The Chinese-spec Mercedes-Benz A Class sedan has made its official debut in Beijing, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the US spec version when it arrives later this year.
The A Class that debuted at Auto China 2018 this week is actually a stretched, long wheelbase version called the A Class L. Chinese buyers appreciate rear legroom and many put it high on their reason for buying a vehicle, and Mercedes’ claims the A Class L is the “only long-wheelbase model in the premium compact car segment.” The elongated compact’s wheelbase measures 2.3 inches longer than the A Class hatchback’s, which will also be sold in China.
The four-door will be offered in ‘Sedan’ and ‘Sport Sedan’ versions, with the latter featuring sportier exterior elements, such as a dual powerdomes on the hood. A variety of different wheels ranging in sizes from 16- to 19-inches will be available, and China also receives an exclusive Rose Gold exterior color.
The vehicle also gets Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system, which features artificial intelligence, integrated WeChatMyCar and all the regular audio and navigation capabilities. MBUX will also appear in US-spec A Class sedans and many other Mercedes-Benz products going forward.
Mercedes says the A Class L adopts active safety functions from the S Class, but it didn’t specify which. The S Class is offered with an advanced adaptive cruise control that can navigate roundabouts and corners, active lane change assist and active emergency stop, among other semi-autonomous systems.
The Chinese-spec engine is a 1.33-liter four-cylinder, which is offered in 134 hp and 160 hp versions. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be available at a later date, which will be making 187 hp. The only transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. This powertrain lineup, save for the 7-speed transmission, is not representative of the US lineup.
The A Class L will be manufactured by Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and its local Chinese partner BAIC Motor.
Discuss this story on our Mercedes-Benz Forum.