For the longest time, the US market hasn't been able to get its grubby mitts on Mercedes-Benz's most affordable model, the A-Class. Eventually, we received the CLA-Class and its swoopy faux-coupe silhouette, but the standard A never materialized. That changes in the 2019 model year.
A little looker
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan is, as everyone sort of expected, basically a European-spec A-Class hatchback with no fifth door and slightly tweaked standard equipment. The look is pretty darn similar to the A-Class hatch, with its triangular headlights echoing both the A-Class and the new CLS-Class. Expect more Mercs to pick up this design language going forward.
Here's how it stacks up against the current CLA-Class. It's about three inches shorter in length, yet its wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer, which means less overhang. It's about 0.3 inches taller than the CLA-Class, which will certainly benefit headroom. In terms of width, the two are about the same, at about 70 inches without counting the mirrors.
The interior doesn't look very entry-level. There's a wide variety of materials in use, with some nice layering between the different dashboard strata, and plenty of the switchgear you'll find in the cabin can be found on larger, more expensive Mercs. Standard equipment includes a 7-inch gauge screen and a matching 7-inch infotainment screen, but buyers can expand both screens to 10.25 inches, creating a behemoth of a panel that stretches more than halfway across the dash.
Standard MBUX and safety tech
The A-Class is the first Mercedes to use the automaker's latest infotainment system. Called MBUX, it features natural language voice processing that's activated by saying "Hey Mercedes." The graphics are new and improved, which is good, because the current Command system feels quite old.
Opt for the larger screens in the cabin, and you get access to even more cool features, like augmented reality that puts navigation directions "onto" the road thanks to a front-facing camera. It also works with vehicle-to-x (V2X) communications, alerting the driver if someone ahead slams on the brakes or if there's an accident ahead.
The new A-Class has one important piece of standard safety equipment -- automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. If you want something closer to semi-autonomous cruising, you'll have to shell out for options, but a well-equipped A-Class will be able to keep itself in its own lane between 37 and 125 mph, in addition to safely changing lanes and maintaining its space in traffic.
There's a good amount of standard equipment in the 2019 A-Class. In addition to the aforementioned MBUX and autobrake, you get a panoramic roof, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, keyless start and multiple vehicle modes.
Shell out a bit more, and you can add 64-color ambient lighting, keyless entry, heated and ventilated seats, a head-up display, adaptive dampers, wireless phone charging, a Burmester premium audio system and massaging seats.
Under the hood
For the time being, the 2019 A-Class Sedan will only be available in two trims -- the front-wheel-drive A220 and the all-wheel-drive A220 4Matic, the main difference between the two being the number of driven wheels.
Both variants receive the same engine -- a 2.0-liter gas I4 that puts out 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the engine's sole mate, no matter if it's FWD or AWD. It's electronically limited to 130 mph, in case you feel like breaking the law.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan goes on sale in the US in late 2018. Pricing has not yet been announced, but those details should bubble up to the surface shortly before the car hits dealers.
: Looking for the hatch? Here it is.
CLS will scratch that itch.: Looking for a larger Merc with this new design? The