The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has had a significant upgrade for 2015, with the facelift bringing revised engines, new looks and a new motorsport-inspired edition.
The upgrades include a series of tweaks to the appearance of the A-Class inside and out. The most notable change is to the front end, which now comes with Mercedes’ diamond grille as standard. It also gets a revised, more angular front bumper, redesigned tail-lights, integrated exhaust pipes and optional LED headlights.
Inside, the upgraded infotainment system comes with a larger, 8.0in screen on higher trim levels and is now compatible with Apple Carplay and Mirrorlink, which allow integration with a wide range of the latest smartphones.
The cabin also features new materials and a range of new interior colours and optional ambient lighting with higher trim levels.
Heading the new line-up is the upgraded A45 AMG. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been given a 21bhp hike in power and an 18lb ft lift in torque, so it now offers 376bhp at 6000rpm and 350lb ft at 2250rpm.
The four-wheel drive model has also received a revised seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with shorter ratios for third to seventh along with new software for what AMG officials describe as “improved response and shift action”.
In combination with a new Dynamic Plus package that brings a mechanical locking front differential, the facelifted A45 AMG is claimed to hit 62mph from rest in just 4.2sec. This is 0.4sec faster than the pre-facelifted model and 0.1sec faster than the official claim for the latest Audi RS3. Top speed, combined cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions remain the same as before at a limited 155mph, 40.9mpg and 162g/km respectively.
The 180 diesel engine benefits from the most notable fuel economy improvement, with official combined consumption now rated at 80.7mpg. The CO2 emissions have been reduced by 9g/km to 89g/km.
The A220 diesel now comes with more power, with 175bhp on tap, up from the pre-facelift version’s 168bhp.
The A-Class range also adopts Mercedes’ new naming structure. Petrol models now just have a number to denote their variant, but diesel models will have a ‘d’ after their name. Previously, diesels were identified with a 'CDI' badge.
As well as the visual changes, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz A-Class features an optional adaptive damping system in a bid to improve the model’s ride quality.
The adaptive system, called Dynamic Select, has been honed at the premium German car firm’s Sindelfingen research and development facility, where a prototype A-Class was subjected to 10 weeks of testing on a ride simulator during the early stages of development. However, Mercedes has admitted that the new set-up has not yet been tested in the UK.