First Look: The Mercedes Benz A Class

Last night at a glitzy event at Rebel Nightclub in Downtown Toronto, Mercedes Benz had its Canadian unveiling of their new A Class vehicles. I say vehicles because Canada will get two variants:

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Canada will get a sedan variant….

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….And a hatchback variant. Oddly specs were not front and center at this event, but I can say that they come with a 4 cylinder engine that puts out 221 HP via a 7 speed dual clutch transmission, and the option for Mercedes famed 4Matic all wheel drive system is present.

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The interior of both vehicles were well appointed. And it was highlighted by this fully digital dashboard that is absolutely massive and pretty impressive if I may say so.

These vehicles are squarely targeted at millennials and that was highlighted by the fact that both vehicles have a feature called Mercedes-Benz User Experience or MBUX for short. According to the company is an AI like system that you can interact with via the phrase “Hello Mercedes” and it will interact with you and learn your preferences and adapt to you. Or put another way, it’s Siri or Google Assistant put into a car. Now having MBUX show up in the A Class is a bit of a departure for Mercedes. Usually, anything new and cool from a tech perspective that Mercedes develops shows up on the S Class first. It then trickles down to the rest of the lineup. Thus Mercedes is taking a bit of a gamble by going the other way.

I didn’t drive the car and I only got a short look at it at this event, but I can say that my first impression is positive. I think that the A Class can go toe to toe with the likes of the Audi A3. I am less sold on MBUX seeing as Android Auto has Google Assistant, and Apple CarPlay has Siri, both of which have loyal followings. But to be fair, I haven’t tried it so I will reserve judgement on that.

The A Class should be hitting dealerships in Canada now.

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