Mercedes-Benz is working on its next-generation compact car range, and included in this range will be the first-ever A-Class sedan.
Mercedes previewed the car in April with the unveiling of the A Sedan concept at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. The concept sported a more traditional notchback design as opposed to the coupe-like shape of the CLA (see below).
In an interview with Automotive News (subscription required), Mercedes sales chief Britta Seeger said the A-Class sedan will go on sale next fall as the brand’s entry-level model in the United States.
Mercedes-Benz A Sedan concept versus CLAEnlarge Photo
Mercedes’ current entry-level model in the U.S. is the CLA which starts at about $33,000. This has led to suggestions that the A-Class sedan will start under $30,000. Some readers will recall that the CLA was originally priced below $30k—$29,900 to be exact—when it first arrived on the market.
When asked whether the A-Class sedan will start under $30,000, Seeger replied, “We will see.”
The A-Class sedan will ride on the MFA2 front-wheel-drive platform Mercedes has developed for its next-generation compacts. Power should come from turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, and yes we're also expecting a high-performance AMG variant with as much as 400 horsepower on tap. Most of the cars bound for the U.S. are expected to be sourced from a plant in Mexico.
Interior design of next-generation Mercedes-Benz compact carsEnlarge Photo
As already revealed by Mercedes, the interiors of the automaker's next-gen compacts have seen a major step up in quality and design. Available to buyers will be a dual-screen display replacing much of the dash, just like in the high-end models from Mercedes. Also borrowed from higher segments is the touchpad-based controller in the center stack, plus the availability of premium materials, including for example open-pore wood.
Potential rivals include the Audi A3 and Acura ILX. BMW has a 1-Series sedan on sale in China but isn’t interested in bringing the car to the U.S. just yet.
The first of Mercedes’ next-gen compacts will be an A-Class hatchback. It’s due on sale in Europe in the spring of 2018. Eventually, we’ll see replacements for the current B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA. There will be at least two more models added, in addition to the A-Class sedan. One of these will a larger, more rugged SUV tipped to be called a GLB. The other will likely be an electric hatchback previewed by the recently revealed EQA concept car.