Saloon version of latest A-Class will arrive on roads in Britain later this year
24 April 2018

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the definitive production version of its A-Class Saloon at the 2018 Beijing motor show ahead of a UK launch for the new model later this year.

The sixth member of Mercedes-Benz’s compact car line-up, which goes under the internal codename Z177, draws heavily on the earlier Concept A saloon unveiled at last year’s Shanghai motor show with an appearance that combines the distinctive front-end styling of the recently introduced fourth-generation A-Class hatchback with a rear-end reminiscent of the latest third-generation CLS.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class L revealed in Beijing

Although the A-Class Saloon sold in China, or the A-Class L Saloon as it is officially named, receives a 60mm longer wheelbase than that planned for sale in the UK, officials confirm the two variants of the new four-door boast the same styling.

“They’re the same model but in different lengths. The added length of the Chinese version is concentrated wholly within the rear door, which is longer than that of the A-Class Saloon to be sold in other world markets to ease entry to the rear,” Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, Gorden Wagener, revealed to Autocar.

The new Mercedes-Benz model is aimed squarely at the Audi A3 Saloon. It is one of eight new compact models planned by the German car maker, including the new A-Class hatchback as well as successors to the existing B-class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA, as well a new compact SUV likely to be named the GLB and an as yet to be confirmed model.

At 4609mm in length, 1796mm in width and 1460mm in height, the Chinese version of the A-Class Saloon is 77mm shorter, 14mm narrower and 18mm higher than the existing standard wheelbase C-Class Saloon, as sold in the UK.

It also rides on a wheelbase that is just 51mm shorter than the standard wheelbase C-Class at 2789mm, with wheels that vary in diameter between 16in and 19in. 

For other global markets, including the UK, the new four-door will receive a 60mm shorter wheelbase at 2729mm, reducing its length to 4549mm, making it 91mm longer than the Audi A3 Saloon.

For the Chinese version, boot capacity is put at 420 litres, 5 litres less than that offered by the A3 Saloon.

Inside, the new A-Class Saloon adopts the same high-quality dashboard and advanced infotainment functions as the new A-Class hatchback, including Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX operating system that introduces touchscreen control, conversational speech recognition and the ability for two users to connect simultaneously.

In China, the A-Class Saloon will initially be sold with a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 134bhp in base form or 161bhp in a mildly higher state of tune. It will be joined shortly after the new four-door’s introduction by a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 188bhp.  

Both engines will be offered exclusively with a standard seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, with the case of the smaller-engined models getting a Getrag-produced gearbox.

Chinese versions of the new A-class saloon will be produced at Beijing Benz Automotive – a joint-venture operation between Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.

Read more 

Mercedes-Benz A-Class review 

Mercedes-AMG A45 review 

Mercedes-Benz CLA review 

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Comments
26

24 April 2018

Smart. But why would Chinese people require easier access to the rear than any other nation. Surely the extra 6cm is to do with status, that being having a big rear to get one’s little rear into shows the neighbours who has a biggest ego in the city. Or in this case the wannabe who cannot afford the C class.

24 April 2018

Dunno but each nation has their own preferences. Theres a long wheelbase version of almost every saloon on sale in China.

XXXX just went POP.

24 April 2018

Clearly the extra length IS NOT "concentrated wholly within the rear door" - the entire bodyshell is also longer - otherwise the doors would be too big for the aperture.

XXXX just went POP.

24 April 2018

A saloon should not have a front overhang that is longer than the rear overhang. It just looks wrong - as ably proved by this dumpy little thing.

Also, why establish a coherent design motif for all your four door saloons, with upright rear lamps, and then ignore it? Are they going to try and pass this off as a ‘coupe’?

24 April 2018
scrap wrote:

A saloon should not have a front overhang that is longer than the rear overhang.

It's quite common for big engined front wheel drive cars.

24 April 2018
scrap wrote:

A saloon should not have a front overhang that is longer than the rear overhang. It just looks wrong - as ably proved by this dumpy little thing.

Also, why establish a coherent design motif for all your four door saloons, with upright rear lamps, and then ignore it? Are they going to try and pass this off as a ‘coupe’?

Almost all transverse front engined cars have long front overhangs but in the case of this new A Class saloon the short rear overhang makes it look oddly proportioned. Audi manages to make the A3 saloon look balanced and cohesive, as does Mazda with the 3. I suspect though that making the A Class saloon longer at rear, and better proportioned, would have made it virtually same the same length as the C Class - the short wheelbase version of this A Class saloon is only 5" shorter than a standard wheelbase C Class. MInd you, I suspect the next C Class will be longer so there's some daylight between the two!

24 April 2018

I don't think the A3 saloon does look 'balanced and cohesive'. But it still manages to look quite cute (to my eyes) and much nicer than this woefully proportioned effort. It's notable that it's not badged CLA and there's no mention of it being a 'coupe' either.

24 April 2018

Overall quite smart, in a baby CLS sort of way, but the back is a bit Toyota and bland. The rear lights try to add a bit of pizazz with their graphics, but their shape is big and boring. One would have thought that with todays LED lighting options something a bit more shapely and modern/smart would have been possible, especially if you combine LED with traditional bulbs to keep the price down. 

Also the head lights are a looking more of a design afterthought than desired descriptive face emphasiser. The clay/drawn body design was made and the gap that was left was filled in with the lights! 

As I said, overall it will probably be a hit for Mercedes as the design, especially the interior is quite smart and the tech count is high. Looking forward to see that Audi and BMW come up with in this market segment. 

24 April 2018

still look like a bent banana,mb obviously petrified to offend their base, who will buy it as long it carries the star.

24 April 2018

This car just looks awful with odd proportions but still, in typical Mercedes fashion, tediously dull. For saloons in this class, you only need to see a Mazda 3 or the Civic saloon for example to see that a compact saloon can look great, distinctive and desirable.

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