The recently-unveiled Mercedes-Benz A-Class Mk IV has garnered rather mixed reactions. While most love its progressive interior, which relies on stand-alone screens not just for the infotainment, but also for the instrument cluster, others bemoan the exterior design which, they feel, hasn’t moved the game enough from the Mk III model. While evolutionary design between generations makes sense when the design features being evolved are instantly recognizable (think: Porsche 911 shape and lights, BMW kidney grille, Mini shape, VW Golf profile with a fat C-pillar), it is harder to justify when the styling is not yet what you would describe as “iconic”.
But where the A-class really does something unfortunate is that by changing the shape of the rear lights away from the (admittedly pretty forgettable) Mk III shape, Mercedes-Benz has given its latest car an uncanny resemblance to Kia’s Forte5 hatchback. In a sense there is nothing wrong with that, the Forte5 is a fine-looking car, but if Mercedes-Benz wanted to inject more personality into the A-class, than you’d hardly call the result a resounding success. But hey, at least the front is now instantly-recognizable and unique to the class, with strong influence of the Mercedes-AMG GT and the new Mercedes-Benz CLS.