Sunday, March 26, 2023

2022 Mercedes A-Class Petrol Review, First Drive

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Mercedes A-Class and the FWD platform has a very subtle and long history in India. At a time we got the hatchback and sedan in the form of A-class hatchback and CLA sedan. The success lasted for Mercedes India was more than expected. However, as time grew by, Mercedes decided to meet the market’s new demands and get the CLA out and replace the A-class platform sibling with one new car entirely. The A-Class limousine was doing rounds in other countries and this time it made it to India! However, since it had the potential to be a volume product, Mercedes decided to make it in India since day one! Welcome the A-class limousine which replaces the highly popular CLA in India. We just drove the petrol version and the things it packs inside out, need to be explained because the packaging this time around is special.

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On the outside, the butterfly tail lamps are a great addition to the A-Class. The new angular LED DRL at the front, the simple and bold grille makes the car look one of the best saloons to come out of the Mercedes plant in a very long time, in this segment of course. The C-pillar and the window frame make it look like a mature but younger brother of the C-Class. A fairly simple bumper on both ends makes the A_Class look like a proper European saloon that we have loved always. The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on crash tests like any other Mercedes. The elements on the car, such as alloy wheels, clean and very tastefully design makes the A-Class stand out in every color you can get your hands on.

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On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the expansive feature list we have explained time and again in our launch report. The interior looks great with the turbine jet air vents and rocker switches which makes the cabin look special. You get every feature possible in the saloon. Right from automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charger, ambient lighting, and projector LED lamps. The one thing we don’t like is going through music where the cursor is missing and using the touchpad on the steering wheel, you need to find it first and then navigate it to the track button, and then use it. The long tedious process can be fixed by using a tap on the touch screen or using the buttons below. Something Mercedes should fix by just initiating the swiping of the pad on the steering, which should change by assuming it is a track change command and changing the track at first go!

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The car has a large panoramic sunroof, memory function with electrical leather seats. What continues to be missing is ventilated seats, wireless apple car play, and android auto are missing but the wired ones continue to serve. The best part is the full screen that is on offer behind the plain-looking steering wheel which extends all the way to the center. The instrument cluster has four screens to choose from and they look great and very sci-fi too! MBUX system works quite well and the connected system is good too when you have cell coverage. Mercedes offers Mercedes ME, concierge service, and all other connected features to make the A-Class a completely connected car.

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Space is more than sufficient with enough shoulder and knee room you expect, is here. Leg and headroom continue to be in good supply but as always it is a strict four-seater. The boot space is good enough at 400 liters and so is the overall practicality of the interior. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well-controlled thanks to good insulation all around. Like any other Mercedes, it is still a pleasant place to be thanks to multi-level filtration. Safety kit continues to be high with electronic stability control and eight airbags, Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, Active Brake Assist, and more come as standard.

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Mercedes petrol engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the A-Class is a bit different. 1.3 Motor comes from Nissan-Renault-Daimler alliance that was made together and this time Mercedes is using it for the first time in India. NVH levels are a bit higher than you expect but not harshly intrusive be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on the petrol motor that makes a 163 PS and 250 Nm of torque going through the not so quick-shifting but smooth and seamless 7-speed DSG automatic. The engine is linear flexible and powerful at the same time. 0-100 km/hr in 8.3 seconds is quick and it has an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/hr is on offer

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Top-end is not great, but as always the engine can cruise at legal speeds and higher than that, quite easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway duties and makes driving comfortable. Driving modes help it achieve more economy in eco mode we still saw 9 km/l for the in the city and 13 km/l on the highway. This is the mode to stay in because comfort mode drops the economy and makes the car a bit more on its toes which makes it jerky and sport quite clearly amplifies that even more. Use it only if you are up for some fun!

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The ride quality is good at all speeds and that is something new in a Mercedes in a very long time. This is clearly the best setup for our roads to date. Previously Jaguar saloons had the best score on this. The steering gives enough feedback and is very precise at all speeds. This is something Mercedes is doing just right with all its cars thesedays. High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance. The brakes were good too with great pedal bite and a lot of performance on offer. Body roll exists while changing lanes at high speeds but it is still a very confidence-inspiring car to drive at any given speed. Overall, very easy-to-drive car despite FWD thanks to a perfect setup of steering wheelbase and ideal wheelbase for our conditions.

2022 Mercedes A-Class Petrol Review, Verdict

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Mercedes A-Class’s biggest trump card is not just the great design, inside out or Mercedes’s far-reaching sales and after-sales network, which is the biggest in the segment. It is also the 8-year warranty which makes the car a great buy if you like to keep this smaller Mercedes in your garage for that many years or sell it to the next buyer and pass the warranty and enjoy great resale value.

A-Class with this petrol engine may not appeal to the enthusiasts, but it does a lot to the audience who enjoy luxury and want a petrol runabout for everyday needs. Yes, there are options from BMW and upcoming from Audi as well, but the A-Class has always been something very special to Indians whether it was in hatchback shape earlier, or in the saloon form with the CLA and that is the trump card Mercedes hold on top of everything else.

2022 Mercedes A-Class Petrol India Review,
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Features
  • Practicality
  • Safety
  • Value
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
Mohit Soni
Mohit Soni
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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