The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class impressed us with its tech and refinement, but the posh hatch just got a little bit classier at the Beijing motor show. A new saloon model will take on the likes of Audi’s A3 Saloon in Europe.
Well, to be totally correct this is the A-Class L Sport Sedan of which is a Chinese market exclusive. Our saloon will be identical in every respect other than the rear doors will be 60mm shorter.
It’s a pretty good looking thing, don’t you think? Taking design direction from the Concept A Saloon of last year, the new A-Class Saloon retains the detailed front facia of the hatch. Subtle creases lead your eyes down the length of the car where the roofline slopes down to meet the boot lid.
Inside you’ll find the same plush interior as its hatchback sibling meaning that Merc’s new windscreen infotainment system is front and centre. The new MBUX system the screens run allows for people to use it at once as well as overlay virtual directions over a live view of the road ahead.
We don’t yet know which engines will be offered when the car comes to the UK later this year, but we’d expect them to mimic the hatch and include an AMG performance model or two. In China the A-Class Saloon comes with a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 134bhp or 168bhp dependant upon on model. A 188bhp 2.0-litre petrol will be inserted into the lineup soon after launch.
Audi began offering a saloon variation of its A3 in the latest generation — something that has proven popular. BMW makes a saloon variant of the 1 Series, but there are no plans for that model to come to Europe. Are BMW missing a trick? Mercedes seems to think so.