As the days get longer and the weather warmer, Mercedes Benz has taken the opportunity to revitalise its most popular ranges with a brace of exciting new specifications and engines.
- Efficient A 160 CDI unveiled; value-packed A-ClasS-Classic SE trim launched
- A-Class range gets subtle cosmetic revisions
- C 320 SE Sports Coupé introduced
- C-Class Saloon and Estate get attractive Sports Package
The growing popularity of diesel models has led to the introduction of an all-new variant – the A 160 CDI. Available in all trim levels on standard wheelbase cars, the new A 160 CDI will bring refined, economical diesel motoring to a wider audience.
Based on existing technology (as fitted to the A 170 CDI), the engine shares common rail direct injection technology and the 1689 cc capacity. Maximum power is 75 hp at 3600 rpm, with maximum torque of 160 Nm delivered between 1500-2800 rpm.
Fuel consumption on the official combined cycle is an impressive 62.8 mpg, and carbon dioxide emissions are way under the minimum tax band at just 119 g/km. The super low CO2 figure means the new car falls into the lowest AA road tax band, meaning just £80 pays for 12 months vehicle excise duty. The A 160 CDI range starts at £13,995 on the road for the Classic model. Technical information on this is included at the end of this release.
With such parsimonious fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions, the A 160 CDI is attractive as both a private or company car purchase. Based on figures for the tax year 2003-4, the new A-Class model makes financial as well as emotional sense. A basic rate tax payer running the A 160 CDI Classic will be taxed just £530.64 for the year – less than equivalent models from competitors.
Every model in the A-Class range is also now fitted with indicators integrated into the door mirrors – a trend started back in 1998 by the luxurious S-Class Saloon. This higher lamp positioning means the flashing amber bulbs are clearer and easier to spot by other road users – a useful safety feature.
Also seen on the range-topping A 210 EVOLUTION last year, these new standard mirror units complement the optional Evolution Sports pack, which transforms the appearance of any A-Class Avantgarde with multi-spoke 7J x 17" alloy wheels and interior trimmings of aluminium and stainless steel. The pack costs £830 on all models except the A 190, where the reduced price is £690.
The Avantgarde-trimmed models benefit from some specification changes, too. Air conditioning is now fitted as standard in place of the previous electric louvred sunroof (which remains a £675 option on all models). The inclusion of air conditioning means the upgrade cost to Avantgarde trim from the base classic model is now £1,950.
An all-new Classic SE trim level adds air conditioning to the standard specification for just £220 over the standard Classic line (previously air conditioning was a £790 cost option). Offering an exceptional saving over the previous price, the new Classic SE range gives an extra £570 of value over the standard-trimmed cars. The full Classic model range is available in this new £220 upgrade Classic SE trim.
All A-Classes retain the innovative sandwich floor concept among an impressive array of safety equipment. This sandwich houses mechanical components beneath the spacious cabin's flat floor. In the event of a heavy front impact, the engine moves downwards into this space, protecting the integrity of the passenger cell, reducing the risk of injury. A driving position some 20cm higher than most competitive vehicles means a commanding view of the road ahead, and a seated hip position above the critical impact point in most side-on crashes.
Anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, and an advanced Electronic Stability Program with ASR traction control all help keep the A-Class range on the straight and narrow and help with its industry-leading protective features.