Ever sat in a Mercedes-Benz A-Class and thought that it didn’t quite align with the rest of Mercedes’ passenger cars as far as quality and design was concerned? Did that iPad-esque infotainment screen, seemingly slapped onto the dashboard as an afterthought, ever jar you?
Well take a good look at the cabin of the next-generation A-Class. Set to arrive in Australia around the middle of next year, the new A-Class will add a sedan bodystyle for the first time in the nameplate’s history and kick its interior presentation to new levels of luxury.
While it won’t carry the same sloping centre stack design that Benz has applied to the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class, the A-Class will benefit from plenty of trickle-down luxe elsewhere in its cabin. The jet tailpipe-like air vents, for example, should be familiar to anyone who’s been in an E-Class or S-Class, while the twin-screen instrument panel and infotainment display treatment is another E- and S- hallmark – albeit without the binnacle enclosure to shield those big high-res screens from the sun.
The infotainment interface has also been comprehensively rejigged, with the familiar Comand jog dial replaced with a flat touchpad surface on the centre console. A slimline ventilation control switch block sits between the cupholders and centre vents, and the steering wheel is an S-Class item.
The dashboard demos Mercedes used to tease the new A-Class are, of course, intended for high-grade variants, however it’s expected that all variants will utilise a twin-display configuration – it’s just the size of the screens within it that will vary, with base grades receiving seven-inch displays, mid-spec variants getting a seven- and ten-inch combo and flagship models taking a twin ten-inch setup.
Cooled seats will also be available for the first time in an A-Class, but Benz hasn’t just focused on toys and gadgets. Responding to criticism of the current car, it has pledged that the new A-Class will boast more rear seat legroom, improved outward visibility and more luggage space than before.