A new entry-level grade will join the Mercedes A-Class range next month, with the less powerful – but still decently equipped – 2019 Mercedes-Benz A180 retailing for $42,300 plus on-road costs (driveaway pricing not yet available). The arrival of the A180 to the range will bring the A-Class cost of entry down by $4,900. Currently, the most affordable variant of the fourth-gen A-Class is the $47,200 A200 ($52,137 driveaway).
While the new A180 shares the same 1.3-litre displacement of the A200 – which we reviewed earlier this month – the new grade has a lower state of tune, producing 100kW/200Nm. By contrast, the A200 makes 120kW/250Nm. The A180 sprints to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds (+0.8 seconds over the A200) while officially returning 5.7L/100km.
There’s a sizeable step up in price for the 2019 A180 over the previous vehicle to wear the A180 badge – the third-generation A-Class that finished up last year. That car was $38,700 but the additional $3,600 spend buys considerably more technology in the new A180. Plus, we reckon the new A-Class is a better-built, better-driving hatch in any case.
Decently specified, the A180 packs Benz’s flagship MBUX infotainment as standard – bundling twin 10.25-inch screens (a central touchscreen and a digital driver display), satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and the brand’s own ‘Hey Mercedes’ intelligence software.
You also grab sports seats upholstered in Artico synthetic hide, and keyless start (but not full keyless entry). Outside, you’ll pick an A180 by its 17-inch wheels … after June 2019 production commences, that is. Until that point, the A180 is fitted with 18-inch wheels for no additional cost.
You get a partial adaptive safety package fitted to the A180. Standard kit includes lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with exit warning (which helps prevent cyclists taking the door off), traffic sign recognition, automated parking and a reversing camera. LED headlights help, too.
Several option packages will be available, including a Sports Package with AMG-derived styling, and a Driving Assistance Package with additional safety features including adaptive cruise control.