The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Mercedes-Benz continues to grow the brand’s family of compact cars with the addition of the new A-Class Saloon. The follow-up to the all-new A-Class hatchback that arrived in Ireland in summer 2018, the A-Class is now available for the first time as a saloon.

Priced from €31,445 in Ireland, the saloon carries about a €1000 premium over the A-Class hatchback. However, it is a visually more impressive car. Low, lean and sporty, the A-Class wears its dimensions perfectly, with short front and rear overhangs.

The separate boot has a volume of 420 litres and is larger than the boot in the hatchback. The new A-Class saloon is available in three trim lines – Style, Progressive and AMG Line. At launch, there’s an A180/A200/A250 (petrol) and A180d (diesel). The diesel model is available from €34,220.

Like the A-Class hatchback, the new A-Class Saloon features the latest in Mercedes-Benz technology and design. The interior of the car is a great expression of Mercedes-Benz values in compact form. But there is a definite more youthful and sportier vibe than in the larger saloons, estates and SUVs. My AMG Line trim car had beautiful Alcantara seats and door panelling, as well as sporty red stitching and detailing.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The cabin experience in the new A-Class is one of the best. The floating dashboard concept is elegant and modern. A 7” digital instrument panel for the driver comes as standard and is joined by a 7” or 10.25” screen for the infotainment. A touchpad controls the infotainment as well as voice control through the intelligent MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system that responds to ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands!

Standard equipment includes 16″ alloys, air con, active lane keeping assist, digital instrument cluster, MBUX multimedia system with touchscreen and touchpad, cruise control, Dynamic Select, heated front seats, reversing camera and part leather upholstery.

Progressive adds more chrome and carbon fibre effect trim to the cabin, automatic climate control, 17″ alloys, LED headlamps, visible tailpipe trim elements and rear apron with trim in chrome.

AMG Line adds a sport steering wheel, brushed stainless steel pedals, direct-steer system, aluminium trim, sports seats, 18″ alloys, AMG bodystyling and diamond radiator grille with chrome pins.

The new A-Class Saloon is priced from €31,445
The new A-Class Saloon is priced from €31,445

How practical is it?

Mercedes-Benz has improved interior space in this generation of the A-Class. There is more head, elbow and leg room. The rear still best serves two adults rather than three but it’s a nice way to travel for sure! The boot is larger than that in the hatchback and has a large opening for a saloon making loading and unpacking easier.

Engine options for the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon include two four-cylinder petrol engines of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre capacity, and a new 1.5-litre diesel. Power outputs range from 116 to 224 hp. A 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic gearbox are available, depending on model choice.

My test car was an A180d Automatic AMG Line with a list price of €37,889. The 180d uses a 1.5-litre diesel engine, which produces 116 hp and 260 Nm of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds though it needs to be revved a bit to make such brisk progress. In that regard, it can get noisy though it’s quiet at a cruise. It is extremely efficient however and over a week of driving I averaged 4.9l/100km.

Rear legroom in the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon
Rear legroom in the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Driving the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

There is some audible road noise but it is a comfortable car for the most part. The A-Class is one of the most fun to drive models in the entire Mercedes range and it’s no different in the saloon, being nimble and sporty. Dynamic Select offers different drive programs including Eco, Sport and Comfort with setting options for the engine, transmission, chassis and steering.

The compact models in the Mercedes-Benz range are about attracting more customers to the three-pointed star brand and giving the brand a more youthful image. The A-Class Saloon absolutely delivers on that. It’s sporty and desirable with great road presence.

The stunning interior is one of the car’s best assets and is packed full of the latest technology features and infotainment. The A180 d offers great economy but the A200 is a slicker engine that suits the refined image of the car better. But regardless of engine choice, Mercedes is on to a winner with this car and I expect in time the saloon will outsell the hatchback.

The Saloon is a cool and sporty derivative of the A-Class

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz A180d AMG Line Saloon
€37,889 (Range from €31,445)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 260 Nm
10.6 seconds
Top speed: 206 km/h
Fuel economy:
4.1-4.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
110 g/km
Motor tax: 
€190 per year