In a world full of SUVs and many of them being faux SUVs, a sedan comes as a breath of fresh air as it is prettier of the lot and also, more engaging to drive. That said, a new sedan is always a welcome addition for us automotive enthusiasts and it is not just me expressing my love for sedans but in the luxury segment the numbers say the same too. In the year 2020, Mercedes-Benz got 53% of its sales from the sedan portfolio and now the company is pushing the game with the new A-Class Limousine. In our opinion, this car is a car of superlatives. Why do we say that? Read on to find out!
Starting with the visuals, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is a good-looking car and it retains the typical Mercedes-Benz design elements. That said, you get a wide grille along with a big star logo upfront. The car has a sleek-looking design and the bodyline has been done tastefully. One good thing about this design is that it is not a very busy design and that is why we think that it will age very well which isn’t the case with many cars out there.
Speaking of design details, you get sleek-looking all-LED headlamps with LED DRLs along with a nice looking long bonnet that gives it a typical sedan proportion. On the side, you can see a nice sloping roofline that gives the car a very sporty profile. The back of the car is done tastefully as you get these sharp and angular-looking tail lamps and the rear bumper has also goes well with the rest of the design. Another design highlight is 17-inch alloy wheels and if you notice, these cover more area than usual and the benefit of that is the reduced coefficient of drag. The A-Class Limousine is the world’s most aerodynamically efficient internal combustion car with a coefficient of drag of 0.22.
Step inside the cabin of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine and you will instantly feel that you are being welcomed into a warm space. You get a very good vibe and one of the reasons behind is the selection of colours. The top part of the dashboard is black, the middle gets a wooden finish and then, you have a light coloured soft-touch material in the lower part. As far as the fitment and material quality is concerned, these are top-notch. The centre stage is taken by a huge screen that extends from the driver side to the centre console and you can operate it using touch or mouse type trackpad. The touch response is fluid and even in direct sunlight, you can easily view all of the information. The user interface is quite simple and it won’t take much time to get used to it.
If you look at the dashboard, the turbine-style vents that are metal-finished look good and with ambient lighting these look quite stunning. In the centre console, there’s a wireless charging pad and as far as charging your devices through cables is concerned, you have 5 type-C USB chargers. The cushioning on the seats is nice and these offer good side support and if you look at the overall space management, that has been done very smartly. You get good space in the door pockets and inside the driver armrest and the same is the case with the glovebox. So, a lot of space is there in the cabin to place your small knick-knacks. The steering wheel is a nice chunky unit with a trackpad that you will find pretty much on all Mercedes-Benz cars these days while the rotary controls are easy to use and feel premium.
Lifting the mood inside the cabin further is a sunroof and one of the features that users expect these days is connected tech and the A-Class Limousine lives up to those expectations. This car comes with Mercedes Mercedes me and MBUX giving you access to Alexa and Google connectivity. The new A-Class Limousine also comes with voice commands that can be activated using ‘Hey Mercedes’ and you can do things like set cabin temperature, track vehicle, use geofencing and all this can be done from your smartphone.
For a lot of A-Class limousine customers, the rear seat comfort is going to be a consideration factor and if you are one of those, the new A-Class Limousine will not disappoint because the car is not only the longest in the segment but it also has the longest wheelbase and all of that extra wheelbase translates into impressive space.
The slight issue is that the seat here despite having a good backrest and incline angle misses out on under-thigh support and that is because of the angle of the seat. On the other hand, the headroom, despite the sloping roofline is quite nice. So in terms of space, there shouldn’t be an issue for most of the buyers and it will turn out to be a good family vehicle. In the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine, you also get the largest boot in the segment with 405 litres of volume in the petrol model and in the diesel, it goes down to 395 litres and that is because of the inclusion of the Ad-Blue tank.
Now talking of the performance of the A-Class Limousine, it drives like a dynamic compact sedan and that makes it an engaging car to drive. The car gets two powertrain options – petrol and diesel. The one that we drove was 1.3-litre petrol engine turbocharged petrol engine and you can also opt for a 2.0-litre diesel engine and the gearbox options are different for both. With the petrol engine, you get a 7-speed DCT while with the diesel engine, you get an 8-speed DCT. Talking of the petrol option which we believe will be the pick of the choice for many buyers, is a good motor to start with and you get a healthy power output of over 160 hp along with 250 Nm of torque. The engine is quite refined and while it might sound a bit coarse on the outside but once you are on the go, the cabin is very refined and silent and that is down to the impressive NVH insulation levels.
The engine offers good acceleration and despite being a turbocharged engine, there is just a hint of a lag in the lower RPMs, but once you get past 1,500-1,600 RPM, thereon the acceleration is good as the turbo is spooled up by then and as per the company’s claim, 0 to 100 kmph time can be achieved in 8.1 seconds. The gearbox works fine and is adequately quick so you get quick downshifts and upshifts. The best part is that the gearbox isn’t confused which means in any situation the response from the gearbox is quick. Overall, the A-Class Limousine is a refined car and you get a hassle-free driving experience. Since it is a low-displacement engine, the fuel efficiency of 17.5 kmpl is also the best in the segment.
The ride quality is quite supple and the suspension has also been tweaked as per the Indian roads. The ground clearance has also been increased and as a result of that, you can go over larger speed breakers and potholes without the worry of the underbelly being scraped. The ride quality is a bit on the firmer side but very few of the jolts filter inside the cabin and hence, you stay comfortable most of the time. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine is a sweet handler too and has good road manners. Straight-line stability is nothing to complain about and the brakes do a good job of bringing you to a reassuring stop. The steering has a decent amount of feedback to let you know what is happening with the front tyres and you can chuck this car around corners at a fairly rapid pace as the grip on offer is good. If you are going on a weekend drive to the hills or the ghat section, the A-Class Limousine will not let you down in terms of driving fun.
What makes the deal better is the fact that with this car, you get an industry-best 8-year warranty (powertrain) and that too a transferable one. This not only means a more hassle-free luxury car ownership experience but also a potentially higher resale value.
All said and done, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine emerges as a very strong product that sets a new benchmark in the segment in multiple areas. If the company launches this car at a starting price of Rs 40 lakh (ex-showroom), I think this would be one of the best entry-level luxury cars you can buy in the country. The launch will take place on 25th March, so stay tuned!
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