Those waiting for the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class won’t have to be in the lurch much longer as the German automaker’s Australian arm has confirmed that the W177 will be arriving in August 2018, even kindly attaching some specifications and pricing information too.
Along with the new exterior and MFA2 underpinnings, the A-Class really does want to establish itself as one of, if not the most, tech-laden offering in its…err…class. This is mostly down to the more generous suite of semi-autonomous driving features that will come as standard, but is also down to the newly developed MBUX infotainment system.
The acronym stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, and replaces the ageing COMAND interface in the company’s present and previous generation cars. It’s a big departure in that regard, replacing the analogue instrument cluster with a mega-wide digital display (comprising of two 10.25-inch LCDs) that will split between media and vehicular information.
One of its strengths of MBUX is the new intelligent voice control interface that let’s commands be relayed smartphone-style by saying “Hey Mercedes” out loud while in the car, upon which the input will be processed by the new LINGUATRONIC system and parsed into specific actions.
Much work has been put into developing a natural language comprehension system, requiring little to no learning curve on the driver’s part, however it’s yet to be proven as a major step forward in convenience. As the technology forefront has proved, mastering natural language is very much a tough nut to crack.
This all-new 4th-generation A-Class range will start with the A 200, which will kick off at $47,200 upon its August 10th local arrival. A less expensive A 180 and sportier A 250, meanwhile, is schedule to make Australian landfall later this year.
Observant readers will notice that the A200 is more than a touch pricier than the equivalent variant it will effectively replace starting next month. For that extra sum (around $3,000), buyers will be treated to a larger A-Class that’s a marked step up in refinement and material quality in addition to the new tech features.
A new four-cylinder turbocharged petrol joins the ranks too, a 1.3-litre unit dubbed M282 that produces a respectable 120kW and 250Nm while sipping a claimed 5.7-litres/100km on a combined cycle (claimed). A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission funnels drive to the front wheels, but will latterly also be used in all-wheel drive variants.
Over the previous A-Class, the all incoming W177 A-Classes will be fitted with 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with adaptive high beam assist, keyless start, and wireless smartphone charging as standard.
Additionally, there are nine air bags (front, pelvis side and window bags for driver and front passenger, side bags for rear occupants and knee bag for driver), Active Brake Assist with semi-autonomous braking function, Active Parking Assist inc. PARKTRONIC, Active Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Assist with exit warning, Traffic Sign Assist and reversing camera.