The fourth generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been crowned the 2019 SA Car of the Year, the Stuttgart-based automaker last won the local competition in 1987 with the Mercedes-Benz 260E. It was the segment winner in the Medium family hatchback/Medium sedan category.
MBUX - "Hey Mercedes"
It is testament to how important the A-Class is to Mercedes that it was chosen to debut the new user experience system. The automaker says a unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).
The driver can individualise the system to their needs and according to Merc (although it sounds very much like PR speak) 'creates an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.'
Ola Källenius, responsible for Group Research at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Cars says: "New technologies must place the focus on people and make their lives easier.
"The new A-Class does this in many ways, and becomes an emotional and intelligent companion. One good example is MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: it combines intuitive and natural operation with intelligent, learning software."
Watch this in dept video showing what the A-Class offers in terms of tech from CarWow:
A few safety features from the flagship S-Class sedan have found their way down to the latest A-Class generation. It has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S-Class.
For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: updated camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 metres ahead. The new model utilises map and navigation data for assistance functions.
For example, active distance assist distronic as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations, and predicatively and conveniently adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.
The safety systems include an active emergency stop assist (which we have tested in the new CLA too at the international launch earlier in April) and the active lane change assist. The extended active brake assist is standard fare.