Mercedes-Benz Reveals 2019 A-Class L Sedan

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mercedes-Benz unveiled the A-Class L sedan at the at the Beijing Auto Show this week, giving us the first real look at the body style that will eventually make it to North America. Of course, despite the U.S. and Canada having a population that’s three inches taller, on average, Mercedes will probably keep the long wheelbase version in the East. But that has to do more with the Chinese appreciation for imported luxury than an indispensable need for legroom.

It’s a luxury that’s sometimes difficult to understand.

Mercedes-Maybach recently showcased a three-box SUV concept we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around, and is now launching into a new aesthetic intended to appeal to Chinese customers that we’re also having difficulty coming to terms with. However, let’s save that visual train wreck for another post, and figure out how much the Chinese A-Class L sedan has in common with the model destined for North America.

By and large, this is the car we will be getting. Low-quality images of the standard sedan were leaked on Tuesday, and have shown it to be identical in every respect but one. The long-wheelbase version stretches an additional 2.4 inches over the hatchback that premiered in Europe and… that’s about it. Engine offerings are roughly the same, albeit a bit down on power.

Europe’s A-Class comes with a 160 horsepower 1.4-liter turbo four or a 221 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, both of which could make it to America. But China’s L Sedan comes with a “1.33-liter” turbo with 134 ponies as standard. An upgraded 161-horsepower version will also be available. Eventually, Mercedes says it will offer a 2.0-liter unit with 188 hp, as well. Power is routed through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, regardless of engine choice. Trims include the standard long-wheelbase sedan as well as a Sport Sedan variant, with the latter featuring powerdomes on the hood.

The interior is identical to what we’ve seen already and the same can be said for the exterior from the A-pillar forward. Still, the rest of the car attempts to maintain some of the hatch’s swept-back styling by keeping the trunk lid angled in a downward direction. The overall style of the rear bumper is also very similar, however, the sedan’s taillights are of a unique design.

Expect a lot of the same in your market, but with larger wheel options and beefier engines. Thus far, Mercedes says it will limit the 2019 A-Class L Sedan to China. We don’t envision that changing anytime soon.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 24, 2018

    The hood looks like it closed on top of a book. The rear passengers might have more legroom, but there is still no headroom. Are the rear seats actually chaise lounges? Are these engines strangled for some tax/regulatory purpose? Because anyone, anywhere is doing better than those numbers.

  • Featherston Featherston on Apr 25, 2018

    @ SCE to AUX - I actually was wondering about the same thing. In some of these long-wheelbase models, are the rear seats actually moved forward relative to the rear window so that there's better headroom? If not, they ought to be. Obviously that would eat into some of the legroom gains, but it would make the cars better places to be. It's very annoying that the design criteria for rear seating have devolved to (1) fore-aft dimension for baby seats and (2) enough headroom for a woman of average height or someone shorter. I'm barely taller than the average man, and my scalp is up against the rear window or rear headliner in the vast majority of 2010s sedans.

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