The Littlest Mercedes: Now More Green!

March 28, 2008

Mercedes-Benz has restyled the compact A-Class and will show it off to the public next week at a German auto show.

Even though we don't get the A-Class in America, it's an interesting exercise in marketing -- and with CAFE changes in the air, it might only be a matter of years before Mercedes has to consider fielding an A-Class-sized car in the U.S.

The new A-Class, Benz says, gets an extensive facelift, and is more environmentally friendly than ever. It comes in five-door and three-door versions, both restyled with a trimmer look at the front end, a slimmer-looking greenhouse and new, bigger 16-inch wheels on upmarket versions. Inside, new aluminum trim dresses up the cabin of the high-line Avantgarde edition, while Elegance versions get wood trim. A bigger center console and cupholder round out the changes.

Among the new engine features are start/stop technology on its four-cylinders, which boosts fuel economy by 9 percent. Diesel engines have direct injection. And a new BlueEFFICIENCY package on the three-door diesel will include some aero tweaks and low-rolling-resistance tires to boost fuel economy even more.

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