Luggage compartment and all-round visibility: Fully grown-up

Even though Mercedes-Benz has retained a sporty look for the new A-Class, the utility value has increased: more shoulder, elbow and headroom plus easier access to the rear are clear benefits, as is the larger and more family and recreation-friendly luggage compartment. All-round visibility has also been considerably improved. This enhances both safety and the impression of spaciousness.

The capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats is 370 litres – 29 litres more than in the preceding model. Thanks to two-section rear lights, the loading aperture is 20 cm wider than before, and the luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm longer. But the progress is not only obvious on paper: the developers of the new A-Class attached particular importance to utility and loading convenience, and virtually tested the luggage compartment with an extensive shopping basket during an early conceptual phase.

The list of shopping basket contents covered over 70 different items. Loading was simulated using the CAD data of the vehicle and items, and where necessary the design of the luggage compartment was fine-tuned. The result is that not only can a pushchair be accommodated in the boot of the A-Class, but also a bicycle if its wheels are separately stowed. Two additional crates of drinks can be stowed compared with the preceding model. A golf bag can also be carried, or two if the luggage cover is removed. If required, the rear seat backrest can be positioned more upright, e.g. to accommodate bulky boxes.

The stowage concept is equally practical: the oddments tray in the centre console ahead of the shift or DCT lever has been significantly enlarged to accommodate items such as a smartphone, wallet, keys or a garage door opener. A cup holder on the centre tunnel for mugs, cans and bottles up to 0.5 litres is a new standard feature. The cup holder insert is removable, making a further stowage space available. The owner's manual is smaller in size, and is accommodated in a separate flap in the glove compartment.

The stowage facilities in the door panels have significantly increased in size, however. 1.5-litre PET bottles or A4-sized magazines can now be stowed in the front door pockets. The rear door panels have bottle holders for 1-litre PET bottles. A new feature in all four door panels is the integrated accommodation of safety vests, which are therefore quickly to hand when needed.

Better all-round visibility for added safety and comfort

Much detailed effort has also gone into the improved all-round visibility. The risk of overlooking vehicles or pedestrians when turning off, changing lane or parking has been significantly reduced. All in all, the obscured area has been reduced by 10 percent compared to the preceding model. This was principally achieved by specifically slimming down the A, B and C-pillars and their claddings. Improved visibility is also assured by positioning the exterior mirrors on the door outer panel rather than in the mirror triangle.

A good view to the rear is ensured by the new rear window wiper. For a larger wiped area, the housing of the roof spoiler has an inner recess to create space for the longer wiper blade.

More space: increased comfort-related dimensions

Not only has the sense of spaciousness been improved, but the occupants also have significantly more width available, as the table shows:

Key interior dimensions in mm

A-Class (old)

A-Class (new)

Difference

Elbow room, front

1422

1457

+35

Elbow room, 2nd seat row

1410

1446

+36

Shoulder room, 1st seat row

1391

1400

+9

Shoulder room, 2nd seat row

1350

1372

+22

Maximum headroom, front

1017

1024

+7

Maximum headroom, rear

952

960

+8

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