The Mercedes Benz A Class is classified as a mini MPV, and 1997 was the year the first generation W168 model was introduced as a five door hatchback. The second generation W169 model came out in late 2004 as a three door hatchback designed to sit below the five door as the entry level model. The third generation W176 model was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show of March 2012 as a five door hatchback. The model for Europe is slated to start selling in September 2012. The all-new A Class is fully up to the task of battling rivals such as the new Audi A3 and the BMW 1 Series.

A Class - W176 model

Sexy in black

The new A Class has several different powertrain options. There are three gasoline powered engines with four cylinders. The engines range in size from 1.6 to 2.0 liters, and they make use of turbocharging and direct injection. Power developed has been measured as 115 hp for the A180, 156 hp for the A200, and 211 hp for the A250. The 1.6 liter engine introduces the new Camtronic system that automatically monitors and adjusts the amount of gas mixture for increased fuel efficiency. There are also three four cylinder diesels, and they are all turbocharged. The first is the A180 CDI which develops 109 hp with torque of 184 lb-ft, and the second is the A200 CDI which gets 136 hp and torque of 221 lb-ft. A displacement was not specified for these two, but the A220 is specified as a 2.2 liter engine. It can develop 170 hp with torque of 258 lb-ft.

The 2013 A Class has a very different design from earlier models. The exterior is described as being emotive with a distinct sporty flair. The exterior design utilizes well defined edges and taut surfaces with a complex interplay between convex and concave planes. This develops a unique and interesting play of light on the vehicle, especially on the sides. To complement the exterior’s sporty look, the interior features an electroplated finish on all trim surfaces. This silver chrome finish gives the trim a metallic surface that has a “cool touch” effect.

This new A Class has extremely efficient engines with CO2 emissions ratings starting at 99 g/km. Safety features include the Collision Prevention Assist system that is radar based. Both diesel and gas engines are equipped with ECO start/stop technology to boost fuel economy.

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