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    William Maley

    2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan Previews the Regular Sedan

      Cut a couple of inches out and you have the new A-Class sedan


    The next model in Mercedes-Benz's compact assault has been revealed. On the eve on Auto China, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Chinese market A-Class L sedan. L stands for long-wheelbase. Compared to the standard hatchback, the L sedan adds 2.4-inches to the wheelbase - all of it going to rear seat passengers.

    There isn't much difference in terms of the design between the A-Class sedan and hatchback. Right up until the rear doors, both models share a large grille, trapezoidal headlights, and bold lines along the side. Around back, the sedan gets a narrow trunk lid and the roofline isn't lowered - that will be saved for the upcoming CLA. The interior is the same as the hatchback with a modern design and Mercedes' new MBUX infotainment system.

    Power will come from either a turbocharged 1.33L three-cylinder engine producing either 134 or 161 horsepower, or a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 188 horsepower. Both engines come paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

    Mercedes-Benz is expected to debut the standard A-Class sedan sometime later this year.

    Source: Mercedes-Benz


    New member of the compact-class family: World premiere of the A-Class L Sedan

    Stuttgart/Beijing. Shortly before the first A-Class hatchbacks reach customers in Western Europe in May, a new variant of the compact-class family - in the guise of the A-Class L Sedan - will already be celebrating its premiere at Auto China (25 April to 4 May 2018) in Beijing. The notchback model being presented there features a 6 cm longer wheelbase (2789 instead of 2729 mm) and is a variant developed solely for the Chinese market. This A-Class model is being produced exclusively at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC Motor. The market launch in China is scheduled for the second half of 2018. A version of the sedan tailored to the needs of customers outside China will likewise launch in the second half of the year.

    With the latest design language characterised by clear structures and sensual surfaces, the high level of safety thanks to the innovative driving assistance systems featuring S‑Class functions and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, the Chinese A‑Class L Sedan boasts all of the virtues of the new compact-class family from Mercedes-Benz. One highlight is the intelligent voice control of the MBUX system with natural speech recognition: it is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese.

    “With our Chinese customers’ wishes and needs in mind, we developed the A‑Class L Sedan for the local market, which is the first and only long wheelbase model in the premium compact car segment,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China. “This long wheelbase version offers added space, with a rear compartment dedicated to meeting local preferences. And given our customers in China are young and connected, our new, intuitive MBUX telematics system gives them a highly individualized digital experience. With these highlight features and more, the A‑Class L Sedan is an excellent choice for our Chinese customers. We believe it will promote our further growth as our fifth model produced locally at BBAC, and we will build it in China, for China together with our partner BAIC.”

    In 2017 China was once again the largest sales market for Mercedes-Benz and smart. Customers in Mainland China took delivery over 610,000 vehicles last year, more than ever in a single year (+25.9%). In total, around 430,000 units were produced locally in 2017, which corresponds to more than two-thirds of the total sales volume in China.

    More than six million compact models have already been delivered to customers in around 170 markets. Following the great success of the last compact-class generation – Mercedes-Benz sold more than 620,000 compact vehicles globally in 2017 alone – currently the company is gradually extending the new compact-car family to eight members. The A‑Class hatchback and the Chinese variant of the A‑Class Saloon are the first two representatives of the new generation.

    About the Chinese A-Class L Sedan

    The A-Class L Sedan also reflects the purist, surface-accentuating design of the latest Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The compact saloon has very short overhangs at front and rear, which, in combination with the side feature line, reinforces the sporty image. As on the hatchback model, the front end design looks very progressive. Contributing to this impression are the low, drawn-out bonnet, flat headlamps with chrome elements, and torch-like daytime driving lights - plus the diamond radiator grille with single louvre, chrome pins, and central star. There is a choice of Sedan and Sport Sedan versions, with the latter featuring powerdomes on the bonnet.

    The greenhouse, which sits far back, and the compact rear end emphasise the sportiness of the vehicle. The wheels (in sizes 16 to 19 inches) fit flush in the wheel arches, which, like the strongly pronounced shoulders in the rear area, gives the vehicle a square stance on the road.

    The two-piece tail lights emphasise the width. The reflectors have been repositioned lower down in the bumper to allow the tail lights to benefit from a particularly flat design. Rose gold is an exclusive paint finish planned for the Chinese market.

    As in the hatchback model, the interior is a completely new departure, revolutionising the compact class from the inside with a new feeling of spaciousness. The interior architecture along with the displays and controls is an avant-garde USP in this segment. For the first time a cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard with its trim level extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity.

    Below this main body is a low-lying section, the so-called wing. The wing appears to float, as there are no connections or shape transitions to the surrounding area. The ambience lighting with up to 64 colours reinforces this effect and is a new interior experience, also for Chinese customers. The wing also forms the basis for the turbine-look air vents, which are embedded in trim, and the completely free-standing widescreen display.

    On board is the MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - with unique learning abilities thanks to artificial intelligence. Of course, the popular WeChatMyCar app is integrated. MBUX makes it possible for the first time for two or more users to connect simultaneously to the system. The intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese. Mercedes-Benz is the world's first automotive manufacturer to provide navigation display featuring augmented reality technology on the Chinese market.

    When developing the Chinese A-Class L Sedan (length/width/height: 4609/1796/1460 mm) a focal point was the kneeroom for rear passengers. As a result, at 2789 mm, the wheelbase is 60 mm longer than in the hatchback model (2729 mm). The boot has a capacity of 420 litres.

    At the market launch, the A-Class L Sedan will be available in China with the state-of-the-art all-aluminium four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.33 litres with power outputs of 100 and 120 kW (with cylinder shut-off); following later will be the 2‑litre four-cylinder engine with CONICSHAPE trumpet honing and CAMTRONIC variable valve timing. In China, the latter engine has an output of 140 kW. The 7G‑DCT dual clutch transmission comes as standard.

    Of course on the Chinese market the A‑Class L Sedan also boasts the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class.



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    That is a pretty decent improvement in profile. Now it looks more like a shrunken Sable instead of a shrunken Taurus.  The interior looks like a good upgrade too,. 

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    • OK, so this is a China-only model that's the exact same size as the CLA. Did they fix the catastrophically small back seat?

    • Any pricing info yet?

    • Shame that MB again pasted the S-class nose on another dirt-cheap compact car. Dilution for dollars.

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    So it's M-Bs answer to the Corolla, Civic, Cruze, Fusion, Jetta, etc. ;)    4cyl FWD appliance.  So will NA get the regular wheelbase or the long wheelbase? 

    6 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    • OK, so this is a China-only model that's the exact same size as the CLA. Did they fix the catastrophically small back seat?
    a

    Note the article said this is the long wheelbase 'L' model, so more rear leg room.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    2 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Note the article said this is the long wheelbase 'L' model, so more rear leg room.

    Yeah, 7 inches seems like quite a bit as well. Nice. 

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    8 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Maybe- this 'L' is the same length as the CLA. Maybe the non-'L' A has LESS than the CLA.

    Where are you getting that it's the same length as the CLA?  The article says the wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer  than the regular A class (current CLA has the same wheelbase as the A class hatchback).   The new A class hatchback has a wheelbase 1.1 inches longer than the current A class.  No idea how the next CLA will be sized. 

    8 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Yeah, 7 inches seems like quite a bit as well. Nice. 

    2.4 inches longer wheelbase.

     

    To clarify the realities--the new A-class hatchback and sedan have a 107.4 inch wheelbase, the China-only L has a 109.8 inch wheelbase.  The current gen CLA has a 106.3 inch wheelbase.   Presumably, there will be a 2nd gen CLA coming, and NA will get one of the A-class sedans. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
    • Thanks 1

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    WOW, Talk about a mini S model with a tacky cheap ass Dash. Has that Terrible Floating Screen on the dash that SMK knocks everyone about coping MB on and the air vents look like a sphincter.

    This is what 21st century entry level cheap luxury looks like? 😕

    PASS :nono:

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    14 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Maybe- this 'L' is the same length as the CLA. Maybe the non-'L' A has LESS than the CLA.

    I converted the length here to what's on MB's US site and our current CLA is an inch longer overall. This thing not in "L" form must be TINY!

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    Just now, dfelt said:

    WOW, Talk about a mini S model with a tacky cheap ass Dash. Has that Terrible Floating Screen on the dash that SMK knocks everyone about coping MB on and the air vents look like a sphincter.

    This is what 21st century entry level cheap luxury looks like? 😕

    PASS :nono:

    Well, it's just a FWD 4cyl compact lease appliance...think Cruze/Jetta/Focus/etc w/ a fancier badge. 

    Just now, ccap41 said:

    I converted the length here to what's on MB's US site and our current CLA is an inch longer overall. This thing not in "L" form must be TINY!

    Yeah, the 'coupe' roofline and decklid of the CLA makes the body longer...

    • Like 1

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    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Has that Terrible Floating Screen on the dash

    This is floating to you? 

    18C0323_131.jpg

    3 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Well, it's just a FWD 4cyl compact lease appliance...think Cruze/Jetta/Focus/etc w/ a fancier badge. 

    Yeah, the 'coupe' roofline and decklid of the CLA makes the body longer...

    So it should be roomier than the CLA while being a tad shorter overall(assuming it is largely in part of longer wheelbase)? 

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    Not sure if I'd call it floating, but it's not an integrated design, just a flat tablet-like screen stuck against the dash.  Boring  

    I'd assume it's roomier w the longer wheelbase, that's the point of a longer wheelbase. China likes bigger rear seat areas  since they often have drivers.  

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    45 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I wouldn't call anything with a starting price in the US of $32,700 "dirt cheap". 

    A bit pricey, but there is nothing 'luxury' about a compact FWD transverse 4cyl econobox w/ 134 or 161 hp--that's low, common, generic and fecal IMO. ;)

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    25 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I converted the length here to what's on MB's US site and our current CLA is an inch longer overall. This thing not in "L" form must be TINY!

    Right: 181" vs. 182". And the 181" 'L' is the longer version. Base A must be in the size tier of a Sonic! WTF is MB doing down in these classes?? What is this doing to build / maintain their reputation?


    CLA has poor packaging relative to others in it's size class, so the question remains; wonder if they improved the packaging for China, a market which prefers roominess?

    - - - - -

    $32K is below the average price paid in the USDM for a new vehicle, shouldn't mercedes be above that bar?

    Edited by balthazar
    • Like 1

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Right: 181" vs. 182". And the 181" 'L' is the longer version. Base A must be in the size tier of a Sonic! WTF is MB doing down in these classes?? What is this doing to build / maintain their reputation?

     

     

    The current A hatchback is like 169 inch length..I assume the new A regular length sedan is 2.4 inches shorter than the L, so 178.6 inches or thereabouts.. 

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    14 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    A bit pricey, but there is nothing 'luxury' about a compact FWD transverse 4cyl econobox w/ 134 or 161 hp--that's low, common, generic and fecal IMO. ;)

    Correct but that's anything but dirt cheap for a car that size. 

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    That has GOT to be a wildly unprofitable approach- to build 2 cars a mere 2 inches apart, and go thru all that engineering, testing, certification, different parts, etc etc, instead of just building the L. Who considering a car 178" long would just balk and declare 'Oh, if ONLY it was 176" long!'

    • Haha 1

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    4 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Right: 181" vs. 182". And the 181" 'L' is the longer version. Base A must be in the size tier of a Sonic! WTF is MB doing down in these classes?? What is this doing to build / maintain their reputation?

    $32K is below the average price paid in the USDM for a new vehicle, shouldn't mercedes be above that bar?

    I don't think A-class makes much sense in US, even though I see quite a few of them around, mostly people buying for the badge (like most other similar "luxury" cars from other manufacturers).

    But I think these small cars make all the sense in Europe.  I just came back from Italy and even C-class looks huge on the streets there.  Most cars from MB and BMW I saw there were A-class and 1-series

    mercedes_a180d_se_1.jpg

    0328465194001.jpg

    • Like 1

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    Yeah, i definitely understand their place in Europe (and similarly Asia). I drove around southern Italy years ago in the original generation mouse-shaped A-class (which had no pretense of luxury--it was a functional subcompact).    It's hard to wrap my head around fwd 4cyl economy cars being remotely 'luxury', but badge-chasers seem to view them that way.  I'd rather have a Golf if I were going for a FWD 4cyl compact. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
    • Upvote 1

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    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    HATCHBACKS FTW! 

    At least 80% if not more cars there are small hatchbacks, Fiesta size and no larger than Focus.  Fiestas are quite popular there btw.

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    5 minutes ago, ykX said:

    I don't think A-class makes much sense in US, even though I see quite a few of them around, mostly people buying for the badge (like most other similar "luxury" cars from other manufacturers).

    But I think these small cars make all the sense in Europe.  I just came back from Italy and even C-class looks huge on the streets there.  Most cars from MB and BMW I saw there were A-class and 1-series

    I remember how huge Grand Cherokees and Tahoes looked in Rome and Milan on my trips to Italy. 

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    Just now, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I remember how huge Grand Cherokees and Tahoes looked in Rome and Milan on my trips to Italy. 

    Yep, I saw few Grand Cherokees in Rome and they look like Escalades there.  Funny but Renegade is very popular there, I guess the right size and it looks different than most other small hatchbacks and small CUVs

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    3 minutes ago, ykX said:

    Yep, I saw few Grand Cherokees in Rome and they look like Escalades there.  Funny but Renegade is very popular there, I guess the right size and it looks different than most other small hatchbacks and small CUVs

    I'll never forget literally across the street from the Colleseum was a dark blue GC and a dark blue Tahoe parallel parked with Fiats in front and behind...strangers in a strange land.  I did see plenty of Jeeps in the UK and Europe on various trips from '00-06, though...XJs, Wranglers, GCs, Libertys (ie. Cherokees in Europe).   Mixed in w/ the occasional Voyager, Sebring convertible, Neon, Explorer, Chrysler 300...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    • By William Maley
      What a difference that four years make. That's the timeframe from the first Kia electric I reviewed (Soul EV) to the model seen here, the 2019 Niro EV. So much has changed in terms of battery technology and overall range that I could see myself having an electric vehicle as a primary mode of transport. There are some still some issues that make me think twice, but they are getting smaller.
      Kia avoided the trend of going crazy with the Niro EV’s design. Little touches such as blue accent trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and closed-front grille hiding the charging port help the EV stand apart from other Niro models. Changes inside are even smaller with a new center console featuring a dial control for the drive selector. This move is very smart as many buyers really don’t want their vehicle to shout “LOOK AT ME” when driving. The electric powertrain in the Niro EV packs quite the punch - 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. This is up 62 and 92 respectively from the Niro Hybrid I drove a few years back. Providing the electricity is a 64 kWh Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery that provides an estimated range of 239 miles. Kia says the Niro EV will hit 60 mph in under eight seconds. But I found it to be slightly quicker thanks to all of the torque being available instantly. Merging onto a freeway is where the electric powertrain does lose steam - blame a hefty curb weight of 3,854 pounds. I saw a maximum range of 208 to 210 miles throughout my week. This was due to cold temperatures ranging from low 30s to high 40s. But I was able to do a forty-mile round-trip commute for most of the week without having any range anxiety issues. Charging anxiety is a different story. If you have been reading my electric and plug-in hybrid reviews, then you’ll know that I only have access to 120V charging at home. Plugging the Niro EV after my day job meant waiting over sixteen hours for a full charge. This caused me to not want to venture out far unless I had some important errands to run as it would mean a longer time for a recharge. If I had completely depleted the battery, I would be waiting over two days for the battery to recharge. If you have a 240V charger, that time drops to 9.5 hours for a full-recharge. Finding a quick charger has gotten easier in the past year or two, but it is still a hit and miss affair. There are no quick chargers near where I live (unless I have a Tesla). It's slightly better further south where I work as there some around the area. But that introduces its own set of problems such setting aside the time to charge up the vehicle to finding if one works. I should note that I didn’t get the chance to try quick charging with the Niro EV during my week.  Handling is slightly better in the Niro EV thanks to the additional weight of the battery pack which reduces body roll. Steering is very light when turning, but will surprise you with how quick and accurate it deals with changes in direction. Ride quality is a little bit firm with some bumps and imperfections making their way inside. Where the Niro EV shines is noise isolation. During my work commute, I was surprised by how little wind and road noise came inside.  The major downside to the Niro EV is its limited availability. At the time of this writing, Kia is only selling the Niro EV is twelve states - most of them having Zero Emission Vehicle (or ZEV) programs that require automakers to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles in their lineups. Nothing is stopping you from purchasing a Niro EV in one of the states that it is available, but I’m wondering how many people will do that. Pricing for the Niro EV begins at $38,500 for the base EX model. I had the EX Premium at $44,000 which adds such goodies as an eight-inch touchscreen, premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats; sunroof. Add in a $1,000 Launch Edition package (LED headlights, front parking sensors, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror), and my as-tested price came to $45,995. Expensive bit of kit, but the Niro EV does come with a long list of standard features including heated outside mirrors with power folding; seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and push-button start. Plus, the Niro EV qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit which may sway some buyers when it comes time to do their taxes. The Kia Niro EV is the first electric vehicle that I could see myself living with. It drives for the most part as a normal vehicle and offers enough range for most people. The big item you need to be aware of is charging. If you decide to purchase, be sure to get a 240V charger and check to see if there are any sort of fast chargers in your area. It may mean the difference between worry-free and a large amount of anxiety. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro EV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia
      Model: Niro EV
      Trim: EX Premium
      Engine: 356V Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Lithium Ion Polymer Battery Pack
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 3,800 - 8,000
      Torque @ RPM: 291 @ 0 - 3,600
      Estimated Range: 239 Miles
      Curb Weight: 3,854 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: 
      Base Price: $44,000
      As Tested Price: $46,045 (Includes $1,045.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Launch Edition - $1,000.00
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