Mercedes A-Class Saloon makes Singaporean debut



It’s time to bring your A-game, as the smallest Mercedes four-door is now available, from S$164k with COE; undercuts CLA by S$17k

SINGAPORE

The Europeans may love the hatchback body style when it comes to small cars, but two key markets, Asia and the US, still prefer the traditional three-box saloon. That explains why this, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon now exists, and it would quite likely become the best seller here among the brand’s compact range.

Following on from the A-Class hatch’s launch here last November, and the CLA coupe’s in July, the A-Class Saloon joined the local Mercedes lineup at a launch event held at The Esplanade on 29 August.

As per the A-Class hatch, the saloon is being introduced here with a total of three engine/trim combinations: A 200 Progressive (S$163,888, red car), A 200 AMG Line (S$168,888) and A 250 AMG Line (S$187,888, grey car). That makes the four-door A 200 and A 250 just S$2,000 and $4,000 more expensive than the five-door respectively, and a whopping S$17,000 cheaper than the same-same-but-different CLA. All prices are inclusive of Certificate of Entitlement (COE).

To recap, the A 200 engine is a new 1.33-litre turbocharged inline four cylinder producing 163bhp and 250Nm of torque, while the A 250 uses the existing 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder, with 224hp and 350Nm of torque. Due to its extra sheetmetal, the A-Class Saloon is a scant 0.1 seconds slower from 0-100km/h than the hatch, at 8.1 and 6.3 seconds respectively.

The A-Class Saloon is also marginally more fuel efficient than the hatch, at 5.5L/100km for the A 200 and 6.4L/100km for the A 250, thanks chiefly to better aerodynamics. The A-Class hatchback was already very slippery through the air, but the Saloon’s longer rear end helps make it even more so; Mercedes claims the A-Class Saloon has the lowest wind resistance of any car currently in production.

That rear end aids not just aerodynamics, but practicality too. The grafted-on boot adds 130mm to the car’s length and a not-insignificant 50-litres to the cargo capacity for a total of 420-litres. That bring’s the car’s overall length to 4,549mm, or marginally longer than its closest rival, the ageing Audi A3 Sedan. Its 1,796mm width and 2,729mm wheelbase are identical to the hatch.

Rear headroom, meanwhile, is claimed to be “best-in-class” at 944mm (incidentally matching the also-just-launched Volvo S60, which is one size category up). That should make it more pleasant to ride in than the previous de facto four-door Baby Benz, the CLA, which has 36mm less headroom and in which we found ourselves constantly knocking our noggins and backs on its rear door frame each time we got in or out.



Up front though, everything’s identical to the rest of the compact Mercedes family, which means a two-tiered dashboard with twin 10.25-inch screens, touchpads in the centre console and on the steering wheel, and MBUX, Mercedes’ version of Siri or Google Assistant (check out our CLA preview article for a complete rundown, as well as this quick walkthrough video of the system in the A-Class hatch:

Impressively, all A-Class Saloon variants get self-parking assist and automatic emergency braking assist as standard. Other features include electric front seats with memory function, 64-stage ambient lighting, and seven airbags. 

As usual, AMG Line trim brings in different bumpers, wheel design and upholstery compared to the Progressive trim. The steering wheel is also a different, flat-bottomed item, and the suspension is also lowered by 15mm. 

Other optional extras include ventilated front seats (S$3,700), adaptive dampers (S$4,100, or S$2,900 with AMG Line), head-up display (S$4,100), panoramic sunroof (S$3,900), and two-zone climate control (S$2,100).

There’s also some advanced active safety tech as seen on larger Benzes including the S-Class flagship: Adaptive cruise control (S$2,500), and  Lane Tracking Package (S$3,300), which consists of blind spot assist and active lane keep assist.

Further down the line, a hot-ish AMG A 35 model should join the lineup, which will be pitched directly against the brand-new BMW M135i xDrive.  However a source revealed to CarBuyer that the 118i’s most natural competitor, the A 180 model, is not likely to come here, as it would incur a Vehicle Emissions Scheme (VES) penalty and thus nullify any price advantage it might have.

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.