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Mercedes gives its A-class baby a midlife update and diesel power for the first time

17 Oct 2008

THE mid-life facelift for Mercedes’ smallest model is mainly cosmetic, limited to the plastic bits at the front and rear to provide some modest differentiation, but the big news is the addition of a turbo-diesel model for the first time. The new five-door A180 CDI comes in at $39,900 – $2000 more than the equivalent A170 petrol-engined model – but has more power and much better fuel economy (5.2L/100km versus 6.9L/100km). Prices across the range increased by between $300 and $900, but for that you also get some useful extra features such as iPod integration, Bluetooth connectivity, a hill-hold function, leather-wrapped steering wheel and electric windows in the rear of the five-door models.

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Model release date: 1 October 2008 to 1 June 2010

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz A-class

Released: May 2005
Ended: October 2008
Family Tree: A-class

The second-generation W169 Mercedes-Benz A-class was introduced to Australia in 2005 and was both better-looking and more practical than Mercedes’ first small car, the W168 model that came here in 1998. The W169 introduced a three-door model for the first time, which brought the entry price below $30,000. Engine choices were a base 70kW 1.5-litre, a 1.7-litre, a 2.0-litre and a 142kW 2.0-litre turbo. A conventional manual five-speed gearbox replaced the previous clutchless sequential gearbox (six speeds in the turbo) and a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) was available across the board.

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