Look-a-like: Mercedes-Benz A-class and…

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.

  1. My main problem with the rear is that it looks… sad. The car looks like it’s frowning ( something that the Kia handles in a much better way ). Hopefully they fix it when it eventually gets restyled.
    As for the front, it looks pretty good. CLS owners might not be so happy though. Other than size, they are almost indistinguishable ( even the proportions are the same face-on )

  2. Yes, Kia Forte5 (Cee’d) clone alright, with a Hyundai Elantra GT (i30) nose and a Mercedes badge.
    I see Kia have just launched the replacement at the New York Show. Styling influenced by the Stinger.
    MB cars need need ‘status’ and ‘aspirational’ designs. The A Klasse has neither.

    BTW, this cabin technology is wonderful for right-handed people in LHD vehicles (majority) and left-handed people in RHD. It’s impossible if you’re right-handed in RHD or left-handed in LHD.

  3. And what about the base models smaller screens:

    They look a bit strange in that thick black frame.

  4. Mercedes tried to translate the CLS design to their entry level model and failed.
    A German brand looking at Kia for inspiration is not unique. BMW must have liked the Carens when drawing the 2 series Tourer MPVs.

  5. Well. Some new plastic, pushing the price further up and trying hard to sell it as a real “Mercedes”, but under the hood, both petrol and diesel engines are now shared with Dacia/Renault. The buyers must be lying to themselves.

    I’ll never pay that much again for a Renault-Mercedes as I did for the C200d with Dacia Lodgy engine. Star on the or not.

    1. What is the problem? What is the most important is if the engines are reliable and eficiente, not from where they come from. Renault-Nissan is one of the largest engine and car manufacturers in the World and they are experts in fuel efficiency and small engines so Mercedes did well. And Audi also uses Skoda engines and Mini and Jaguar used Peugeot engines, that is normal in the industry.

    2. Dacia is a reliabe brand, the cheap price comes from things like plastics, equipment, etc., but the engines are the same as in any other vehicles. I’m sorry but you show a mixture of prejudice and lack of knowledge about how the automotive industry works.

      1. Why should I pay so much for a premium car, when the same engine is in the 3 NCAP star Dacia lineup? I felt cheated and I know other Mercedes owners felt very cheated, when they found out, that an entry budget car has the same engine as their “Mercedes”.

        I’ll never ever return to Mercedes, as long as they’re charging me 50 times the price than a Dacia.

      2. @Martin C – What does EuroNCAP have to do with engines? The question is if the engines are reliable and efficient and not where they come from! And yes they are reliable and good engines.

    3. Yeah… about that. The C200 has a 1.6L diesel engine, and Dacia only uses Renaults 1.5L engine.
      But i guess at least you tried? Thank you for playing.

      1. Not true.

        Mercedes uses 1,5 liter (e.g. engine in A180d) and 1,6 liter (e.g. engine in C200d) Renault diesel engines. For the 1,5 liter engine, Mercedes and Renault engines are almost exactly the same. For the 1,6 liter version, Mercedes has slight modifications for more refinement and power. Mercedes offers 136HP compared to 130HP in Renault for the lead engine. Refinement is indeed perceptible. Mercedes version (OM 626) is the first passenger diesel in the world to use steel pistons.

  6. @MartinC Ok you need to stop whining about this. About Renault, and even mentioning Dacia which is a pure troll here.

    Just don’t buy Infiniti (Nissan and OMG Renault), Lexus (Toyota), Cadillac (Chevrolet), Audi (VW and OMG Skoda), GMC&Buick (Chevy too), Lincoln (Ford), Bentley (VW dear god), Rolls-Royce (“simple” BMW engines) and pretty much every god damn premium auto car maker because ALL OF THEM share their engines with a “lower-base” category of vehicle.

    If you feel betrayed by this, I suggest you think about what makes a premium car.

  7. “what makes a premium car …”

    nothing in fact.

    Just brand name, perceived status (psychology). And actually the cheaper and higher volume B segment cars in europe are the best.

    Especially since they are the simplest, no electronic glitches and computer BS.

    Simple cars must be top reliability to sell miliions and so forth without having expensive recalls..

    Buy a KIA RIO for a real quailty car.

  8. And.. premium was american luxury cars of the 60s 70s up to 90s maybe, mostly nice luxury seats, flashy and classy dashboards, alot of fake aesthetics (but who cares if it was fake) that gave you a feel of luxury even if fake: especially a ton of different colors and cloth types, look at 1967 chrysler imperial. That was premium, no grey black german interiors ( now become the worldwide standard, ) all grey black platstic, fake leather, all grey black.

    Designers become all color blind in the last 40 years or what ?

    And electronics and computer BS costs penny to build for the manufacturers but they sell them for thousands of dollars making you believe it is all special: nothing further from the truth it is just all gadgets and gimmicks, all 1980s compter technology… but you get boring greky black interoris noi all cars worldwide, go figure.

  9. Premium cars are more sophisticated and have better performance but that doesn’t mean that they can’t share engines with cheaper brands (sometimes with small changes), it’s completely normal and useful because cheaper brands can share their know-how with premium brands and thereby make better products.

  10. Korean design with Renault/Nissan engines and made in Finland in a not Mercedes Benz factory. Well, I think is global enough.

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