As an online vehicle supplier, many of customers are not local to us, so it is rewarding when we do get the opportunity to work closely with customers and meet them face to face. While many customers do prefer a quicker and more “distanced” approach via our portals, with our family business having roots in more relationship-style business, it’s great to experience this occasionally with certain consumers. In particular, we find some of our local customer base (Leigh, Wigan, Warrington and St Helens) prefer to visit our premises to take delivery of their car, as it provides an opportunity for them to ask questions and confirm the process moving forwards. For our customer here, this was also an opportunity to add more options to the car (i.e. tinted glass.) Adding extras to a lease car is something we will discuss in another blog.
As we have been discussing recently, the new A-Class is probably one of the most popular, and influential, cars of 2018. Over the last 5 years, the “old” A-Class has seen Mercedes gain massive footings in the personal and company car market, pushing back against the 1 Series, Audi A3 and the VW Golf. Before its revised A-Class, Mercedes really did struggle to break the smaller car/hatchback range, relying more upon the executive and SUV options to facilitate product growth.
While the C-Class and E-Class were historically the flagship products for the brand, attitudes to car styles, budgets and company cars (the cost of tax in particular) has seen a huge deviation from traditional approaches.
The reality is that customers now want small (and more affordable) sporty cars OR medium-sized SUVs which essentially fit all purposes. Anything smaller/bigger is now less popular. As we will go on to discus, the improvements with the new A-Class demonstrates just how serious Mercedes are about the changing marketplace.
Which Mercedes A Class Engine Should I Choose?
The first question with the new A-Class is – what engine should I go for? With WLTP, RDE, BiK and a hundred another acronyms, choosing the right engine for you, or the company, is now a difficult proposition. Quite frankly it is unclear if petrol, diesel, PHEV or electric are the right way forwards given current knee-jerk polices and statements from the Government. In terms of this car, there will be:
· A180 diesel (1461CC) – auto transmission only;
· A180 petrol (1332CC) – manual and auto transmission;
· A200 petrol(1332CC) – manual and auto transmission;
· A220 petrol (1991CC) – auto transmission only;
· A250 petrol (1991CC) – auto transmission only; and
· A45 (2.0 litre 300hp engine) – still no info.
The clear message is that petrol will be the short/medium future for the A-Class. Uncertainty surrounding the diesel engine has led many manufacturers to abandon bigger choices with this fuel-type.
As the UK government continue to go “anti-diesel” with 4% supplements on BiK, increased RFL and congestion charges, customers are suddenly heading into petrol engines at an astounding rate.
The diesel A-Class will still provide a higher-mileage driver some comfort; with 116ps, combined MPG of 67.3MPG and 111g/CO2, this can still be a legitimate high-mileage company car proposition. While there are some definite improvements from the last model, the lack of a mid to high performance diesel will almost certainly push customers into a VW Golf GTD.
In contrast, the petrol options are pretty astounding. A180 petrol may appeal to younger-drivers with insurance costs being their man priority. With a reasonable MPG of 53.3, 136ps and a 20E insurance group, this might see inroads into the “under 25” segment. The flagship A200 petrol, offers far more output with 163ps and so will appeal to the masses as a good generic option. A 250 petrol is there is keep the more “petrolheaded” leasing customers happy. With CO2 of 141g/km this isn’t a company car option but with 45.6 combined MPG, 224ps and 0-62 times of 6 seconds, it does push some customers away from the Golf GTi and maybe even a BMW M140i.
On the specification front, while the models have definitely changed aesthetically (inside and out), the ranges available will be very similar, with the:
· SE – the entry-level (and more low-key) model;
· Sport – the mid-range compromise model; and
· AMG Like – the higher level flagship model (and the one everyone wants to be honest!).
The Stuttgart manufacturer is now being far more generous with the cars, so that most of the required extras are included as standard. Going up in the trim-level is becoming more of an aesthetic decision, rather than a requirement to add further comfort specification. For example an SE includes brake assist, lane assist, attention assist, air conditioning, artico upholstery, cruise control, DAB radio, halogen headlights, hard-dick navigation, keyless go, sports steering wheel and an integrated touch pad. This is somewhat surprising for a basic model.
The big improvement is with the “packs” which are going to add a lot of benefit to the customer, including the:
· Executive – adds mirror package, 10.25” media display, active parking assist, heated front seats;
· Premium – adds executive pack, 10.25” instrument cluster, ambient lighting, keyless entry, mid-range sound system, rear armrest; or
· Premium Plus – adds premium pack, memory seats, multibeam LEDs and the panoramic glass sunroof.
In terms of the car shown, the Mercedes-Benz A CLASS HATCHBACK A200 AMG Line 5door Auto (Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
· Polar white Solid Paint
· Dinamica microfibre trim in black
· Artico leather/Dinamica – Black with red stitching
· 18″ AMG 5 twin spoke light alloy wheels in titanium grey with highsheen finish
As standard the car includes rain sensing wipers, heated rear windscreen, brake assist, active brake assist with forward collision warning, hold function, hill start assist, brake callipers with Mercedes lettering, AMG floor mats, hard disc navigation, ESP with curve dynamic assist, voice activation, 180 degree rear view camera, lane keep assist, attention assist, cruise control, DYNAMIC select, stop/start system, 7” media display and table style colour display, 2 USB ports, MBUX multimedia system, AMG body styling, body coloured externals, adaptive brake lights, headlamp assist, LED headlights/daytime running lights/high performance headlights/rear lights, dual zone climate control, 3-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel, artico leather, brushed stainless steel pedals, ambient lighting, seat comfort pack, warning triangle and first aid kit, 18” alloys, keyless go, keyless ignition and remote central locking.
On the technical-side company car and business drivers can note the P11d at £29,075.00 and CO2 at 123g/km. The 1332CC 7 speed auto petrol engine delivers 53.3 combined MPG, 163ps and 0-62 times of 8 seconds. The service intervals on a petrol A-Class are every 12 months or 15,500 miles whichever lands sooner.
Find the webs best lease deals on the all new Mercedes A-Class @CarLease UK or read more A Class related posts below!