Honda Civic petrol and diesel: Road Test Review
- Jun 10, 2019
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The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the cheapest Mercedes you can buy in India. That said, after more than two years of being in India, the A-Class has definitely become one of the most popular luxury hatchbacks in the country outselling competition like the BMW 1 Series on a consistent basis. It also faces competition from the Volvo V40 and the Mini Cooper 5 Door in India and this is exactly why Mercedes-Benz has decided to update and facelift the A-Class in India. So what does it get? Well, read on to find out...
Well, let us get one thing straight. The updates on the A-Class are very minor and only Mercedes-Benz or automobile aficionados might really recognize what the changes are. For starters, the new A-Class gets a new set of bumpers both in the front and the back. The front bumper gets a much more aggressive design that features a larger central opening and two sporty vertical vents on each side. The new bumper also gets a silver accent lip on the lower side that is a nod to the AMG-spec A-Class. The rear bumpers get an exhaust tip setup that is tied into the bumper design. The trapezoidal exhaust tips are finished in chrome and are like the ones available across most Mercedes-Benz cars globally. Of course, as expected, the A-Class also gets a new headlamp with LED lighting and LED daytime running lights. The tail lamp design too has been changed with a different lighting layout.
]You also get the option of painting certain parts of the new A-Class in a shade of gloss black. This includes the 16-inch wheels and the trademark inverted mesh front grille. The new A-Class also gets the panoramic sunroof as standard on both the petrol and diesel models.
On the interior front not much has changed from the previous A-Class. If you choose the green exterior paint, you do get green accept pieces on the seats that ties up the unique color. The A-Class continues to get the sporty bucket single piece seats and the sporty steering wheel that has aluminum accents on it. The A-Class also gets a free standing display screen that comes with a black bezel. The real change though is the software that the infotainment system comes with.
For starters, the new A-Class gets Apple CarPlay as a part of standard equipment. This means that iPhone users will get seamless access to the likes of their music and radio. You can also control basic telephone controls like calling, contact and messages with the added benefits of a clean user interface that has been designed by Apple. Other users can use the Mercedes-Benz connect software that helps you pair your smartphone to the user interface in the A-Class making it easy to use. Sadly, the problems that plague the A-Class continue in the facelift as well. The biggest problem remains space or the lack of it. The A-Class is extremely cramped in the rear and still feels claustrophobic due to its swept up window line and downward sloping roof. The boot too is small and the spare wheel that is mounted inside the boot takes up most of the space.
The new A-Class has no changed on the mechanical front. It continues to get the 2.1-litre diesel engine that you got on the older car and continues to make 135PS of peak power and 300Nm of peak torque too. Mated to a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox with paddle shifts, the A-Class will not scortch the streets, but it is pretty swift in the city and on the highway. Of course, being a city car primarily, most uses are more concerned about fuel economy, and the diesel one that we drove here offers a respectable 20kmpl according to ARAI results.
Gladly, Mercedes has sorted out the super stiff chassis that the A-Class used to come with for one that is more comfortable and supple without loosing much of the dynamics that the A-Class offers. The wheels too are smaller with 16-inch rims with 205/55 R16 tyres offered on the car instead of the larger and sportier 17-inch wheels and low profile tyres that used to be prone to sidewall failure. As we mentioned earlier, the A-Class still performs really well around the twisty bits. It might not out handle a Mini, but with its planted and wide stance combined with a great suspension setup, it certainly is praiseworthy.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was and is a great car for someone looking to get into the luxury car segment but does not want to loose the usability and ease of a hatchback. Yes, it does feel cramped at the rear, but with most of its audiences turning out to be much younger than the average Mercedes-Benz buyer, it is a compromise that you can live with.
Recommended Variant : A Class A 180