What comes to mind when you think about a car targeted at millennials? Sporty, budget, flashy, pink, maybe even extra? Well Mercedes-Benz is about to drop the all new 2019 A-Class Sedan, an entry level vehicle and an entirely new category for the brand targeted at a younger demographic, most of which probably thought they were still years away from bringing home babies first Benz.
We had the chance to test drive the car earlier this year in Seattle and we’re pumped to share our thoughts and impressions after getting behind this highly anticipated car.
But before we get to the test drive, let’s quickly throwback to the unveiling event in Brooklyn earlier this year. Fittingly held on the rooftop of the hip new One Hotel in Dumbo, the brand made a real splash revealing the car with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline as the backdrop. While our first glances were limited due to inclimate weather, the A-Class screamed luxury with its posh rose gold accents, tech heavy interior, and futuristic design. Not sure if it was just the dramatic setting, but the A-Class was impressive, visually speaking, maybe more so than the gloomy albeit iconic backdrop of the city.
Slide through a few photos from the unveiling below.
Let’s get back to the test drive.
While the A-Class still an entry level option for the brand, the cache of Mercedes-Benz and their software driven approach to this release will surely pique the interest of the millennial demographic, especially given the vehicle’s reasonable price tag. Available later this year in two body styles (a sedan and a hatchback), the A-Class is slated to start at $34,990 MSRP.
It’s the first vehicle in its class to integrate the MBUX (short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience,) a next level infotainment system, plus it’s the first to utilize cloud-based technology and augmented reality capabilities. The A-Class gets more intuitive, the more it learns from your voice commands, contacts, frequented locations, and gestures, providing an entirely new customer experience to make your life easier the more you drive.
Simply summon MBUX by saying “Hey Mercedes,” as you would Siri or Alexa.
As we pealed out of Seattle’s city centre and navigated through their spaghetti-like highway interchanges we got a sense of the dynamic handling of the A-Class. As we drove onward, towards Washington’s picturesque Mt. Rainier, we took note of the low wind resistance and road noise thanks to the A-Class’s superior aerodynamics and minimalist design.
While the MBUX system has a bit of a learning curve, there’s no denying it’s the best infotainment system on the market, and only gets more initiative with each passing gesture it has to learn from the driver. The seven inch display, which is standard, displays augmented reality of the vehicle’s trajectory when you turn, which was pretty cool and unlike any safety feature we’ve seen before.
For the gearheads out there, the A-Class comes standard with a panoramic roof, luxe 17-inch wheels, keyless start, LED head and tail lamps, plus a 188-horsepower and a seven speed transmission under the hood. The front axle and torsion beam in the rear of the suspension allowed for tight confident handling even the windiest of roads.
Visually the A-Class is simple yet effective in design. The low profile vehicle features little ornamentation aside from the futuristic diamond radiator grille at the front and sporty yet short rear overhang at the rear. Inside you’ll find your eyes gravitating to the large infotainment screen stretching across much of the dash displaying bold graphics, above three large brushed aluminum air vents that bring a refreshing analogue vibe to the design.
While we were skeptical at first that we could be won over by an entry level sedan, after spending a lovely day getting a real feel for all that the A-Class had to offer, we were sold on both the design and performance which feel more luxurious than you’d expect from its delightfully affordable price tag.
Keep your eye out for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class launch later this year.