America gets another shot at a tiny, front-wheel drive Merc. The B-Class wasn't really a true test, being electric and a hatch. The A-Class is gasoline powered and has a separate trunk. It boasts a lot more passenger space than the up-level CLA with which it shares a chassis; the A-Class has a 1.1-inch longer wheelbase. Its engine is a 2.0-liter turbo 4, but with fewer ponies (188) than the CLA it gets a lesser nomenclature: A 220.
A surprisingly large (93 cubic feet) passenger cabin doesn't scrimp on material luxury or features. Dual-zone automatic air conditioning with rear seat vents, power windows, door locks, rain-sensitive wipers, remote start via smartphone, electronic parking brake, dual power front seats with memory for both and manual tilt and telescoping steering wheel are all standard.
On the safety front, driver's, front passenger, front seat side impact, rear seat side impact, head curtain and front knee airbags are all standard. So are electronic stability control (ESP), drift steering compensation, rear backup camera, Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call telematics, frontal collision warning and Active Brake Assist (autonomous braking). Blind Spot Warning, Adaptive Headlights, automatic high beams, front and rear Parktronic (parking distance warning), Active Parking Assist and a Surround View System are optional.
Although the cabin is a good size, if you have much cargo, you'll need to put it on the back seat; the A-Class' trunk is a paltry 8.6 cubic feet.
AMG C 63
A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Fuel mileage increases to 18 city and 27 highway, an improvement of 3 MPG on the highway. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.
A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Fuel mileage increases to 17 city and 26 highway, an improvement of 3 MPG on the highway. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. A power trunk lid and power-folding mirrors are now standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.
A nine-speed automatic replaces the seven-speed. Rear cross-traffic alert has been added as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.
AMG CLA 45
Blind Spot Assist, an electronic compass, Homelink programmable remote, auto-dimming rearview and driver's side mirrors, Keyless-Go (a full hands-free keyless system), Hands-free trunk (kick under the bumper randomly and the trunk may pop open) and heated front seats are now standard. The AMG CLA 45 now has 19" wheels as standard with 235/34R19 tires, upgraded from last year's 18".
AMG GLA 45
20-inch wheels with 235/40R20 tires are now standard.
Keyless-Go is no longer standard; opening the trunk and doors with your keys in your pocket will cost you $900 extra.
A new AMG GT 4-Door comes with an inline 6-cylinder hybrid (AMG GT 53) model later. For now the 4-Door comes as 63 (577 horsepower) and 63 S (630 horsepower) models with V8s from the coupe and cabriolet GT lineup, though the S model is more powerful than any in the 2-door models.
The C-Class lineup gets a modest refresh with 14 more horsepower for the C 300 and 23 more horsepower for the AMG C 43 AMG. Bumpers, wheels, headlights and taillights are redesigned. Exterior LED lighting is now standard. Inside, a new multifunction wheel has touch-sensitive buttons, a gee-whiz feature that may not be conducive to safe driving. The optional navigation system includes a 10-1/4 inch display; the larger display is standard on the coupe and cabriolet.
A slew of advanced safety technology is transferred from the E-Class, among them optional "Active Emergency Stop Assist." If a driver removes their hands from the steering wheel and does not react to warnings to resume control, this system will gradually reduce speed until stopping the vehicle. The hazard lights are activated and emergency services are contacted through Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call.
Smart phone integration is now standard. The cruise control moves off of the hidden, unlit stalk and onto the face of the steering wheel. Yay.
The original "four-door coupe" (not to be confused with "four-door sports car") is redesigned for 2019 and powered entirely by mild hybrid inline 6-cylinder engines with 48-volt electrical systems. The standard CLS 450 utilizes a 369-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder, while the higher-level AMG CLS 53 uses a more powerful version of the new corporate inline six cylinder, also turbocharged and sporting 429 horsepower.
Five seats are now provided, with a standard 3-person bench in the rear with a folding armrest. When not in use it folds in three sections, dropped from in the trunk to secure cargo.
On the outside, Mercedes is simplifying its designs. Only a single rising character line near the bottom keeps the sides from being featureless. The hood is a long, swept-back single piece with three minimal longitudinal lines; no bulges or vents to be found. LEDs are standard in the headlamps and taillamps.
Among the latest gimmicks in Mercs is Energizing Comfort. An option in the CLS, it utilizes fragrances, climate control settings, seat heaters, massage and ventilation, steering wheel heat and ambient interior lighting to evoke different moods at the selection of the driver; Refreshment, Warmth, Joy, Comfort or Training (involving muscle relaxation, balance with included exercises).
The usual slew of MB safety features is present or available; Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Surround View Camera, Active Parking Assist, Parktronic and Rear Cross Path Warning.
New engines and nomenclatures: E 400 becomes E 450 and gains 33 horsepower: 362 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 369 pound-feet of torque. AMG E 43 becomes AMG E 53, switches to an inline 6-cylinder turbo with 429 horsepower, 384 pound-feet and a 48-volt electrical system with a mild hybrid "EQ Boost" electric motor with another 21 horsepower. This is MB's first straight six in the U.S. since the 1980's.
New steering wheels replace the old hidden, dark cruise control on a little stalk with modern buttons on the face of the steering wheel and dual touch buttons.
The optional Driver Assistance Package now includes Route-Based Speed Adaption: the navigation system works together with the adaptive cruise control and lowers the cars speed when corners, intersections or round-abouts are being approached.
If you're looking for the killer pimp Mercedes-AMG G65 with its 6.0-liter twin turbocharged V12, just pause. Place a hand over your gold chains, bow your head and say goodbye. The all-new G-Class (you don't get to say that every decade) includes two downsized, 4.0-liter twin turbo V8's. They make the same or more power as the older model's comparable engines, even though the G 63 loses 1.5-liters of displacement (equivalent to the engine in the MINI Cooper). But the silky smooth, three-valve-per-cylinder V12 is being escorted off the stage. Seven-speed automatics are replaced by nine-speeds, also. The V8 engines can both shut off half of their cylinders and also feature automatic start/stop. These changes increase highway mileage, but not much: 13 city/17 highway (G 550) and 13 city/15 highway (AMG G 63). Range goes up more with a one-gallon larger fuel tank: 26.4 gallons.
The exterior predictably stays about the same. You don't change an icon. The wheelbase is a little longer (113.8 vs. 112.2 inches). The overall length grows about an inch. Track width is up considerably (64.5 inches vs. 59.6), which is bound to increase the handing and stability. (Motor Trend pulls .61 G's on their skidpad with the new model versus .56 with the old.) Heigh increases slightly less than half-an-inch, and ground clearance is up slightly.
On the inside the new G-Class is much more worked-over. Radially finned circular air vents look like jewelry and mixed in with the chrome buttons, leather and wood trim create an overall picture of splendorous excess. Rear passengers can now independently control their cabin temperature. Distronic is still standard and now includes Active Lane Keeping to further reduce driver stress. The cruise control moves off the unlit hidden stalk and onto the face of the steering wheel. The ancient lever-activated parking brake is replaced with an electronic unit with automatic features.
Active Parking Assist is a new feature for the G-Class and it's standard. Lane Departure Warning with automatic correction is now standard and so is rear cross-path warning. Front collision warning and Active Brake Assist are now offered: standard.
A 14-way power passenger seat with memory is now standard.
Heated front seats and a 120-volt household outlet are now standard. An independent rear temperature control is now optional.
For 2019 the GLE 350 models are replaced by the GLE 400 with its mild 329-horsepower turbocharged 3.0 V6. Two-wheel drive is off the table; all variants of the GLE will have 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The 7-speed automatic is replaced by the newer Mercedes 9-speed. The GLE 550e plug-in hybrid is no longer offered.
2019 isn't the big model year for the GLE, 2020 is. The GLE 350 returns after a one-year hiatus, its V6 replaced with a turbocharged 4-cylinder with 255 horsepower and the GLE 450 replacing the one-year GLE 400 with a mild hybrid turbocharged inline 6-cylinder with 362 horsepower and a 21 horsepower electric motor (no combined powertrain horsepower supplied by Mercedes-Benz). This is a variant of this year's engine in the AMG E 53 and it introduces a 48-volt electrical system to the GLE.
A special Grand Edition offered on 450 and 550 models will include exclusive interior finishes, materials and colors. On the outside 20 or 21-inch wheels, upgraded lighting and "Grand Edition" badges.
Mercedes Van's mid-sized commercial cargo van now comes in long-wheelbase, with nine inches more cargo length and 16 cubic feet more cargo volume.
Rearview camera is now standard.
The V12 is gone in the SL and G-Class and it's on its way out in the S-Class. The Mercedes V12's swan song is the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Final Edition. With only 130 made, scarcity is ensured. Exterior is black, only with 20-inch forged wheels with copper trim. It gets an AMG crest behind the rear windows and exclusive black and copper Nappa leather upholstery. A numbered badge rests on the center console.
All S-Classes will have the grille that was previously exclusive to the V12 models and a new front bumper with aggressive air intakes.
The S 560 sedan is now available with rear-wheel drive in addition to 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
The S 550e plug-in hybrid will be replaced by the S 560e, arriving in mid-2019.
S-Class coupe and cabriolet will offer an "Exclusive Edition." The LED headlights will have embedded crystals and "Exclusive Edition" will be engraved into the cup holder cover. Exclusive paints, top fabrics and interior trim will also be included.
S 560 coupe is about $8000 lower in price: $126945.
These vans are significantly refreshed with new headlights that are more horizontal, new grille, new bumpers and the MB emblem moves from the back windows to the doors. LED headlights are now offered.
Underneath, a new 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engine is offered, the first gas engine on a Sprinter. The 4-cylinder diesel is gone, leaving the 3.0-liter diesel V6. The diesel's 5-speed automatic has been upgraded to a 7-speed. The new gas engine gets a 9-speed automatic.
Inside, passenger models now offer 15-passenger seating, giving them equity with the locals from Ford, GMC and Chevrolet. Nissan only offers 12 and Ram doesn't offer a full-size passenger van like its old Dodge Ram Wagon 15-Passenger Church Bus.
The new Sprinter will be assembled in South Carolina.
The V12 is gone, leaving only SL 450, SL 550 and AMG SL 63 models.
The AMG SLC 43 gets a power boost of 23 horsepower to 385 and gains standard dual zone automatic climate control, active LED headlights and High Beam Assist.