Chevrolet SR-V, Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia. These are three hatchbacks which were launched in India as a premium product, offering much more (space, features et all) to the buyer than your regular hatchback, all three flopped due to higher pricing and were eventually discontinued. Now an even bigger and more premium hatchback has been launched in India, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which sits on a tight rope. Either the A-Class will see the same fate as the above mentioned cars, or it will change the perception of Indians towards hatchbacks, we sincerely hope for the latter.
Mercedes-Benz has launched the all new, third generation A-Class in India, which is brought in via the CBU route. The vehicle looks the part and the diamond grille is easily the highlight of the A. Offered with a choice of two engines, the petrol A-Class (A180 Sport) uses a 1.6-litre engine to produce 122 HP of power and 200 Nm of torque. The diesel A-Class (A180 CDI Style) uses the engine from the C-Class, which is the 2.2-litre mill generating 108 BHP of power and 250 Nm of torque. The company claims the A-Class diesel will go 1000 kms on one tank of fuel. Both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Read The Mercedes A-Class Review
The Mercedes A-Class is offered with a host of features, including 11 drive assistance systems. The vehicle currently has no competition but will be joined by the BMW 1-Series and Volvo V40 later this year. The front-wheel drive A-Class uses the company’s new MFA platform and is already seeing good success globally. The Mercedes A-Class diesel is priced at Rs. 21.935 lakhs while the A-Class petrol is priced at Rs. 22.735 lakhs (prices are introductory and ex-showroom, Mumbai). Both models have the same level of equipment but the diesel is cheaper as it does not have various features like a panoramic sunroof, navigation and park sensors.
Mercedes A-Class Price (on-road, Mumbai) –
* A180 CDI – Rs. 28.21 lakhs
* A180 Sport – Rs. 29.25 lakhs
The Mercedes A-Class won the red dot award 2013 for its outstanding design. The vehicle has the largest panoramic sunroof in any hatchback. It also has the most fuel efficient engine in the luxury segment with around 9% fuel saving being offered by the Eco start/stop system. The A180 Sport (petrol) delivers a mileage of 15.5 km/l, while the A180 CDI delivers a mileage of 20.06 km/l (ARAI certified).
The Mercedes A-Class is offered with 7 airbags, ESP, ASR, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, Attention Assist, Tyre Pressure Loss Warning System, Adaptive Brake Lights, etc. It is offered in three colours namely white, silver and red. The German automaker is boosting capacity at its Chakan facility and the A-Class will be locally assembled in India starting sometime in 2014.