Some one came to visit us last month just before we closed up our house in Italy. The were driving what I thought was a low-line MB B-series, because 1) it was white, and I've never seen a white A-type I don't think; 2) it looked odd and a bit too big for an A-type; 3) I didn't bother to do more than glance at it as I came up the drive from the gate and into the house to greet them. If it was the new A-type, it is big step from the previous refreshed model of the past few years. I wonder if it is proper to sell this car in the US, though. In Italy, I have never even seen a BMW 1-series coupe, all of them are the five door (which I think looks better than the X-1) with one of the 3 small turbo diesels. But in the USA, BMW knows better than to sell anything other than a 300 hp version of the car (I took a brochure over to show to my friends so they could marvel that such a monster 1-series exists), so as not to dilute the brand. Mercedes, take heed.
I believe we may wait to make our purchase of a "new to us" car until this A-class comes to the US, IF the "rumors" of the release are true in being for the 2014 model year (meaning: sometime in 2013, maybe earlier in the year, as that seems to be the trend these days and not in waiting until the Fall to officially release the new models).
The official fuel mileage of the 211 HP version will have to be released, unless they also release a Bluetec version, as it's first and foremost, all about economy of operation. Safety is definitely close behind, with performance being a close third. The quality must also be high, but in today's world, everyone seems to have a higher degree of quality than ever before in automotive history, but M-B is still very high on the list in all regards. Interior room is a factor, but since we are empty-nesters, we really don't need a large car anymore.
I would also put the new CLA in the mix, if it arrives to the US at the same time, as the style is outstanding, and very close to the most gorgeous car in the world (in our eyes), the CLS.
The other car to choose from, for us, will be a Bluetec E-class... a 2009 version, to be precise. It has everything we need, plus a bit more room inside. I am familiar with diesels and E-class cars as we had an 86 300SDL (one of the all-time great cars, as far as I am concerned, in its day), and still have a 300E 2.8 (that motor is outstanding the W124 is a super design in every regard, with the only issue being the trouble in repairing the climate control, which is currently working just fine).
So, which one to choose? Well, at this time, if I could actually choose one, I would likely pick the "baby CLS", the CLA. Second choice is a tough one as I am torn between the A-class and the '09 Bluetec E-class.
Finally, I have to inject another option, if it were available here in the US: the Bluetec 2.3L C-class sedan with a manual transmission and the Sport option; or the same car with the automatic and 4-Matic. If I could import a new one and get it by the EPA and US Customs without a hitch, I'd do it. However, I doubt if MB-USA would honor any warranty. Anyone have first-hand experience in this area?
I just ran through the links (to C&D articles and photos) on poster put up - that is a BIG change from the A-type, even the B-type is less "classic M-B" in its looks.
In describing the euro version, my quick scan yielded no less than 10 different motors, more than half of them diesels. Not counting the AMG45 version!! Holy cow. Its too bad the economics of distance make those choices off limits to us. Its like the new "Americanized" VW Jetta, made here and available with 3 motors (inlcuding the 140 h.p. version of the 2.0 diesel that's in the Passat) is only available in europe with a 105 h.p. version of the smaller 1.3 diesel that's made there, and no gasoline motors. As someone who drove a 123 type 240D as my primary car for 24 years (!), I think a diesel A-type with this new platform could be a classic and best seller for Mercedes.
With all of this talk about what MB-USA is doing to provide a more positive impact on the fuel efficiency of their line of cars sold in the US, it is only logical that they will release their smaller cars here. I could imagine them testing the waters, so to speak, with what this thread is all about, as well as the Concept Style Coupe (CSC?) and then if all goes well, begin to release more of their Bluetecs here. I can even imagine them offering more diesels in their entire line rather than the ones which now grace our shores (GL, ML, R and E-class vehicles, not to mention the Freightliner/Chrysler/M-B commercial vans). Of course, prices will not be lower, not that I'd expect it. Seems that whenever we see a model line here, it is usually at a basic trim level far above what is seen elsewhere. That way, purchase prices can be (somewhat) justifiably higher. It is what it is... too bad, though, as I would love to own the aforementioned C220 Bluetec with manual trans. and sport suspension and get over 40mpg combined with very, very low emissions... even if diesel fuel is over $4/gallon here (still quite cheaper than elsewhere, such as in Europe). If we should ever live in Europe, though... :-)
Vehicle: '84 Euro 500SE, '85 Euro 2.3-16, '51 Euro 170S, '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport, '08 BMW Z4 3.0si, '09 E350
Location: San Antonio, Texas/Pensacola, Florida/Neustadt a.d. Aisch, Deutschland
I myself would love a brand-new E 220CDI with 6-speed manual trans! I lust after that!
It's a shame standard has become such a rarity around here. Having driving a manual W140 in the past, I can happily say, big cars and manual gearboxes are fun!
'85 Euro 190E 2.3-16 "Valvy" - Driving from Cali in June
'84 Euro 500SE ~96k miles *Duriel, the desert prince*
'51 Euro 170S *Being reborn*
'97 Jeep Wrangler Sport ~40k miles
'08 BMW Z4 3.0 si ~14.3k miles
'09 E350 ~48k miles
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