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Juliet McGuire

First Drive in the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Do you remember when the very first Mercedes-Benz A-Class hit the streets? It was back in 1997 and it was not exactly a hit. Especially as it would topple over during a moose test. But Mercedes-Benz wasn’t going to allow such low standards and so they developed a car that would set the bar pretty high for safety features in the compact hatch segment. But it was the third generation A-Class that saw the tipping point (pun intended ha ha) for Merc.

I will never forget the moment I saw the third generation A-Class in the metal. I was at the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) and was running around like a headless chicken as the ‘social media manager’ at CAR magazine. Bearing in mind that back in 2012/2013, it was all about the Twitter! And videos! And the Facebook friends not followers. We were all learning through trial and error. And if you’ve ever been to a motor show you will know just how manic it is. You have to capture every reveal, your feet feel like they’re going to fall off, your neck is stuck in an unnatural position as you try to see through and over the crowds, and you start to see black spots and stars from all the lights, the flashes and the adverts being screamed at you. (I realise I am digressing somewhat). The point is that the moment I saw the A-Class, everything sort of went quiet. I stood there with a thought, one thought, it was, “This is why I do what I do!” I couldn’t believe how one of the blandest cars on earth could now look like this. It was such a great moment. I shared it with all my friends, over a chat at a braai, not via social media – can you believe it?!

The new A-Class looks as good as the third gen, actually better! The moment of awe will forever be lost because you just cannot recreate such magic, but this little beauty certainly turns my head. As much as I loved the look of the previous generation, I did not love how it drove and I certainly did not like the interior. Thankfully Mercedes-Benz has stepped it up and this all-new model is really impressive, from looks to ride.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

But by far the most exciting thing for me is the MBUX system (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Gosh, it really shows you how far we have come and just how close we are to the future. Instead of spelling it all out with words, just watch this video.

and this one from Mobile Geeks:

How flipping cool is that????????

Everything else now seems so boring to mention, but I will just give you the engines and pricing and then you can go and get your ass in to a new A-Class and see just how much better it is than the previous generation.

You can choose between two models; the 1.3-litre A200 or the 2.0-litre A250. Most peeps will opt for the A200, according to Merc.

PRICING FOR THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS

Mercedes-Benz A200   R499 000

Mercedes-Benz A250   R593 300

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