The latest addition to Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level A-Class line-up is a contemporary compact saloon – a car that harks back to the German car maker’s much-admired 190, the model that sired today’s C-Class saloon back in the early 1990s.
The A-Class saloon is good 130mm longer than its new, fourth-generation A-Class hatchback sibling, with which it shares it wheelbase, by way of an extended rear overhang and notchback style rear end. It has been conceived primarily for the US and Chinese markets - the latter of which is set to receive an even longer version of the new four-door.
Set to complement the CLA, which is planned to become a more sporting proposition when the second-generation model arrives next year, it is quite a convincing thing in the metal, with a distinctive front end that links it visually with the more familiar A-Class hatchback, favourable three-box proportions and a smart rear end with distinctively styled tail-lamps.
It’s quite versatile, too, thanks to sensibly shaped door apertures offering good access to the rear. Accommodation in the back seats isn't exactly plentiful, but there’s enough room for two adults to sit comfortably when the front seats are set to accommodate similar-sized occupants.
At 420 litres, the boot offers 45 litres more space than that of the A-Class hatch, and it has a relatively low load lip to ease the loading of heavy items. For even greater load capacity, the rear seats split and fold in a 40/20/40 configuration.