Due for a complete reworking in just a year or two - possibly to be replaced by a whole new family of compact cars - Mercedes-Benz is refreshing the A-Class with a 5,500 unit special edition to help keep sales spooled up through the end of its production run.

Playing up the A-Class's sensible roots, but plastering on a veneer of style, sport and features, the Special Edition offers European buyers a careful balance of luxurious accommodation and affordable transportation.

The key features of the Special Edition over the standard A-Class include special black radiator louvres, 16in titanium-silver alloy wheels with a new 9-spoke design, and a 'Special Edition' badge on the mirror triangle. Standard exterior options also included with the package are free fog lamps and choice of metallic paint finish.

Inside, the Special Edition gets a two-tone black and grey color scheme, upgraded shiny black trim and embroidered black velour floor mats. The multifunction steering wheel, shift lever and parking brake handle are all wrapped in leather, and a standard Bluetooth hands-free system is also included. According to Mercedes, the total benefit of all of these extra options is a 36% price advantage over a non-Special Edition vehicle.

The Special Edition is powered by the efficient 160 CDIBlueEfficiency powertrain (rated at 82hp/60kW and 52.6mpg US/4.6L per 100km).

Over 1.8 million units of the A-Class have been sold over the car's model run.