Mercedes-Benz is trying to get cheap luxury cars right with low-priced A-Class

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First look at Mercedes' $2.7M supercar

Mercedes-Benz launched the A-Class sedan, its latest entry-level luxurious automobile for the American market Wednesday night time. Costs will begin beneath $35,000, making it Mercedes’ least costly mannequin within the US.

Mercedes is coming into tough territory for a high-end automaker. “Reasonably priced luxurious” is an oxymoron and it may be tough to handle the inherent contradiction. Comparatively cheap luxurious automobiles like this have bought nicely for Mercedes and rivals like BMW and Audi. However, by way of the expertise they supply, they do not at all times lived up the expectations created by the manufacturers’ costlier merchandise.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA, as an illustration, which already sells in roughly the identical worth vary because the A-Class, has amongst the bottom proprietor satisfaction scores of any automobile in Client Experiences’ surveys.

“Most mainstream sedans, not to mention a typical Mercedes-Benz, ship a greater expertise than the CLA,” Client Experiences states in its on-line assessment.

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Mercedes (DMLRY) has provided an A-Class in Europe for a very long time however that automobile, out there as a hatchback, wasn’t thought of proper for the American market, executives say. The brand new A-Class sedan shares a lot of its engineering with the CLA, however it stays to be seen if the brand new automobile delivers a greater driving expertise. As traditional when a automobile has simply been unveiled, Mercedes has not but provided check drives.

One factor the brand new A-Class clearly provides is superior expertise. Mercedes is introducing a consumer interface known as MBUX, which features a touchscreen — a primary in a Mercedes-Benz — in addition to a complicated voice command system that responds to a wide range of pure phrases. For example, a driver can say “Hey, Mercedes, I am chilly,” and the automobile will routinely flip up the warmth.

mercedes benz a class driving
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the model’s new entry-level mannequin in America.

This a break from Mercedes’ custom by which new applied sciences are often launched first on the very costly S-Class sedan then rolled out in progressively inexpensive automobiles.

The outside of the A-Class appears to be like trendy in a extra upright and conservative approach than the CLA, and the inside appears to be like a lot nicer and extra attention-grabbing. A freestanding display screen stretches atop the left two-thirds of the dashboard. On one aspect, it shows leisure, telephone and different secondary controls. On the left aspect, in entrance of the driving force, it exhibits a digitally rendered gauge cluster. There’s room beneath the display screen for large, spherical backlit air vents and there are traces of accent lighting all through the cabin.

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The primary automobiles that can arrive at US sellers later this 12 months, known as the A220, will likely be powered by a turbocharged Four-cylinder engine producing as much as 188 horsepower.

mercedes benz a class interior
The inside of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class appears to be like ultra-modern.

Vehicles just like the CLA and A-Class are essential for Mercedes as a result of they carry new prospects into the model. Half to two-thirds of CLA consumers had by no means owned a Mercedes-Benz earlier than. Comparable numbers can logically be anticipated for the brand new A-Class sedan.

Inexperience with luxurious automobile possession could possibly be one purpose for the low proprietor satisfaction scores, stated Bernie Glaser, director of product administration for Mercedes-Benz USA. Prospects can have unrealistic expectations based mostly on expertise with Mercedes fashions costing way more. Additionally, in the event that they’ve solely owned non-luxury automobiles earlier than, they might be unprepared for the comparatively excessive price of service for a European luxurious automobile.

Ultimately, at the least half of all A-Class consumers are anticipated to develop into loyal Mercedes prospects. Mercedes is hoping their if their first style of luxurious is sweet sufficient, that the determine will likely be even increased.

CNNMoney (Brooklyn) First revealed July 26, 2018: three:20 PM ET

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