The car that marked a new departure for the Mercedes-Benz range has come of age, and having learned from experience it can now present itself in “adult” form. The design of the new A-Class, also available in a highly dynamic coupé-style, three-door version, is based entirely on significantly increased dimensions. An extra 23 cm in length is no small thing, and when combined with an additional 4.5 cm in width, it looks very different in proportions and stance from its predecessor.
The dominant features of the finished model are its compact shape and taut lines, the slope of the bonnet that continues through the curve of the roof and then cuts off abruptly at the tail. Features that give the A-Class a distinctly streamlined stance even when motionless. While the exterior design is a new development but that also provides continuity with its predecessor, work on the interior really breaks new ground to abandon that rather “playful” side of the original A-Class. As if coming of age means placing greater attention on transforming functional aspects into shapes that have aesthetic validity in their own right.
The new interior looks even more spacious than its extra inches imply, thanks to a careful choice of colours and trim. What’s more, the clean-cut elegance of the dashboard combined with the snug shapeliness of the seats make the new A-Class, especially the Elegance version, the ideal find for anyone seeking high class comfort in a compact car.
A particularly successful combination for the German manufacturer, which has managed to apply its long tradition for excellence in up-market segments to the 384 cm of its new MPV compact.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 151