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New Mercedes 2018 A-class: Infotainment system revealed at CES

Published: 10 January 2018

Mimics a baby 2018 CLS
► Coming later this year
► New infotainment system unveiled at CES

The new Mercedes A-class is just around the corner, and that means we’re slowly learning more about the next compact hatch. So far Mercedes has shown the interior of the car, and we’ve seen a rather camouflaged exterior in winter testing, too. But now the infotainment system for the A-Class has been revealed, and it looks rather good.

Mercedes gave a comprehensive look at its next infotainment system at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, and revealed it’ll be included in the new 2018 A-class.

New Mercedes A-Class: infotainment features

The new infotainment system is called MBUX, and seems to be heavily focused on touch-sensitive operation. The A-class will therefore have a touchscreen, a touchpad on the centre console, and there’ll also be touch-control buttons on the steering wheel, too. According to Mercedes, this should help with less driver distraction.

Mercedes promises the new A-class’ huge free-standing infotainment screen will be used to great effect, with modes such as Homescreen and Basecreen providing varying levels of information density – again to distract the driver less.

The instrument cluster, on the other hand, will be used to show Assistance, Journey or Navigation information. 

In order to minimise distration, the new A-class will also feature a more intelligent voice control system, which Mercedes says will be capable of accepting more conversational requests. For example, the question ‘Will the sun be shining tomorrow in Miami?’ should produce the same result as ‘Do I need sunglasses tomorrow in Miami?’

Mercedes says it’ll update its’ Mercedes ME app ecosystem, and add more scope for personalisation in the new A-class interior.  New machine learning abilities also mean the new A-class cwill predictively suggest activities or tasks depending on what time of the day or week it is. For example, if you usually go to the gym after work, the A-class’ satnav will automatically suggest it as a destination when you finish work. 

For everything else we know about the new A-class, keep reading


New Mercedes A-class: exterior

new video posted on the Mercedes YouTube channel shows the new compact being tested in frosty conditions in Sweden, and although the car is heavily camouflaged, it’s still possible to make out a few key details.

While the general shape of the car is loosely the same, the front headlights and rear headlights seem to mirror that of the new 2018 Mercedes CLS. Think slightly more angled, and a bit like the existing lights in italics.

You can watch footage of the new A-class playing in the snow below, and for a better look at the interior of the new 2018 Mercedes, keep reading.

New Mercedes A-class: interior

You’re looking at the first official pictures of the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-class due for launch in 2018. And the inside of the entry-level Benz resembles that of an S-class more than ever, with additional tech, greater space and a far more premium feel.

We’ve been inside the new A-class at a preview event. The cabin in top-spec models is dominated by two large 10.25-inch screens that sit in line with the divide between the dashboard’s two horizontal sections. Gone is the rotary knob controlling the central infotainment display, instead replaced by a large touchpad and leather pad for the operator’s wrist.

Mercedes A-class 2018 interior

Even the steering wheel has been lifted from an S-class, featuring the same design and button arrangement of Merc’s most expensive limousine.

What’s it like to actually sit in?

Mercedes isn’t wrong about the levels of luxury on offer – for a car that will be the cheapest in the manufacturer’s range the 2018 A-class felt pretty exceptional to sit in.

The materials, technology and attention to detail were all up to the standards you’d expect from a premium saloon. Wood, brushed metals and soft-touch plastics fill the cabin, as does the ambient lighting available in a veritable rainbow of 64 different colour shades.

Mercedes A-class 2018 interior

Previously controlled by dated rotary switches, the climate control now operates via horizontal rocker switches with changes in temperature reflected on the central infotainment screen. A choice of seats is available, with top-level cars benefitting from heated and cool massaging chairs.

What about space?

It’s a definite improvement over the old car, but certainly not ground-breaking compared to the A-class’s rivals. Mercedes claims greater rear shoulder, elbow and headroom with the end result being that two 5’ 10” adults can sit with relative comfort in the back.

And yet, from our brief clamber around the interior it just doesn’t feel all that spacious. Move your head towards the door from either of the outer rear seats and the headlining gets in the way. Plus, space for your feet under the front seats is cramped especially for those with larger trotters.

Mercedes A-class 2018 interior

Thankfully, the old A-class’s cramped boot space has been improved with an extra 29 litres over the previous generation model – standing at 370 litres with the rear seats in place. More than the current BMW 1-series and just short of what the Audi A3 Sportback has to offer. Handily, a 40:20:40 split for the rear seats will also be available as an option over the standard 60:40 layout.

Anything else I need to know?

The A-Class is expected to be officially unveiled at the 2018 Geneva motor show in March.

A 400bhp A45 AMG super-hatch is set to follow in 2019.

By James Dennison

Junior staff writer on our sister website Parkers and former product 'genius' at Audi and BMW