This marks the A-Class' debut on the American market.
Mercedes-Benz has introduced the 2019 A-Class sedan during an event held in Brooklyn. The A will slot below the CLA as the firm's entry-level model when it goes on sale across the nation in the fall.
Americans might not recognize the A-Class nameplate. Though it's 20 years old, the A-Class has never been sold on our shores. The model made its debut in 1998 as a tall, minivan-like people-mover and gained a two-door variant in its second generation. Mercedes completely re-invented it for its third generation as a sporty-looking, youth-oriented hatchback. The fourth-generation A-Class is the first one offered as a sedan and, not coincidentally, the first one sold in America.
The A-Class sedan stretches 179 inches from bumper to bumper, 56 inches tall, and 70 inches wide, dimensions that make it about three inches shorter than the current-generation CLA but just as wide and as tall. Those figures suggest the next-generation CLA will grow in size. The A-Class is built an updated version of the modular front-wheel drive platform that underpins all of Mercedes' compact models.
The design comes as no surprise if you've been keeping up with Mercedes news in recent years. We saw the car labeled as a concept at the 2017 Shanghai auto show and again as a long-wheelbase production model at the 2018 Beijing auto show. Up front, it looks a lot like the A-Class hatchback, meaning it borrows styling cues from the bigger CLS but with the overhang and the dash-to-axle ratio you'd expect from a front-wheel drive model. Out back, the modern-day Baby Benz gets angular lights with Y-shaped inserts and a tall trunk lid.
The big news is inside, where the A-Class is available with Mercedes' new User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. Two seven-inch screens come standard; buyers can spend extra to upgrade the car with a pair of 10.2-inch screens. MBUX is customizable and it learns the passengers' preferences thanks to artificial intelligence.
Mercedes placed a big emphasis on technology. The A-Class is available with car-to-X communication plus driving aids like active brake assist, active lane-keeping assist, pre-safe plus, and lane change assist.
At launch, the A-Class Sedan line-up will include two models called A220 and A220 4Matic, respectively. Both use a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to produce 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder shifts through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The A220 comes with front-wheel drive, while the A220 4Matic benefits from all-wheel drive.
Mercedes hasn't released performance specifications.
Mercedes-Benz will source the A-Class Sedan from either Mexico or Germany. Pricing information will be available in the weeks leading up to the model's on-sale date. We expect it will start in the vicinity of $30,000.