Seven years ago, Mercedes Benz showcased it’s first front-wheel drive car that was set to redesign how passenger cars were going to be designed. At least in Mercedes Benz’s eyes. The compact hatchback had an innovative safety feature where the engine moves under the passanger compartment in the event of a frontal collision.

The 2005 Mercedes Benz A-Class

It was the poor man’s Mercedes Benz, but we did not see many on Malaysia’s streets because it was ridiculous to spend more than RM150,000 on such a small car. However, we’re getting there with the Honda Jazz which costs about RM100,000, but that’s another matter altogether. Worldwide sales for the past 7 years have amounted to a total of 1.1 million units.

DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd is set to launch the second generation Mercedes Benz A-class next week here in Malaysia. It’s expected to be priced at less than RM200,000.

Nice sporty interior.

This second generation A-class is an improvement over it’s predecessor in terms of wheelbase, interior dimensions and boot capacity.

The drivetrain will be a Mercedes Benz’s Autronic, which is what Mercedes Benz calls it’s first ever CVT transmission. This means driving the new A-class will be significantly more comfortable than the previous incarnation.

The 3-door version of the 2005 A-Class

The A170 Avant Garde trim will be fully imported, and will be powered by a 1.7 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine making 166 horsepower. There are 3-door and 5-door versions of the compact hatch but DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd will only be bringing in the 5-door version a the moment. The top of the line A-Class comes with a 2.0 turbocharged engine making 193hp. That would be a fun drive.

Safety is top notch, with the car grabbing a 5 out of 5 star rating in European NCAP standard crash tests for occupatn protection, winning it the best in it’s class award for the Small Family Cars class. The car obtained 4 stars for child protection and 2 stars for pedestrian protection.

DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s vice president of sales and marketing Konstantinos Tskinas said the company is set to launch a new model every month from now till the end of the year to maintain it’s position as the leader of the premium luxury segment of the Malaysian automotive sector. Among models to be launched are the smart forfour, the new CLS, CLK, CLK cabriolet, M-Class, B-Class and S-Class.

The new A-Class will be launched with a campaigned themed “Follow your own star”. They have a microsite up with a preview of the new car. You can check it out here.

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