Mercedes-Benz Says A-Class Sedan is Bound for the United States

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mercedes benz says a class sedan is bound for the united states

When you desperately want a status-defining automobile from Mercedes-Benz, but haven’t budgeted for it, you have a few of options. You could purchase either the GLA or CLA250 for around $33,000 — or take the nontraditional route, save yourself a bundle, and buy a Metris van. But, since the CLA is technically a “four-door coupe,” there’s nothing out there for sedan shoppers who can’t afford the pricier C-Class.

Benz is planning on changing that by bringing the updated A-Class to the United States next fall, thereby making it the brand’s new entry-level model for the region.

“We truly believe that now with the body style we have the right answer for the market,” Britta Seeger, the brand’s global sales chief, told Automotive News in a recent interview. “It’s a very attractive car for younger people,” she explained. “But not only for younger people — it can have a broad audience because it’s a nice entrance into the Mercedes-Benz family.”

However, Mercedes’ strategy isn’t entirely clear. November small car sales are down 12.4 percent against last year and, on the luxury side of things, the drop was around 7.2 percent. Likewise, the CLA saw a noticeable drop in sales volume for 2017. Last year, U.S. deliveries reached 25,792 units. But, if the model hopes to surpass 20,000 by the end of this year, it’s going to need to witness relatively strong December sales.

Meanwhile, the GLA has kept pace with market trends. As a crossover, it looks to achieve roughly the same sales volume in 2017 as it did in 2016. So why would Mercedes introduce another car to North America when SUVs and crossovers seem to be the safer bet?

Presumably, it has something to do with the new looks of the A Concept that was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. But, while handsome, the new design is less eye-catching from any angle other than straight-on. Spy shots of the updated A-Class have confirmed its overall shape to be less complicated than the current domestic offerings. When chief design officer Gorden Wagener said “the time of creases is over,” he clearly meant it. Sharing the same front-drive MFA2 architecture with both the CLA and GLA means it’s not likely to offer anything all that different under the sheet-metal either. But there are two important exceptions.

Firstly, the A-Class’ taller greenhouse should make for a comparably spacious interior — an aspect that used to be very important when shopping for a luxury automobile. Secondly, Benz claims the model will benefit from upgraded interior elements and improved tech. However, we’re most curious about the vehicle’s price.

Mercedes has been quiet about MSRP and odds are good it will launch a sliver below the CLA. But, if the brand can get it even one dollar below $30,000, that would truly open it up to shoppers that may not have never considered purchasing a luxury option before. All Seeger had to say on the pricing matter was “We will see.”

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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8 of 37 comments
  • 30-mile fetch 30-mile fetch on Dec 18, 2017

    A Mercedes for GTI money? Having recently sampled the MB dealership experience as a prole rooting about for pre-owned vehicles, I can see how that concept would be appealing. But I'm not clear on how this will differentiate itself from the god-awful claustrophobic CLA aside from (a bit) more interior room, which doesn't seem all that plausible given the roofline shown here. The CLA was initially touted at the "sub-$30K Mercedes" as well, debuting at something like $29,995 but that apparently didn't last.

  • EX35 EX35 on Dec 18, 2017

    I posted this on the other thread, but I've recently become interested in picking up a late model German sedan covered by a long CPO warranty. I was surprised to find CPO 2016 E350s (E class, not C class)with under 30K miles for as low as $31K. To my untrained eye, that seems like a steal, given that the CPO/B2B warranty will cover me until 2021. What's the catch? Even if I were to dump it as soon as the warranty expires, by my calculations, it would still be much cheaper than leasing a brand new E class. Is MB bad about honoring CPO warranty work? Do these things break constantly once the thing hits 50K?

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 19, 2017

      @EX35 Now I see the method to your madness. $800/mo for an E-class is insane to me. This is a mortgage for frak's sake, and for an I4 German midsize? Surly they jest.