Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mercedes-Benz Unveils The China Only A-Class L Sedan Variant - Let's Hope It Gets a Global Launch Soon!

Mercedes-Benz have revealed a production version of the A-Class Sedan on the eve of Beijing's Auto China 2018 motor show. The A-Class L Sedan variant is made in China for the China market. I hope this is only something temporary as there is talk that the sedan will be launched globally sometime at the end of this year as a 2019 model. But for now, China, being the largest automobile market in the world takes priority and gets something which is typically China market, a 'L' or long wheelbase version of the smallest sized car sold as a Mercedes-Benz.

This is basically the newly launched 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class with a sedan body. The previous generation had a more swoopy CLA-Class sports sedan which had frameless doors and was marketed more as a 4-door coupe rather than an outright prenium sedan. This new one is a full fledged sedan as it has a roofline which does not sacrifice any interior headroom especially at the rear like the CLA. 

But the only issue I have in terms of the styling is the one that betrays its front-wheel drive or transverse engined underpinnings - the long front overhang. It makes the car look very cabin forward rather than the long bonnet, short boot styling of the rear wheel drive Mercedes cars.

Anyway, whatever the case, this is a model which makes sense in markets where premium sedans are coveted - like China and actually also here in Malaysia. I personally feel that this would be a good replacement to the W204 C-Class which is currently my main means of transport as the size of this new A-Class sedan could be similar to this older C-Class and something which I feel actually works in terms of urban maneuverability. 

So anyway, it is a very nice size for jam packed cities. It will be front wheel drive (on base models) like the other A-Class cars but if you just want the badge (and the lifestyle that goes with owning a Mercedes-Benz) it would suffice. With the current design language characterised by clear shapes and sensual surfaces (a more matured look compared to the more complicated, youngish lines of the older A-Class), the high safety levels with the driver assistance systems which has S-Class levels of function and the MBUX infotainment system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience, the new A-Class and therefore this Chinese A-Class L Sedan has all the virtues of the new compact class family from Mercedes-Benz. Put it in simpler terms, the inside and equipment levels are stupendous for an entry level sedan!

So there you go. China gets the A-Class sedan first. It also gets a long wheel based version too (it looks like it has more space than any standard A-Class hatchback we've been in so far). Of course, this is all subjective as in China, there is a long wheelbase version of the C-Class as well as the E-Class too. Actually, I would be happy if they brought any sedan variant in as soon as possible. I am curious to see how it fares on our roads in terms of refinement as well as performance.

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