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New Mercedes A-class: new diesel engine options on offer

Published: 13 November 2018

► The new 2018 Mercedes A-Class
► New engines, fresh look, techy interior
► Sedan model also on the way

The A-Class range grows larger. Mercedes-Benz has just added two new engines to the line-up of its new hatchback, and interestingly both are diesels. The less powerful of the two engines, the A200 Sport, will start at £28,805 while a beefier A220d AMG Line will kick off at £30,005. Confusingly, the A 200d is available in both Sport and AMG Line trim, with the A220d only available in the latter.

The A200d makes 148bhp and 236lb ft from its 2.0-litre block, and returns up to 67.3mpg in fuel efficiency. Top speed is a limited 137mph, and you’ll get from 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds.

The A220d also uses a 2.0-litre engine but squeezes out 187bhp and 295lb ft of torque, and you get fuel consumption of 65.7mpg - which is pretty good considering the extra 40-ish bhp. It’ll do 0-62mph in just 7.0 seconds, and has a slightly faster, 146mph limited top speed.

Don't miss our new 2018 Mercedes A-Class review here

Mercedes says both new cars are RDE-2 compliant on the new economy regs, and suggests the A220d would be especially good for company car users. Thank the removal of the 4% BIK diesel surcharge. Private owners will get a one-band saving, while company car owners who pay 40% income tax could see a cost saving of up to £460 over three years, compared to the old model.

Both models will come with an eight-speed DCT automatic transmission seen elsewhere on the range, and everything from the MBUX digital touchscreen and voice-operated infotainment, to semi-autonomous functions and keyless-entry comes as standard with the Sport trim.

AMG-line customers also get 18-inch alloys, a diamond grille, and AMG styling inside and out.

New Mercedes A-Class: everything you need to know

The new Mercedes A-Class is a significant step over the outgoing car. Featuring all-new styling on the outside, the new Mercedes’ interior sees the biggest changes: it’s more like its larger E-Class sibling than anything else. But is it a winner in the increasingly-competitive hatchback market?

And read on for everything else you need to know about the car, with all our news, tech specs, first pictures and more analysis from the car's launch.

New Mercedes A-Class: design

Everything has changed; the 2018 A-Class has a new face, great new interior and fresh petrol and diesel engines. It still has that familiar A-Class face, albeit one that’s been smoothed out to get rid of those pesky creases of the old one, and manages to look a lot like a shrunken version of the new CLS coupe-saloon.

New Mercedes A-Class: specs and price

Prices for the all-new Mercedes A-Class hatchback were announced at the Geneva motor show 2018 - and it'll cost from £25,800 in the UK. The order books opened during the show and you can now place your order at dealers from March 2018 onwards. That entry price will bag you an entry-level A180d SE, while the cheapest petrol costs from £27,500.

The new updated line-up is as follows:

  • Mercedes A180d SE From £25,800
  • Mercedes A200 From £27,500
  • Mercedes A250 From £30,240
  • Mercedes A200d From £28,805
  • Mercedes A220d From £30,005

Spec choices are SE, Sport or AMG Line. Standard UK A-class equipment includes a touchscreen with the new MBUX infotainment syste, voice control, comfort suspension, 16-inch alloys (bigger rims on higher specs), DAB radio, keyless go, air-con, active lane keep assist and Artico faux leather upholstery.

More engines, trims and configurations will join the range later in 2018. Prices will drop below £25,000 once the cheaper manual gearbox versions arrive (every model at launch comes with a seven-speed auto only).

New Mercedes A-Class: engines, 0-62mph and performance

The engine range is all-new, launching with a brand-new 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a heavily revised 1.5-litre diesel.

First off is the A200, which uses a 161bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol co-developed with the Renault-Nissan alliance under the M282 codename. You can have it with seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box or a six-speed manual that arrives later in the year, and is capable of an 8.0sec 0-62mph launch when fitted with the former.

The punchier A250 petrol is a DCT-only model with a 221bhp 2.0-litre petrol, while the only diesel option for now is the A180d (also DCT-only) with a 114bhp 1.5-litre oil -burner capable of 68.8mpg.

The new 2018 Mercedes A-class

Check out the full engine specs below:

 1.4-litre turbo petrol, 161bhp, 184lb ft
Performance 8.0sec 0-62mph (DCT), 8.2sec (manual), 140mph top speed
Economy 55.3mpg (DCT), 50.4mpg (manual), 120g/km CO2 (DCT), 133g/km (manual)

 2.0-litre turbo petrol, 221bhp, 258lb ft
Performance 6.2sec 0-62mph, 155mph
Economy 47mpg, 141g/km CO2

  1.5-litre turbodiesel, 114bhp, 192lb ft
Performance  10.5sec 0-62mph, 125mph
Economy  68.8mpg, 180g/km CO2

The new 2018 Mercedes A-class: prices, specs, on sale dates from CAR magazine

Fancy something hotter? You’ll have to wait for now, but two AMG-fettled A-Class versions are coming – an A35 and an A45. We revealed earlier in 2018 that the A35 would have around 300bhp – enough to worry a Golf R – and use Mercedes’ new EQ boost mild hybrid tech first seen in the new CLS and E-class 53 models. The all-guns-blazing A45 mega hatch is expected to produce more than 400bhp and tipped for a 2019 launch.

Mercedes has now shown the new A35: full details here

New Mercedes A-Class: interior 

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. Mercedes is making bold claims about the tech on board, and it’s the car’s biggest, most appealing feature to mark it out against its rivals.

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.

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

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 feels every inch the premium hatch when we jumped behind the wheel at the car’s official unveiling. There’s a nice variety of plush materials, and a genuine wow factor when you get inside.

Mercedes A-class 2018 interior

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. Shrinking violets need not apply.

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.

An increased wheelbase of 30mm means more room inside, too, which is even better news for young families. It’s still a low car to get in and out of, but the larger rear doors make a big difference, and we didn’t struggle for space behind an average-height adult on first inspection. The boot is noticeably bigger too, and access is much easier thanks to a wider tailgate and lower sill. 

New Mercedes A-Class: MBUX

The new infotainment system in the A-Class is called MBUX, and seems to be heavily focused on touch-sensitive operation. The A-Class therefore has 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.

The huge free-standing infotainment screen is used to great effect, with incredibly crisp graphics and a very user-friendly interface. The choice of methods of swiping and scrolling helps here, as does the high-res screen and sharp graphics. 

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

In order to minimise distraction, the new A-Class will also feature a more intelligent voice control system, which Mercedes says will be capable of accepting more conversational requests. All you need to do is say ‘Hey Mercedes’ and it’ll talk back to you like Alexa in your home. On first try, it’s an intuitive system that also learns your habits and comes up with suggestions for your journey. 

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 will 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’s sat-nav will automatically suggest it as a destination when you finish work.

New Mercedes A-Class: trims, specs and variants

Mercedes says there are four trim levels available for the new A-Class, but they may or may not all make it across to the UK market. For now, the trims we know are standard include SE, Sport and AMG Line. The car was available to order from March 2018. 

All A-Class models have automatic air-con, MBUX infotainment system with two separate seven-inch screens, automatic headlights and wipers, keyless go and Merc’s Dynamic Select drive mode system.

Both SE and Sport models have their own design tweaks and feature comfort seats instead of sports ones, but AMG Line will be the biggest seller over here, seen here in white in our picture gallery above. 

Mercedes A-class 2018 to cost from around £25,700 for an A180d SE with auto

For the first year after launch, an Edition 1 trim is also available that dolls up your new A with yellow detailing and… not a lot else. AMG Line cars get their own specific body kit, 18-inch AMG alloys, lowered suspension and sportier detailing inside. An optional Night Package throws in a load of fresh black bits, as well as the usual choice of Premium and Premium Plus packages to boost the kit count significantly.

A-Class sedan model on the way

Earlier this year, Mercedes revealed an A-Class sedan for the Chinese market, but now it’ll be coming to Europe, too. The new car will be built in Mexico and Germany, and should enter the market in the latter half of this year.

Mercedes says the A-class sedan will be offered with A180d and A200 engines first, with both coming with a 7-speed DCT auto ‘box. As you’d expect, the new car will feature the same innovative interior as hatchback we’ve already driven.

Interestingly, Mercedes says the new A-Class sedan features the lowest drag figure of all production vehicles worldwide at just Cd 0.22. It beats the hatchback’s 0.25 figure thanks to a more streamlined rear end.

UK prices are yet to be released, but we’ll update this article when we know more. To our eyes, the new A-Class sedan looks well-proportioned, and a lot like the BMW 2-series. With any luck we’ll see an M2-equivalent in time.

The A-Class sedan in numbers

  •  Length/width/height: 4549/1796/1446 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2729 mm
  • Boot capacity: 420 litres
  • Headroom front/rear: 1024/944 mm
  • Elbow room front/rear1457/1446 mm
  • Shoulder room front/rear1400/1372 mm
  • Effective legroom front/rear: 1062/861 mm
Now we’ve driven the new Mercedes A-class. Read our full review here

By CAR's road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds