The Mercedes-Benz A-Class limousine is slated for launch on 25 March and the German automaker has been all out on the luxury offer. The hype around the A-Class limo is huge, firstly because the car is going to be the cheapest in the vehicle manufacturer’s Indian portfolio and secondly, it is a replacement for the CLA, one of the phased-out volume models.
The locally assembled AMG35 will be the most noticeable, among many reasons to look forward to an A-limo. Ultimately, it will be the cheapest car with an AMG tag.
Will it live up to the expectation?
You and I will have to wait for some time to answer this, but for now the focus is regularly on petrol and diesel avatars, which mark the German’s return to the section after a hiatus.
Looks and Design
Now that the A-Class limousine has taken a lot of design cues from the Mercedes-Benz CLA, when it really comes down to the whole ‘A-Class Limo vs CLA’ debate in terms of looks, we’ll actually go for the latter. It’s slightly more grand in appearance. But that doesn’t make the A-Class limousine a pushover.
In terms of design changes, the A-Class Limo gets a slightly larger signature front-grille than the CLA and new LED headlamps with the same signature LED DRL that make the car look sharper. However, it is surprising that the revised design is not as bold as the revised CLA. The attractive boot lid in the CLA is simplified to the eye, the roof is less aggressive but most importantly, even after simplifying the design and removing quite a few aerodynamic lines, Mercedes achieved a drag coefficient of 0.22 which makes this design simply brilliant.
Features and convenience
It is of no mind that the facilities were to be upgraded to the A-Class limousine, but what really surprised us is the fact that the features exceeded our expectations.
Featuring dual 12.5-inch full HD screens, wooden panels across doors, ambient lighting with 64 colours, electrically-adjustable front seats with a memory function, 5 USB points and a wireless charging, it is the port that makes it loaded as much as GLC or C-Class.
Taking a look at the other features of the A-Class Limo, it features Nappa leather-wrapped multifunction steering, thermotronic 2-zone automatic climate control, pre-safe system, cruise control, latest generation MBUX system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It has 4 driving modes, a touchpad for navigating the infotainment system, and the car also has Mercedes Me Connect features and some active and passive safety features as a part of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive. The sunroof is of decent size but we still believe Mercedes cannot call it a panoramic one.
One of the biggest components to convert the CLA into an A-class limousine is the wheelbase that has gone up. The wheelbase has gone above 30mm which means you get extra legroom and the height has gone up resulting in higher headroom. And the fact that we love, the roof is not really scratching the head which was a case with the CLA. Comfortable front seats actually assure you to drive the car on your own instead of turning backwards.
Engine and performance
The A-Class limousine is offered with 3 engine options – 1.3-liter petrol, 2-liter diesel and a more powerful 2-liter AMG engine. Transmission duties are handled by either a 7-speed dual-clutch or an 8-speed dual-clutch.
Talking about the 2-liter diesel, tit is smooth and refined, and subsequently provides a strong band of torque from 2,000-rpm. Cabin insulation is also at the top which keeps the most unwanted noise away from the cabin. The 8-speed automatic performs its task in a defined manner with little hesitation during the down-shift. Switching to sport mode and using paddles to shift gears helps to drive energetics to some extent.
Ride and handling
Buying a limo is clearly a question of style and comfort. Now we are briefly touched for the first time but it is later that the German automaker has turned to perfection. A-class limousine can easily handle anything from small pits to unsightly roads.
It is not just a claim in the air. The A-limo was thrown on terrible patches and sharp curves to test. The steering is on point and withstands minimal understeer during quick directional changes. Slightly sportier than the replaceable CLA, the new A-Class makes it for everyone on bad and broken roads. There is considerable improvement for the damping and we believe that with a larger headroom at the rear, better ride quality and lower body roll, the saloon will get a great impact on the chauffeur-driven audience as well.
Premium, loaded and versatile, Mercedes has checked these boxes properly, but for performance, we think we won’t be able to defend our opinion until we get our hands on the AMG A35. But otherwise, Mercedes has done enough to attract millennials and those who want to join the Mercedes-Benz family.
Pricing is definitely one of the most awaited aspects when it comes to this offering and we estimate that the petrol version of the Mercedes A-Class limousine will be priced around Rs 40 lakh (ex-showroom), the diesel variant price can be around 44 lakh rupees (ex-showroom) and AMG A35 can claim the price of 48 lakh rupees (ex-showroom).
This is certainly an exciting offering to watch as German automakers are returning to this segment after a long break. And even better, the AMG A35 will become the cheapest car in the Indian AMG portfolio and will also be assembled locally.