By on April 17, 2018

mercedes-benz a-class 2019

Mercedes-Benz plans to launch eight cars off the back of the new A-Class and, unsurprisingly, a bunch of them will be crossovers. While North America will have to wait until fall for the A-Class sedan, Europe will see the hatchback much sooner. However, those models are just the start of the upscale brand’s drive to push the platform into every segment its size limitations allows.

The hatch will remain the smallest model, but CEO Dieter Zetsche says Mercedes-Benz needs to keep its rivals on their toes — and the automaker intends to tap the MFA2 platform for that honor. While the expanded lineup gives MB an edge universally, we know which automaker the company is most concerned with: BMW. 

“The new BMW X2 is basically like the [current] GLA,” Zetsche recently explained to Top Gear. “And you will see a new GLA. As in other segments we’ll have two interpretations. So the GLA will be more in the SUV direction, and that will expand our scope. It gives us the possibility of doing something between the A-Class and the GLA.”

“[Mercedes] will further expand the SUVs. We need something more SUV than the GLA,” he said.

That would be the the GLB — a small seven-seater that has been seen testing around Germany in some of the ugliest automotive camouflage we’ve ever seen. The model is intended to supplement B-Class MPV, which is popular in Europe. Normally we would be unlikely to see anything even tangentially related to a Euro-spec minivan grace our roads, as the segment is still experiencing automotive purgatory in the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, the GLB isn’t an MPV. It’s more akin to a pint-sized G-Class than anything else. A lower-case G-Wagen crossover, if you will.

“There will be a three-box [sedan], mostly for the USA and Asia,” elaborated Doctor Zee. Most of the motoring community has heard buzzings that China would also receive a long wheelbase version of the A-Class sedan. If Mercedes has signed off on that, it is probably counting it for one of those eight slots — nullifying the possibility of a fourth crossover. But Zetsche’s claims make it sound like there may be a more car-like crossover below the GLA.

Something doesn’t add up. We know we have the A-Class hatchback and sedan, possibly a long-wheelbase model for China, the CLA, the GLA, the GLB, and the new B-Class. That’s only seven models unless Mercedes is doing more than just musing over the sporty, car-like GLA variant. The only alternative would be the CLA Shooting Brake, but we’ve heard it rumors that a the wagon was nixed by Daimler weeks ago.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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17 Comments on “Everything A-Class: Mercedes Planning Eight New Vehicles On New Platform...”

  • avatar

    If in the near-future one can get AMG A-class AWD with that new MB inline-6, BMW will have some problems.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    It looks like a Lancer!

  • avatar

    I miss the old days, when Mercedes built cars you could actually lust after. Now, whenever I see one, I think $XXX down, $XXX/mo… another long term rental with a three-pointed star on the hood.

  • avatar

    BMW and VW do platform sharing way better than MB, especially on the small side. The transverse FWD BMW platform forms the basis for all Minis, the 2 series MPV (not available in NA), and the X1/X2, but you would never know if by the looks or drive – plus they all drive well. The Mercedes FWD platform that the A class and GLA are based on are mediocre to drive, lack utility, and they all share the same mediocre looks. The excellence of the E and S classes have never been in evidence in the FWD MB platforms, so the new one better offer a huge improvement if they want to stay in the small car game.

    • 0 avatar

      Truthfully, there are more than enough small cars, especially in Europe. You have to be pretty brand whorish to choose an A class anything over something like a Megane.

      • 0 avatar

        It is not that simple. An A-Klasse is still a very well built vehicle and will offer more features and better packaging than your standard Megane. One can be sure that the standard A-Klasse will also drive better than the standard Megane, and with this I am talking about high speed stability, general handling qualities, feedback from the steering wheel and so forth.

        If one wants a Megane which offers performance and driving excitement there is only one option, the RS, and this model also costs considerably more than a high spec standard Megane. And the Megane RS will very likely be eclipsed and decimated by the AMG A-Klasse when you pit them against one another.

        But you are right about one thing. The Mercedes badge carries more cache than the Renault badge.

        • 0 avatar

          This A Class hatch is being criticized by Europeans as being badly designed in the details9, not up to Hyundai I30 (Elantra hatch) standards. Example, which points out egregious shut lines on the Mercedes front bumper/headlights, and pokes fun at the self-inflated balloon of a head designer, Gordon Wagener and his Sensual Purity dross. Written by a German, no less.

          Saying that a Mercedes is higher quality than a Renault is a bit of a laugh. Renault through Nissan and hence Infiniti make several hundred thousand Mercedes four banger engines a year in Decherd TN for the C-Class assembled in Alabama, keeping some for the QX3O and QX50. Presumably they’ll switch over to the new M260 four (from the current M276), which is two-thirds of the new M256 inline 6 going into E and S Class.

          If there is much difference in assembly quality itself between makes these days, it’s not apparent to most reasonable observers. It’s not 1976 any more and vague assumptions of better quality “just” because it’s labeled Mercedes are surely just that, assumptions born out of hope and little else. Component quality of accessories and wiring may vary, but Mercedes has had a checkered history on the latter for 25 years now. A name does not confer quality, as my drive of a CLA in 2014 showed. A Mazda3 is as good and without that clunker of a 7 speed DCT and poor throttle calibration.

          The cheapening of brand names by producing plebeian cars that MB and BMW have gotten into recently is a commercial decision which appeals to customers who believe against all odds that the magic wand of brand name imbues the downmarket cars with old-timey quality and DNA. It’s not even true of their more expensive cars anymore either. There is a general flattening out of quality in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar

            Sadly, I honestly don’t believe the average consumer understands what quality really is any more, nor does it actually care.

            Nobody buys proper hi-fi equipment these days. People are happy to drink instant coffee and watch reality TV shows, too. They understand price, though, and that the more expensive something is, the more ‘exclusive’.

            Unfortunately, the fact that the roads are filling up with identical ‘premium’ cars on identical finance agreements still hasn’t shattered the illusion.

        • 0 avatar

          I am not sure that a base A-Class will have more feature and better packaging than a base Megane. But it will definitely cost more, because people value the badge more.

          The problem is, the badge becomes worth less and less as Mercedes makes more and more cars like the A-Class. € for € I’d bet the Megane is a better car, aside from the lack of engine choices. But some folks remain badge blind, at least for now.

          • 0 avatar

            The A-Klasse will cost more, but it also offers more. It is aimed at people with higher standards and desires than those that opt for a Renault Megane.

            Please watch this video. There are features on this vehicle which you will not be able to get in a Megane, despite the Daimler-Renault-Nissan alliance.


          • 0 avatar

            Well you remain reality-blind apparently…Have you even ever seen or rode in a Megane? Having seen the new A-class interior in pictures and recent first drive impressions, there is absolutely no chance a consumer looking at it will choose the Megane if he/she values quality. Besides the ride/handling, NVH qualities and design are leagues ahead. So no, the public will not be choosing a Megane over the premium MB anytime soon.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one around here old enough to remember that Cadillac (and Packard before them) went down this same road. We’ve seen this movie before, and it never ends well. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

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