Awhile back, we took a look at the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class and its new interior. From what we saw of the new A-Class’ cabin, it seemed to be an absolute game-changer in the segment. It featured the same design and layout as the six-figure S-Class. It also featured a new infotaintment system (which we’ll get to in a moment), and superior driving dynamics to the old car. We also recently spoke about how, unless BMW makes some drastic changes to the 1 Series, the A-Class could dominate the segment. Now that Carwow has done a video review on it, the latter point seems inevitable.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will compete with the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3 primarily and, at least compared to the current offerings from its competitors, the new Merc will outsell them with ease. Not only does it look fresh and modern, and surprisingly much better than the CLA-Class it shares its design language with, but its cabin is just so far ahead of everything else in the segment.
The steering wheel and dash layout designs are plucked straight from the S-Class, making it feel far more premium than a car in its price range should feel. While the materials aren’t industry-leading, neither are any of the materials in any car in this segment. So it’s perfectly fine for its price point and competition. What it does have, though, is technology that bests everything else.
As part of Mercedes-Benz’s new infotainment system, the A-Class has an advanced voice recognition system, similar to that of Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. So all you have to do is say “Hey, Mercedes” and it will engage, asking you for a command. From there, you can control almost any aspect of the car’s infotainment system and interior controls. You can even adjust the color of the ambient lighting by voice.
The most impressive thing, though? The augmented reality navigation system. So on the nav screen, which is the right one of the two dashboard screens, you actually get a POV camera view of where you’re going, thanks to a camera on the nose of the car. In that view, you get navigation arrows that appear in real time, pointing you through turns and what not. It’s incredibly impressive and can make navigating tricky roads a breeze.
Carwow’s Mat Watson doesn’t seem in love with the A-Class’ handling and ride but it’s really going to be competitive in this segment, especially with the next 1 Series also being front-wheel drive-based. Plus, customers in this segment aren’t going to care about that. They’re going to see the premium cabin and wild tech and sign on the dotted line.
Admittedly, we’ve seen a brief teaser of BMW’s updated iDrive 7.0 and digital gauge cluster, which looks really impressive. But we don’t know how good it will be and we don’t think it’s going to have an augmented reality nav system. So customers are going to flip over the A-Class and I have a hard time seeing anything else outselling it in its class.