The phrase "entry-level Benz" always felt a little underwhelming, and the CLA family has always managed to deliver on that promise, but like ol' Bob said, "The times, they are a-changin'."
Britta Seeger, global sales chief for Mercedes-Benz, told Automotive News that the US should expect a new A-Class sedan to hit our shores in 2018. When Mercedes debuted the Concept A-Class sedan back in April at the Shanghai Auto Show, we thought that represented a huge leap forward in design over the droopy-looking CLA, but we resigned ourselves to the fact that US buyers would likely never get a chance to own one. I guess it's time to eat our collective hat.
From a design standpoint, the A-Class concept is cleaner and less cluttered than the CLA with noticeably fewer character lines and creases. The headlights are angular and sharp, which helps to make the new Mercedes "Panamericana" corporate grille stand out. While both the current CLA-Class and forthcoming A-Class are technically sedans, the CLA received the same CL-style badge as the coupe-like CLS-Class. Whether or not the new A-Class will adopt the same frustratingly steep rear glass, and the poor rear headroom that goes with it, will remain to be seen.
It's been speculated that the A-Class will be built at the Nissan-Daimler joint venture plant in Mexico, a venture which has already borne fruit in the form of the Infiniti QX30, itself essentially a rebadged and rebodied Mercedes GLA-Class crossover. Mercedes-Benz didn't immediately respond to a request for more information on the new A-Class.
Pricing for the A-Class has yet to be confirmed, but we suspect that it will hover somewhere around the CLA's $30,000-ish starting point.