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Bargain Benz

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be available in three grades - A180, A200 and A250 Sport - with the entry-level A180 starting at $35,600 plus on-road costs.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be available in three grades - A180, A200 and A250 Sport - with the entry-level A180 starting at $35,600 plus on-road costs.

FOUR months before the all-new A-Class hatch motors into local Mercedes-Benz showrooms, the all-important pricing and specification have been revealed.

The A-Class will be initially offered in three grades - A180, A200 and A250 Sport - with the entry-level A180 starting at $35,600 plus on-road costs.

The introduction of the compact premium A-Class triggers one of the biggest new-model onslaughts in the history of Mercedes-Benz Australia.  And, as well as the usual suspects BMW and Audi, it has other less traditional rivals in the crosshairs.

Mercedes-Benz Australia has positioned the new car (built in Germany) between the VW Golf and BMW 1-Series, confident it will pull buyers from both. But it also believes the well-priced, well-featured A Class can also attract those who might normally purchase more prosaic brands.

The five-door A-Class hatch, on display at the Australian International Motor Show starting Friday, will be in dealerships on March 1, 2013 (they'll be happy to take your order now), and will be the most affordable Mercedes on sale in Australia.

Mercedes-Benz Cars local managing director Horst von Sanden says his team resisted the temptation to bring in a thinly specced base model to woo buyers of regular compact cars. He insists the new A-Class is a true Mercedes-Benz with all the safety, equipment and driving pleasure found in other more expensive models in the range.

Unlike previous generation A-Class hatches, which were rather cartoonish in design and appealed mainly to females and young buyers, the new hatch - especially in its AMG-tweaked A250 Sport - will resonate with males.

Priced from $49,900, the 2.0-litre turbocharged A250 Sport puts out 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque, promising a level of performance to challenge the likes of the VW Golf GTI, and Renault Megane RS. AMG has waved its wand over the engine, suspension, transmission and exhaust, and given it the visuals to complement the engineering. Impressively too, the A250 Sport returns 6.6 litres/100km (combined) and accelerates from rest to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds.

Three other fuel thrifty engines (also direct injection and turbocharged fours) are offered at launch. The base A180 puts out 90kW/200Nm. The A200 gives a choice of 1.6-litre petrol, generating 115kW/250Nm, or a 1.8-litre diesel with 100kW/300Nm and capable of a staggering 4.6 L/100km (combined). The identically equipped (except for the engines) A200s are each priced at $40,900; you pay no more for the diesel.

All new A-Class models have impressive standard specifications - Eco stop/start, 17-inch alloys, smart sports seats, hands-free active park assist, electric park brake, Audio 20 with media interface.

Safety suites include nine airbags, radar-based Collision Prevention Assist, drowsiness detection system, 'active' bonnet and reversing camera. All engines feature the Eco start/stop function as standard and all Australian A-Class cars is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shift.

Additionally, seven option packages will be available, none priced more than $2990.

 

 Model

Displacement

Output

L/100km 
Combined

CO2emissions

Standard (MRLP)**

 A 180 BE*

1595 cc

90 kW

5.8

135 g/km

$35,600

 A 200 BE*

1595 cc

115 kW

6.1

141 g/km

$40,900

 A 200 CDI BE*

1796 cc

100 kW

4.6

121 g/km

$40,900

 A 250 Sport**

1991 cc

155 kW

6.6

152 g/km

$49,900

Topics:  cars, future models, mercedes-benz, motoring


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