Mercedes have really grasped the in car technology revolution where connectivity is the buzz word.
So while holding on to their true qualities as a car manufacturer they have now really come of age where connectivity and in car digital tech is concerned.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the new A-Class, a car bristling with the latest in digitally produced instrumentation and class leading technology.
Mercedes make no apology for claiming they are trying to grow a more youthful customer base with stylish new models that are more attractive to a younger motorist than their traditional more restrained cars such as say the E-Class.
This week I am road testing the new A-Class 180 diesel AMG line automatic.
So Has It Any Street Cred?
My test car was finished in. Jupiter Red with lovely 18inch AMG 5 twin spoke light alloy wheels. With the AMG front grille AMG body kit and tasteful details such as the chrome exhaust tips the whole car boasts lots of street cred with being too “loud”.
What’s it like inside?
The big change inside is the new and much vaunted MBUX multimedia and entertainment system.
Visually it is very dramatic with a huge rectangular screen running from the centre of the dash to in front of the driver. Everything including the instruments are digitally generated.
Ok we have seen this before in the S-Class but this system is truly revolutionary as it uses AI (artificial Intelligence) to learn a drivers likes and dislikes.
So for example if you always listen to a particular radio show on a particular channel instead of using the voice control to find Radio “whatever” you simply say “Hey Mercedes Play my favourite radio show”. I tried it and it works! It learns all your preferences very quickly and can be used for a multitude of set-up items in the car.
Mercedes have really got it right here and the technology is not fiddly or annoying its easy, simple intuitive but pure genius! No more inputting an address by hand.
The voice control is always listening you don’t even push a button just say “Hi Mercedes, navigate to 123 Ocean drive Dublin and it will!
Accomadation is good for four adults and the bigger boot is a welcome bonus too. The AMG sports seats and piano black trim work to good effect creating a sporty feel to the interior.
What is under the bonnet?
There are of course a range of petrol and diesel power plants with manual and auto gearboxes.
The model on test this week is powered by Mercedes 1461 cc 116 bhp dies which in this car is mated to a 7-speed automatic with paddle shifts.
Performance is good and economy a strongpoint consuming just 5.8 litres per 100km over my road test. Tax for the year is €200.00
Will I enjoy driving it?
In short, yes! The new A-Class is dynamic enough to prove a rewarding driving experience.
The lowered AMG suspension does give a slightly firmer ride than many might expect in a 5-door hatch but the trade off is agile handling. If thats not for you of course buy the standard version with “comfort” suspension.
Overall I enjoyed driving the new A-Class its comfortable, refined and beautifully put together.
A classy car with a feeling of opulence.
Prices kick off around €31,800 for the 180d Auto. The A200 petrol costs €34,245.
The A160 petrol and A160d arrive later with ices set to be starting around €30,000.
I can highly recommend the new A-Class. It certainly gets my vote!
Its stylish, classy, typically Mercedes in terms of quality and it drives well.
The tech is truly practical and easy to use.
Nice car Mercedes!