The premium Mercedes A-Class hatchback and saloon get a redesigned exterior and new technology inside
Facelifting the A-Class is a huge deal for Mercedes, because even though it’s the smallest and cheapest model in its line-up, it’s also the most popular car from the German brand here in the UK.
The Mercedes A-Class was Britain’s fourth best-selling car in 2021 but has dropped out of the top 10 so far this year. Hoping to reinvigorate sales, Mercedes has given the A-Class plenty of tweaks inside and out to freshen it up for 2022 and beyond.
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As suggested by previous spy shots, the exterior of the A-Class has been given a mild revision in both saloon and hatchback form. The front bumper gets a slightly different lower grille opening and the main grille itself has been reshaped – although the quintessential larger three-pointed star badge is still there. The bonnet gains two bulges for some added aggression. Around the side you’ll find a new selection of alloy wheels up to 19 inches in size, and to the rear there’s a new diffuser and brake light unit.
The new A-Class will once again rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series in the premium hatchback market and a key battleground will be interior technology. The outgoing model featured a seven-inch screen and 10.25-inch display as standard, with a pair of 10.25-inch displays available as an option. Mercedes has retained this line-up for the facelifted model.
What has changed is the infotainment system itself, because the car gets latest generation of MBUX. The display style can be changed between “Classic”, showing the usual relevant driver information, “Sporty” with a more pronounced rev counter and “Discreet’ for less information on show overall.
Extra equipment, such as an additional USB-C port and a fingerprint sensor, is also available and as you’d expect, there’s smartphone compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Wireless. The MBUX upgrade also means the voice assistance is “even more capable of dialogue and learning”, claims Mercedes.
There’s a boost in safety tech, with a new “Driver Assistance Package” adding lane-keep assist and active steering control. The new A-Class now features a “Parking Package” which supports bay parking and offers a 360-degree camera to help with parking using 3D images.
Mercedes has given the facelifted A-Class some new powertrain options as well. Every petrol engine is now electrified, with a seven-speed or eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. The new mild-hybrid system includes a 48V motor which Mercedes says “supports agility when starting off with an extra 13bhp”.
Kicking off the range is the A 180 with 134bhp and 230Nm of torque from its mild-hybrid, 1.3-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine. Acceleration stands at 9.2 seconds for 0-62mph and the top speed is 134mph. Next up is the A 200, which uses the same engine as the A 180 but tuned to 161bhp and 270Nm of torque. 0-62mph is dealt with in 8.2 seconds and it’ll top out at 140mph.
Above those there’s the A 220 with the Mercedes 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. It uses a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine pumping out 188bhp and 300Nm of torque. That’s enough for a 7.1-second 0-62mph time and 146mph top speed. The 221bhp A 250 goes from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds and on to a 155mph top speed.
Mercedes has decided to persevere with the diesel variants of the A-Class. The range starts with the A 180 d, which has 114bhp and 280Nm of torque from a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit – enough for a 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds. There are also more powerful diesels in the shape of the 148bhp A 200 d and 188bhp A 220 d – both of which come retuned versions of the same engine.
As for the plug-in hybrids, the A 250 e’s powertrain has been fettled to improve power, says Mercedes. There’s 7bhp more (now 161bhp in total) and 270Nm of torque on offer. That’s enough for a 7.4-second 0-62mph time in the hatchback and 7.5 seconds for the saloon.
Efficiency has also been upgraded with this facelift. The A 250 e can now reach 50 miles of pure-electric running (51 miles for the saloon) and charging has been upped from 7.4kW to 11kW – although this three-phase setting won’t be much use to most UK customers. Mercedes claims the DC charge to 80 per cent is unchanged, with an expected charge time of 25 minutes.
Prices will be revealed in the coming months, but we expect a small increase on the current car’s £30,750 starting price.
Now read all the latest news about the next-generation Mercedes E-Class…
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