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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - A-class

Upmarket touches in new-gen Mercedes A-Class cabin

Cabin pressure: Mercedes-Benz’s new A-Class is expected to significantly step-up its interior game when it launches in late 2018 thanks to a modernised design and improved levels of tech.

Digital displays, increased room, modern design for Mercedes’ new A-Class interior

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Mercedes-Benz logo23 Nov 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

MERCEDES-BENZ has stepped-up its small car interior game with the reveal of its new-generation A-Class cabin that sports an “avant-garde” dashboard design, modern technologies and increased space.

Designed to appeal to the digital-native generation and due in Australian showrooms around the third quarter of 2018, the most obvious change in the new Mercedes small hatchback is the single widescreen frame incorporating all-digital instrumentation and the central infotainment display.

Adopting a similar design cue from the E-Class large sedan, the A-Class display will be offered in three versions – either two 7.0-inch, one 7.0- and one 10.25-inch or two 10.25-inch screens.

Mercedes is calling the dashboard design “avant-garde” with a wraparound design that starts on the driver’s side door, extends across the cabin and onto the passenger side door.

As an option, ambient LED lighting – which is adjustable to 62 different colours – is available and positioned around the interior to accentuate the contours of the new dashboard layout.

Air vents eschew the X-motif of the current-generation A-Class and instead adopt a turbine-inspired look with three positioned on the central stack above the climate controls, and two more flanking the driver and front passenger.

Mercedes has increased stowage with the oddments tray expanding to accommodate larger smartphones and the front door pockets able to swallow up to 1.5-litre bottles. Rear doors can handle 1.0-litre liquids.

An updated version of Mercedes’ infotainment-controlling touchpad can also be glimpsed, with a wider, flatter surface area replacing the more contoured look of the device found in the C-Class.

An S-Class-like steering wheel is also fitted to the new A-Class with numerous buttons for functions including cruise control, infotainment system regulation and the speed limiter function.

The German brand is also promising the slimmed down A-, B- and C-pillars will increase visibility all round.

Front seats across the various specification levels will feature a mix of heating, massage and various levels of electronic adjustment, while a new three-level-ventilation seat climate control function is also available.

According to the German brand, “the air taken in through the perforated seat cover flows through the seat structure and is vented downwards and to the rear” which “surrounds the occupants with a pleasant flow of air”.

Shoulder-room inside grows by 9mm in the front and 22mm in the rear, while elbow space is also up (+35mm front, +36mm rear) as well as headroom (+7mm front, +8mm rear) thanks to its updated-platform underpinnings.

As standard, rear seats will sport a 60-40 split-fold design, with a 40/20/40 configuration available on what is expected to be higher-grade trims.

Boot capacity in the new-generation A-Class hatchback increases 29 litres to 370L.

While exterior styling is yet to be detailed, Mercedes did reveal the A-Class hatch’s new split tail-light design has also allowed a widening of the rear access opening by 20cm.

Daimler AG chief design officer Gorden Wagener said the new A-Class interior represents a significant step-change for the premium small car segment.

“The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of sensual purity, and has the potential to usher in a new design era,” he said.

“The interior presents modern luxury at a level previously unattainable in this class, and transports the user interface into the digital age.”

With the new G-Class set for a North America International Auto Show unveiling in January, Mercedes will likely keep the A-Class under wraps until the Geneva motor show in March.

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