Mercedes-Benz will put its premium A-class subcompact sedan into U.S. showrooms this year. But now that the automaker has begun giving U.S. retailers a look at the car, product plans and details are coming into sharper focus.
- The car will have a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
- The styling is described as sporty, having a higher beltline than the Mercedes CLA and a "sharklike" nose. Mercedes will not bring the hatchback version to the U.S.
- The car will have a new multimedia system — called the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX — that has better displays, improved speech recognition capabilities, artificial intelligence and predictive learning abilities.
- The interior will feature a free-standing widescreen cockpit display and a multifunctional steering wheel.
- Seats will have comfort features generally associated with higher- priced segments.
- Retailers who have seen the car believe Mercedes will make it feature-rich instead of decontenting it.
- Pricing has not been announced. But some retailers now doubt the early speculation that the A class might debut with a sticker of less than $30,000. One dealer predicted that feature content will bring the price up to $32,000-$33,000. That would still position it as the luxury brand's entry product.