4Matic A-Class may lead to baby SUV
27 March 2008

Along with standard front-wheel-drive versions, Mercedes-Benz is looking at making the next A-class platform capable of taking four-wheel drive, as part of a broader strategy that involves offering 4Matic versions of all future Mercedes cars.And that means Mercedes will be able to realise plans for a junior off-roader based on the A-class-derived B-class, in the mould of the upcoming Audi Q3 and BMW X1. It will be positioned beneath the soon-to-be-launched GLK and priced at around £22,000.The next B-class itself will be longer, insiders say — closer in size to existing class favourites like the Ford C-Max, Vauxhall Zafira and Volkswagen Touran.It is not the first time that Mercedes-Benz has considered producing a compact four-wheel drive. Plans for the first-generation A-class also included a raised four-wheel-drive version of the standard five-door model. However, the infamous ‘elk test’ debacle, when the A-class was rolled during rapid avoidance tests, quickly put paid to any chance of it reaching production.

Our Verdict

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Can the latest Mercedes A-Class's slick conformity outweigh the old model's originality?

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