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New models - Mercedes-Benz - A-class - A150 3-dr

New A-class for under $30,000

Affordable A-class: Pricing for the A-class kicks off at $29,900 for the five-speed manual 1.5-litre A150 Classic three-door.

Mercedes opens its doors for sub-$30,000 buyers to climb into a new A-class

21 Apr 2005

WHEN the new Mercedes-Benz A-class goes on sale next month it will be the first time in 25 years that buyers will be able to climb into a brand new sub-$30,000 Mercedes.

Pricing for the A-class kicks off at $29,900 for the five-speed manual 1.5-litre A150 Classic three-door.

The last time Mercedes offered a vehicle under $30,000 was in 1980 when it sold the 240D for $29,937 in the days of a 54 per cent import tariff regime.

However, Mercedes-Benz Australia admits that only 10 per cent of buyers will opt for the A-class entry-level car, admitting that it was a "tester" designed to get floor traffic into dealerships. The three-door will be available from July.

The second-generation car offers a choice of four petrol engines, two body styles and three models - Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde. A diesel-engined version is not on the short-term agenda.

Mercedes-Benz will offer seven other models apart from the A150, ranging in price from $34,400 for the A170 up to about $45,000 for the 142kW A200 Turbo three-door. The high-performance six-speed manual A200 will join the lineup late this year.

Mercedes-Benz spokesman, Toni Andreevski, said the company expected to sell about 1500 a year with a model split of 70 per cent in favour of the five-door hatch and 30 per cent for the three-door.

"On the old car we did about 1000 sales a year across the model cycle," he said.

Elegance and Avantgarde design and equipment lines are available for an extra $3000.

Mercedes claims power for the four-cylinder engines is up as much as 13 per cent while fuel consumption has been cut up to 10 per cent.

Compared to the previous model the newcomer is 232mm longer and 45mm wider, which translates into a roomier interior and more legroom. All models will be available with the new Autotronic continuosly variable transmission.

Reduced import tariffs have benefited pricing. When the A160 L Classic five-door was launched in 1998 it had a $37,900 sticker price. The new A170 Classic is $1000 cheaper.

4 center imageAll models are well equipped, boasting adaptive front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, adaptive belt force limiters, multifunction steering wheel, power steering, selective damping system, air conditioning, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program, power windows and remote-central locking.

The second-generation A-class was previewed at this year’s Melbourne motor show in March. It is slightly wider, lower to the ground and has a more conventional interior ambience.

The first-generation has been on sale here for almost seven years. During that time about 6900 were sold, bringing new customers to the brand who would not have previously considered a Mercedes.

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