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Mercedes A-Class Sedan breaks cover in Beijing with long wheelbase


We’ve already seen the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class in its hatchback form, but that’s not the one the US will eventually get. You’d be wiser to draw your eye to the A-Class L Sedan.

Mercedes-Benz debuted the A-Class L Sedan on Tuesday at the 2018 Auto China show in Beijing. While the idea of a compact sedan with an extended wheelbase might seem odd, extended sedans are huge in China, and Mercedes-Benz has introduced stretched variants of the C-Class and E-Class in the Middle Kingdom in the past.

The proportions seem much cleaner than the CLA-Class, and I imagine that won’t change when the wheelbase shrinks a bit.


Mercedes-Benz

The front end of the A-Class L Sedan is the same as the A-Class hatchback, with its new triangular headlights drawing similarities to the new CLS-Class. Out back, there’s a traditional trunk with taillights that don’t look much different than the hatchback’s. The angle on the rear glass doesn’t appear to drop as early as on the current CLA-Class sedan, which means people might actually fit in the backseat this time around.

The interior is pretty much the same, as well. The most important bit of the A-Class continues to be MBUX, the latest iteration of Mercedes-Benz’s infotainment system. The screens are now touch-capable, and the system has a new AI assistant that you can access by saying, “Hey, Mercedes.” New design staples abound, from the latest steering wheel to a revised touchpad and attractive vents first seen on more expensive Mercs.

When the A-Class L Sedan launches in the second half of this year, it will arrive in China with a single engine — a 1.33-liter I4 putting out either 134 or 161 horsepower. Eventually, a 2.0-liter I4 with 188 horsepower will arrive. A seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission is the only one available for the Chinese market. Other tech includes a bevy of active and passive safety systems borrowed from Mercedes’ more expensive cars, including autobrake and adaptive cruise control.

Mercedes-Benz did say a “version of the sedan tailored to the needs of customers outside China” — which is a long way of saying “a sedan with a standard wheelbase” — will launch later this year, so it won’t be much longer before we see what the A-Class Sedan has in store for the US. But now, at the least, we have an idea of what it’ll look like.



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