Johannesburg - The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is set to go on sale in South Africa in August, but it’s now ready to configure on the company’s local website, with prices starting just below the half-a-million mark.
Only two petrol models will be available at launch, in the form of an A200 starting at R499 000, and an A250 Sport listed at R593 300. The out-going range started at R461 209.
The A200 is powered by the company’s new 1.33-litre turbopetrol rated at 120kW and 250Nm and the A250 gets a GTI-chasing 2-litre turbopetrol that’s good for 165kW and 350Nm. In both cases the front wheels are driven through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission linked to steering mounted shift paddles.
At this dealers are unsure whether the A180d, which is powered by an 85kW/260Nm 1.5 turbodiesel, will be offered locally.
Features and options
The A200 (above) is fitted as standard with the new MBUX multimedia system (featuring the basic 17.8cm screen), and this entry version also comes with active brake assist, cruise control, a multi-function sports steering wheel and 16-inch alloy wheels. The seats are upholstered in black cloth.
The A250 Sport (above) gains an AMG-Line exterior package (complete with 18” alloys) as standard, along with LED headlights, multi-link rear suspension (the A200 has a basic torsion beam), Merc’s Light and Sound package featuring ambient lighting, Artico ‘microfibre’ upholstery and extended MBUX functions.
The wide range of options includes a larger 26.7cm central screen display (R10 000), wireless charging (R3000), all-digital instrument display (R6500), satnav (R8200), semi-autonomous Parking Pilot (R10 200), head-up display (R15 000), active cruise control (R16 200), adaptive suspension (R22 400) and much more, as they say on the infomercials. Head over to the configurator on the Mercedes-Benz SA website for the full list of options.
Advanced cabin tech
A standout feature in the new A-Class is its ‘free floating’ wide-screen cockpit design that does away with the traditional instrument cowl, although as mentioned you do need to pay extra to get the full screen effect.
The MBUX system (which stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience) houses some impressive technology, with ‘artificial intelligence’ algorithms that claim to adapt to driver preferences and an advanced new voice control system (with natural speech recognition) and which responds to the code phrase “Hey Mercedes”.