- The A Class has been revised for 2015
- More comfy and new connectivity tech
- CO2 emissions now down to 89g/km
Although to the naked eye you'll struggle to notice any change in the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the current model has actually undergone a bit of a revamp including some key kit and engine enhancements to help keep in-line with the competition.
Rival to cars like the Volvo V40, Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, the A-Class, as well as being a big hit with retail buyers, is a popular company car choice too and the latest revisions look set to further strengthen its appeal in the fleet sector.
Changes from the outside are slight with new alloy wheel designs, new front and rear lights and a new front bumper with the now standard diamond grille with single-blade design among the big changes.
Depending on which model you choose there are new materials used inside the cabin and new sports seats too with either green or red stripes. Optional ambient lighting is now littered throughout the interior with 12 colours to choose from and you can also opt for comfort seats which offer more support and add an adjustable cushion.
Crucial for company car drivers will be the 180 BlueEfficiency A-Class which now boasts CO2 emissions of 89g/km down 3g/km over the previous version. This means the car will slot into a 16 percent BIK tax band for the current 2015/16 tax year.
There is 108bhp and 260Nm of torque on offer from the four-cylinder diesel engine which is capable of accelerating the car from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds. The revised 180 BlueEfficiency model will also offer fuel economy as high as 69mpg.
Comfort and driving dynamics
A key focus during the development of the revised A Class has been comfort, the previous model came under heavy criticism for its firm ride and the latest version has undergone extensive testing using various simulators to try and improve the ride quality.
The dampers and suspension settings have all been fine-tuned and the designers and product engineers at Mercedes-Benz have placed a keen focus on making a clear definition between the different driving modes Comfort and Sport.
Setting an Individual driving preference is now much more adaptive and can be configured individually for the steering, throttle response, engine and suspension settings – for example you can have the suspension in Comfort with the steering in Sport - you can also save your preferred setting and then simply select by pressing a Dynamic Select button on the dashboard.
The latest connectivity software
Alongside the design changes, the new A-Class will also debut Apple CarPlay as part of a Smartphone Integration Pack.
If fitted, all you would need to do to integrate your phone into the car would be to plug-in your smartphone via the USB port – no need to sync using Bluetooth.
This will open up a menu which includes all the key functions on your phone like calls, text messages, Google Maps and Spotify, they have to be present on your phone to be accessible through the system though.
You can navigate around the CarPlay system using the voice command function via Siri; telling it to play a song, call a friend, send a text or navigate to a destination using Google Maps is easy (provided it understands your accent), or you can use the rotary dial if needed.
Although you can send text messages using the systems, but if you receive any they will not be displayed on the screen as they are deemed a distraction. Gaming apps on your phone will also not appear for the same reason.
Apple CarPlay – as the name suggests – only supports Apple phones from IPhone 5 upwards. If you own an Android phone then MirrorLink is also included in the Smartphone Integration Pack although it’s not compatible with all phones - like Blackberry for example.
Pricing details for the revised A-Class will be announced at a later date but we are expecting a small increase over the outgoing version.