New baby Mercedes uncovered ahead of official debut
27 March 2008

This is the new facelifted 2008 A-class, revealed here officially for the first time ahead of a public debut at next week’s Leipzig motor show.Set for UK sale in June, Merc’s small car receives a host of revisions that are not only claimed to make the three-and-a-half-year-old A-class more economical and cleaner than ever before, but also safer and, through an extended list of optional equipment, more luxurious. As with the facelifted version of the larger B-class revealed earlier this month, the mid-life styling changes to the second-generation A-class are very subtle. Among the mild visual tweaks are a new-look grille insert, altered headlamp graphics, edgier bumpers, lightly reworked tail lamps and a new range of alloys wheels.The big news, however, involves Merc’s efforts to bolster the A-class’s environmental credentials. To that end, the German car maker has introduced a standard-fit BlueEfficiency package to the existing A150 and A170, as well as a new 82bhp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, common-rail A160 CDI model. Following on from the C160 Blue Efficiency unveiled at the Geneva motor show, the trio of frugal new A-class models receive a start-stop mechanism that automatically cuts the engine when at standstill, plus a brake regeneration system that re-uses energy created under braking. Other measures include a 10mm lowering in ride height for improved aerodynamic efficiency and low-resistance tyres. The A160 CDI BlueEfficiency model boasts average fuel consumption of 62.8mpg and a CO2 rating of 119g/km. Mercedes-Benz is claiming average fuel consumption of 48.7mpg and a CO2 rating of 139g/km for the 95bhp, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder A150 BlueEfficiency.The facelifted A-class’s safety kit has been expanded to include adaptive brake lights that flash during emergency braking, and interior lights that turn on automatically following an accident of a pre-determined severity to provide occupants with better orientation. Mercedes-Benz has increased the options list, including a new park-assist system that uses ultrasonic sensors to measure spaces and automatically manoeuvre the car into them. There’s also a new Europe-wide navigation system boasting voice-operated control, as well as external MP3 and USB compatibility.

Greg Kable

Find out why the next A-class won't be as radical

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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

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