The A class has been a smash hit for Mercedes Benz .
And as the old saying goes , if it ain't broke redesign it slightly and increase the price .
At first glance , it might look like we've squeezed two identical a classes into the cars dot Coz studio .
However , that is the outgoing model and that is the facelift model fresh from the launch .
Let's go through the changes .
Both of these cars here have the AM G kit fitted which at 18,000 rand , we would recommend it improves the looks dramatically .
The air dam has been reshaped for the new model .
The headlights now feature led daytime running lights similar to the Mercedes C class and this diamond grill is now standard at the back .
Normal tail lights are now replaced with standard led varieties .
They're red obviously because you know it's the back of the car and while the bumpers are the same , the area around the exhaust has been redesigned to integrate the tail pipes into the bumper itself , which apparently is quite a difficult exercise as exhaust lighting , melt things inside the car .
And again , at first glance , it might not appear like a lot has changed , but the dials are dramatically different .
They're now sunk deeper into the dash and you look at them through this completely new steering wheel standard on the autos is dynamic select this changes the gearbox , the engine and the steering to either be comfy , sporty or eco Y in that large mode , it will even regulate the air conditioning unit to save fuel .
You can also order this larger eight inch screen and sat NAV is now available and the dashboard that it purchases on is no longer plastic .
It's fully clad in leather .
Overall , there's a much more premium fuel in here .
Mercedes have moved away from the cheaper materials of the old A class and the model is all the better for it .
As you can see , I'm on a couch .
This may look a bit odd but it will all make sense shortly .
The A class suspension has always been a bit firm , which is nice if you want to drive sporty .
But 90% of the time it's just uncomfortable .
Imagine you could change suspension .
Now , usually this would be a very complex and costly exercise .
But for the first time on the A class , you can order adaptive suspension .
What this means is that the cushion itself changes at the touch of a button , you can make it firm or comfortable .
It's an 18,000 rand option , but we highly recommend it as it hugely increases the usability of the A class on a day to day basis under the bonnet of the new A class , there are two petrol engines to choose from as well as a diesel units in two states of tune and the mental motor in the A 45 AM G .
This is the 130 kilowatt diesel version badged as the 2 20 D .
And while it's certainly not short on power , we think it's a bit grumbly for such a premium car , especially at low speeds , it certainly could be quieter .
However , we are impressed with the fuel consumption .
While Mercedes Benz claims figures as low as 4.2 to the 100 we're achieving around seven , although that is with Ashley old field driving .
So we think you can do a bit better .
And now the price Mercedes South Africa is somewhat sheltered from the volatile rand because they build the C class in South Africa .
So fortunately , the A class pricing hasn't changed too dramatically .
You can now get a 2 20 D for about 460,000 rand .
That's up 14,000 from the outgoing model and you can get into the range for 389,000 that will bag you an A 200 manual .
If you're looking for something like a competitor to the Volkswagen Golf G T I , we recommend the A 2 50 sport as an ideal rival .