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Old 5th May 2013, 13:23   #31
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Originally Posted by narayan View Post

The car is definitely a looker but those "stick type" door lock is so uncool. It looks out of place in a 5Lakh hatch these days - definitely avoidable in a 20 lakh+ hatch

As for segmentation, this car will find favour in existing premium car owning households where this could be the car for the college going kid or for the wifey for shopping outings ( sorry Im not trying to typecast any segment/sex )
Actually all beemers and Mercs come with that lock. Don't see anything "uncool" about them. But yes I get what you're saying. They seem really old school since we only saw them on Maruti 800s and maybe couple of others. I guess the Germans should have a very good reason.

Your bang on about the segmentation.
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Old 5th May 2013, 13:34   #32
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

Hope the LEDs on the front is a part of paid optional equipment. Lose it, and the A-Class looks perfect.

Aren't the dimensions similar to VW Golf/Ford Focus/Opel Astra hatchbacks? If this car gets close to sales of 500/month, we could have a whole new segment in the form of 4.3m length full-size premium hatchbacks with a price tag of 10 - 12 Lacs.
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Old 5th May 2013, 16:53   #33
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Old 5th May 2013, 21:27   #34
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Umm. Comparing with RR and Bentley? Really?


107 bhp hatchbacks are available in sub 10 lac category

.....and the engine is only as good as a polo.

Highly doubt people will substitute this car for a jetta, superb, Laura etc.
I think you're wrong on all counts.
#1: Just because two cars from different segments have the same power rating on paper, that doesn't mean they'll have anywhere near the same performance as each other. Gear ratios, camshafts, etc all come in to play to determine real world performance. Drive a 107bhp A-class in anger and you'll find that even the new Polo GT TSI may not be able to keep up.

#2: Yes they will. People with 20L to spend will seriously consider the A-class instead of larger sedans at similar price points. A friend's farther was recently in the market with a budget that would've gotten him a Superb, but he wanted the badge value of a Merc / BMW / Audi. Despite the fact that he's entirely chauffeur driven he compromised on the luxury that a Superb would've given him and bought an under-equipped and cramped 320d instead. Never under-estimate the value of brand appeal / snob-value.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Top variants of the VW Jetta & Skoda Laura DSG cross 21 lakhs on the road in Mumbai. A potential customer for either of these cars could be lured by the three-pointed badge.
Agreed - this is exactly the point I was trying to make above.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If the BMW badge can sell the sub-par (IMHO, awful) X1, the Merc badge should be enough to push the A-Class out of showrooms.
The only difference here is the fact that the X1 is positioned as an SUV, and Indians love SUVs. Just today my brother-in-law was asking if he should by the Duster. When I asked him why he wanted it considering (a) being a crossover-/SUV it would be more impractical and less cost-efficient to live with than a sedan, and (b) it has no off-roading credentials whatsoever, he finally sheepishly admitted that it had more perceived status than a sedan at similar price levels.
The X1 sells because it's marketed (quite smartly, I'll admit) as an SUV. The A-class is just a hatchback. BUT... the 3-pointed star will help it move despite the 20L price.


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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
What I can't understand is why are the base versions of these premium offerings not being sold with manual transmissions. It would cater to a slightly wider market IMO due to a slightly cheaper price tag.
It's only going to get worse. The manual transmission is dying a very, very swift death and it makes me want to cry in despair. Today the new 'hot' Polo comes to you with a DSG in a sub-8L sub-compact hatch. How soon before DSGs trickle down to cars that only cost five lacs? Not very long, unfortunately. TRUE petrolheads will always prefer the mechanical involvement of a manual, but then - they're the minority.

Last edited by ghostrider : 5th May 2013 at 21:31.
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Old 5th May 2013, 22:34   #35
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I think you're wrong on all counts.
#1: Just because two cars from different segments have the same power rating on paper, that doesn't mean they'll have anywhere near the same performance as each other. Gear ratios, camshafts, etc all come in to play to determine real world performance. Drive a 107bhp A-class in anger and you'll find that even the new Polo GT TSI may not be able to keep up.

#2: Yes they will. People with 20L to spend will seriously consider the A-class instead of larger sedans at similar price points. A friend's farther was recently in the market with a budget that would've gotten him a Superb, but he wanted the badge value of a Merc / BMW / Audi. Despite the fact that he's entirely chauffeur driven he compromised on the luxury that a Superb would've given him and bought an under-equipped and cramped 320d instead. Never under-estimate the value of brand appeal / snob-value.
#1. You and I both haven't driven the A class. I think it's very immature to make such claims without knowing facts. The A 180 does 0-100kmph in approx 10.2 secs, don't see how different this performance is from the polo tsi ? Since all of us are simply relying on printed numbers right now, it would be foolish to ignore that the A class is offering very little at the heart of the car - engine.

#2 You're bang on about the power of the brands, and the great quality they offer. What you have very conveniently forgotten my friend, is that the A class is a hatchback! There is an enormous difference between switching from sedan to sedan and sedan to a cramped up hatch that costs equally high.
If your friend's father (or any other similar customer) were in fact open to being chauffeured around in a hatch, they would've considered a B CLASS OR Mini Cooper as well ? Please do ask your friends father why he didn't consider the B Class or Mini Cooper? I think you'll see what I've been trying to say.

If your POWER OF THE BADGE theory were so foolproof, the B CLASS would've been a smashing hit.
A 22-25 lack hatchback will always remain a lifestyle choice in our country (or any other). Very very few logical buyers looking for some value for money, will go for an underpowered hatchback over a sedan no matter what the brand is.

Anyway. The launch isn't far away. The numbers will speak for themselves.
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Old 5th May 2013, 22:46   #36
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

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Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
...and Indians love SUVs. Just today my brother-in-law was asking if he should by the Duster. When I asked him why he wanted it considering (a) being a crossover-/SUV it would be more impractical and less cost-efficient to live with than a sedan, and (b) it has no off-roading credentials whatsoever, he finally sheepishly admitted that it had more perceived status than a sedan at similar price levels.
for an A Class thread! However, we do need to put the record straight!
I'm afraid you've got it quite wrong on both counts.

With regard to even the 4x2 Duster's capability - Check out the ownership threads of Duster, especially of Himadrimondal and Neil Roy - you'll find excellent examples of rough and dirt road trips, especially in the thread of Himadri - where he has taken his 4x2 Duster into pretty rough terrain in Sikkim. A couple of his posted videos on the type of 'roads' he tackled are quite hair-raising and are worth watching.

The 4x4 Duster (expected to be launched soon) has decent offroading capability and although not in the league of hardcore 4x4's, its capability cannot be sneezed away. Check out all the international reviews and videos for that.

Your definition of "impractical" is subjective and is relative to the intended usage spectrum of the car. If the owner expects to do long trips with rough and dirt roads thrown in, then I would find a sedan thoroughly "impractical". With about 7000 km of usage on a 110 Duster, including trips over pretty rough dirt roads, I'm happy with my Duster and I find it cost-efficient too for my usage spectrum. So, its each to its own and lets respect that, please!

Last edited by Rigid Rotor : 5th May 2013 at 22:50.
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Old 5th May 2013, 23:43   #37
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

Merc A class looks really cool :-) The design is fresh and the front is stunning. Not the awkward A class of the past which was neither here nor there.
The rear seat backrest recline angle seems a big issue though.

As for the ex-showroom price > 20l, that's plain ridiculous. With all the supposed cost saving of the front wheel drive MFA platform, where the hell is it reflecting in the price ? A 20l starting price for a puny petrol and diesel engine that is underpowered ? This whole repositioning of A, B, C class etc seems hugely inflationary!

And Merc can't provide a wheel well in a hatch ? So, you're supposed to put your suitcase load on the sidewalls of the spare tyre ?

Despite its other list of plus points, I think consumers need to shun overpriced and underspec-ed offerings from 'luxury' marquees, so that some good sense prevails ?

As for comparisons with X1, X1 definitely was underwhelming - BUT, for a tag more legroom than 3-series, higher seating position and GC, BMW smartly positioned it below 3-series in India. Merc seems to be going in another direction with the A klasse ?

Last edited by lancer_rit : 5th May 2013 at 23:46.
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Old 6th May 2013, 06:29   #38
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Actually all beemers and Mercs come with that lock. Don't see anything "uncool" about them. But yes I get what you're saying. They seem really old school since we only saw them on Maruti 800s and maybe couple of others. I guess the Germans should have a very good reason.

Your bang on about the segmentation.
The very good reason for the pop up locks IMHO is: In case of a shunt where in the door is hit, most locks/central locking mechanism may jam, and in the panic the owner/pax may pull too hard at the plastic handle and break it. The popup lock acts like a last ditch safety device to enable the occupant to exit a car. We have seen so many cases of people dying in the car because they were trapped.
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Old 6th May 2013, 08:36   #39
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

A real looker, stunning details and coupe like side profile.

I would have gone for it, if priced south of 20L, but that's wishful thinking. Considering the premium / luxury branding that the company demands, any model less than 20L will be seen as negative.

Would be interesting how the 20L~25L price band segment offerings fare from now on, considering the 1series, A3, etc. coming up.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:05   #40
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#2 You're bang on about the power of the brands, and the great quality they offer. What you have very conveniently forgotten my friend, is that the A class is a hatchback!

If your POWER OF THE BADGE theory were so foolproof, the B CLASS would've been a smashing hit.
A 22-25 lack hatchback will always remain a lifestyle choice in our country (or any other). Very very few logical buyers looking for some value for money, will go for an underpowered hatchback over a sedan no matter what the brand is.

Anyway. The launch isn't far away. The numbers will speak for themselves.
Very well put indeed, Yes when prices of two or more products are same we do intend to compare them for nothing else but the fact that they are similarly priced. I was in the same dilemma and was comparing everything in the 25 to 30 lakh range. But when you get to the ground reality of things a B class or an X 1 can never give you the same things which say a fortuner or a superb give you.

I guess what it comes down to is your needs and the money you can spend to get that need. Only that is the correct way to buy a car. You cannot just compare two products because they are similarly priced. I have seen this so many times when people merit a product only on the price and demean it so instantly when they are getting more of their perceived value somewhere else.

Just to say you can get a bus or a truck or a proper SUV or a sedan or a hatch for 25 lakh but in the end you will buy it based on your need and not simply because they are available in this price point.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:14   #41
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

Interested to see how this segment pans out, especially in our market where the price equates to the size and space on offer. Space is quite a premium in all the three (A-Class, 1-series, and A3).
If looks can sell, I feel the Merc will come on top. But otherwise, I feel the BMW have an advantage of being slightly better in space, more driver-oriented, and the only RWD in the mix.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:34   #42
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Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
... A class is a hatchback! There is an enormous difference between switching from sedan to sedan and sedan to a cramped up hatch that costs equally high.
I agree to this one. Had this been the sedan version, then it could've been little different. We still cannot digest a 20 Lakh+ hatchback (that too with 107 BHP), though we might still go for a approx 10 Lakh OTR one such as a Polo GT TSI. People would have been definitely drawn more to this one from a Jetta or Superb for simply the badge value - had this not been a hatchback. Though the power figures could've played the spoilsport there as well.

As for the regular non-enthusiast drivers in our country, I have seen even they are conscious of the power and torque output now-a-days, though they may not be aware that performance doesn't come only from power/torque figures. First thing that would come to mind is 1.8 Litre engine, and power similar to VW Polo GT. They would rather buy the entry level C-class if they can afford it.

Last edited by Tats07 : 6th May 2013 at 09:36.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:40   #43
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After looking at this car, i do feel that merc could have done a little better since 107 horses is just low for something in this segment. Also, going along the lines with all hatches, space is a premium and the boot space is being "shared" with the spare wheel. People looking for a good/fast commuter with practicality will surely look elsewhere, but for others, this will be their three-pointer.

The front looks really beautiful to my eyes and the rear, polo-esque. The rear similarity between the two is quite surprising though. tail lamps look great. Well designed product for those who want a three pointer in their garage.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:54   #44
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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Now with people hiring chauffeurs for all sorts of cars (including Nanos), a person would probably be concerned more with back-seat comfort and probably gizmos rather than an auto-tranny.

Also I'd like to point out that there are maximum cars in the 13-25 lakh range which come with a manual transmission alongside an automatic option and have been warmly welcomed by the masses - Altis, Cruze, Jetta, Superb, Fortuner, Passat to name a few. The manuals would be lighter on the pocket to run and maintain (DSG failures for example).
This was what people thought earlier that since it's going to be chauffeur driven, let's get the MT and not spend on a MT. Nowadays, chauffeur driven = AT. All my relatives and friends who have picked up premium cars have gone for AT if chauffeur driven. Cars include a Camry, Superb, Verna and Jetta.

The main reason is because they prefer a smooth AT which the driver cannot abuse. Chauffeurs don't know head or tail of riding the clutch, righ shift point and not lugging the engine. An MT is easier to screw up compared to an AT.

Also the 13-25 lakhs may have the Altis, Jetta and the likes but when you go to Superb, Passat, Camry you have only AT choices. The Passat only has the base trendline with an MT and Superb is available only in Petrol MT.
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Old 6th May 2013, 10:14   #45
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Default Re: Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details

Mercedes A-Class Preview : Pictures & Details-door.jpg

Seriously!! In a Merc!!
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