If you've been saving your pennies for the redesigned Mercedes-Benz A-Class then prepare to smash that piggy bank open. The German automaker has finally revealed official details of the premium compact car and confirmed prices will start at £18,945.
The Mercedes-Benz A-class wasn't a particularly desirable car when it launched in 1997 but just look at it now -- the fugly duckling has transformed into a bit of a stunner for 2012, so that price is more than acceptable.
The entry-level A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol model will be the cheapest of the bunch. It'll come with a 1.6-litre 122hp engine and 6-speed manual gearbox with emissions of 122g/km. With that, you get 'comfort' suspension; fabric upholstery; a CD and radio player with 5.8-inch colour screen, aux-in for your MP3 player, and a USB port inside the centre armrest.
If you upgrade to the SE spec, which starts at £20,125, you get a choice of engines -- 1 petrol and 2 diesels -- a body-coloured grille,16-inch 10-spoke alloys, sports seats finished in fabric and a leather steering wheel.
Opt for Sport trim, starting at £21,240, and the engine range grows further still, most notably with the the option of a 156hp A 200 petrol unit chucking out 156hp and 134hp. Sport also nabs you 17-inch twin-colour alloys, a silver grille with chrome highlights and a slightly different seat fabric design.
In addition to those trim levels, Mercedes-Benz is offering not one but two AMG-branded A-Class models -- AMG Sport and Engineered by AMG. Both cars are available with the current flagship 2-litre 211hp A 250 engine and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, but the Engineered by AMG model is the pick of the pair, as it comes with the same grille as the concept car of 2010.
All versions of the A-Class come with attention assist to watch for signs the driver is falling asleep at the wheel, radar-based collision prevention assist to brake the car automatically if a crash is imminent and distronic plus -- a form of cruise control that automatically locks onto the car in front, braking and accelerating as necessary.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class goes on sale in the UK in December 2012.