Mercedes-Benz is mixing things up at the lower levels of its lineup this year by replacing the B-Class with the new A-Class. In Europe the 2019 A-Class is simply a new generation but for consumers on this side of the pond, it’s a brand-new model that will be offered in hatchback or sedan form.
We’ve already had the chance to sample the A-Class hatchback in anticipation for its November release. You can read the full review here.
The question that may be on many potential buyers’ mind at this point is how the new A-Class compares to the outgoing B-Class? Or, will you need to compromise on features and luxury because this is now Benz’ entry-level model?
If you’re thinking about buying a 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, here’s what you need to know.
Why You Should Buy a 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- It’s absolutely stunning from a design standpoint. European and refined, it also looks sporty and aggressive. There’s not a bad or weird angle on the car. Granted, we don’t know what the entry-level model will look like yet, and the cars we drove were top-of-the-line versions decked out in full AMG guise, but still. This is one handsome-looking car.
- There’s some exclusive technology in the A-Class in the form of the MBUX system or Mercedes-Benz User Experience. It’s basically a SIRI or Google Assistant designed by M-B and built into the A-Class’ two center screens. By using the “Hey, Mercedes” voice command, you are connected to the car and can ask it to lower the inside temperature, change the radio station or call your significant other. A lot of cars have voice command, but this one’s way more advanced and also has A.I. components that adapt to the driver’s preferences over time.
- There’s 221 horsepower under the hood which is a tad more than the CLA. The A-Class features top-notch performance for daily driving situations. It’s not too much, but it also gets you out of trouble or away from a traffic light with confidence.
- Like the exterior design, the interior is very impressive. You just don’t feel like you are driving an entry-level vehicle here like you did in the B-Class or as you do in the CLA, the Audi A3 or the BMW 2 Series. The entire cockpit is modeled after the E-Class and S-Class, and it’s simply beautiful.
- We talked performance, now let’s talk comfort. The A-Class is world’s away from the B-Class in terms of quietness and comfort. It feels solid and planted on the road, and the driver quickly falls in love with the overall feeling of confidence he or she gets from the car.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- It’s cramped compared to the B-Class. The A-Class’ styling means less headroom, and less cargo room as well. There’s only 370 liters of cargo space in the trunk compared to 488 liters for the outgoing B-Class. The fact that it’s a hatchback doesn’t translate into much versatility. Granted, it does do better than the GLI and certainly the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series.
- Mercedes-Benz made quite a fuss about the MBUX, and sure it’s pretty cool, but in the end, you’ll probably end up manually changing what needs to be changed. The voice commands don’t always work which is expected, unless of course you’re being sold on the idea that MBUX allows you to have normal conversations with your car. That just won’t happen.
- This is theoretical here because we don’t have all the pricing info yet, but you won’t want to buy an A-Class if the top-of-the-line models top $45,000 or $50,000. The entry-level model should come in at around $35,000 which is plenty of value, but it will be a front-wheel-drive model. If Mercedes-Benz doesn’t offer 4Matic until you’ve topped 40k, then you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough for your money.
At this point, it’s really hard to not recommend buying the A-Class when compared to the Audi A3, BMW 2 Series, Volkswagen GLI or any other comparable model. I’d wait for before settling on a loaded Civic Hatchback or Mazda3 Sport as well. For once, a German luxury automaker doesn’t make it easy to spot where they cut corners on their entry-level offering.