing copy. These are things a person aspires to be.
As for that price, M-B isn’t talking.Â Automotive News,Â among other outlets, points to an entry MSRP in the low $30k range. Given that the CLA starts at just over $33k, the A-Class would need to put at least a couple grand between it and its front-drive sibling to really make a splash. After all, these are first-time M-B buyers the automaker’s after, and having an attractive number to place on buses, billboards, and YouTube ads is key.
The CLA showed that M-B can sell a small, front-drive sedan to Americans, and it remains bullish on that prospect. If having one is good, why not two? What American buyers will not get, however, is a hatchback version of this model, though Canadian customers get a chance to pick one up.
A-Class sedans begin showing up at Mercedes-Benz dealers late this year.
[Images: Daimler AG]