Car companies exist to make money. They do that be pitching cars at us that will appeal. They have the best marketers available so who am I to second guess their work on what will and will not sell? Take the A Class Saloon.
This is a booted version of the normal A Class which in my mind is what the Mercedes CLA is. The saloon is less sloppier than the CLA but if they were shown to you separately you will probably have some difficulty differentiating them. The fronts are as similar as anything with the rear of the CLA having an uplifted boot crease and different lights. Look differences aside, the CLA, and now the Saloon, are two very fetching cars.
Inside it is a honed and polished offering. The “Siriesque” voice control of the various systems in the car is more hit than miss and all beautifully displayed in the best twin digital display in a car – period. It is simply beautifully laid out. The interior materials won’t be faulted either and whatever you touch feels as expected or better.
My automatic diesel model had 116bhp available and when the Sport mode was selected it felt like a car with a lot more. The engine was a bit noisier than I’d have liked but it is nice to be reminded occasionally that there is one in the car with the amount of noise suppression in cars these days. I just wish it was a free-revving petrol engine.
The car had lots of feel and grip and whilst not an out and out drivers car it can produce a smile. There’s a modicum of value with prices for what is a luxury segment car starting at €33,390 – not something I thought I’d be saying for a three-pointed-star car.
The Saloon delivers a 420ltr boot, 50ltrs bigger boot than the hatchback version, but loses practicality with its narrow opening. Competitors are the Audi A3 Saloon and the BMW 2 series.
Where the subdivision of a niche car model takes us is anybody’s guess but assuming the MB marketers are correct it will lead to additional sales as opposed to splitting sales. Personally I can’t see it, and marketers are not infallible, but if you end up behind the wheel of either you’ll be sitting in a very good looking car that is honed for luxury and comfort.
Under the Hood
Model Tested: Mercedes-Benz A180d Saloon
Engine: Diesel, 1,461cc, 116bhp, 260Nm
Top Speed: 206km/hr
Combined Fuel Consumption : 4.3l/100kms
Model Tested: €41,733
Prices from €33,390