Mercedes-Benz A-Class suffers big defeat in the 2013 European Car of the Year contest

Article by Christian A., on March 7, 2013

Volkswagen Golf won as the 2013 European Car of the Year, easily beating the Mercedes-Benz A class (which only earned fifth place). Apparently, European automotive journalists really like the Golf. The runner-up to the Golf was the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ with 202 votes compared to the 414 for the Golf. Coming in at third place is the Volvo V40, with 189 votes.

Ranked fourth is the Ford B-Max (with 148 votes) and this was followed by the A class (with 138 votes). At No. 6, there’s the Renault Clio with 128 votes (which is only eight votes higher than its main rival, the Peugeot 208). The Hyundai i30 is the last finisher among the eight finalists with 111 votes.

However, it’s not likely that Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche will have to be concerned that sales of the new A class will suffer.

The Golf was No. 1 in European sales in the key compact segment for numerous car generations before the Car of the Year jurors first named the third generation model as the best in Europe in 1992. The Golf is VW’s second model in four years to earn the European Car of the Year award. The first was the Polo, which got the award in 2010.

The exterior of the new A-Class is marked by defined edges and tight surfaces. Furthermore, the interplay between concave and convex surfaces results to an amazing relationship between shade and light on the sides of the new A-Class.

Its long front end is defined by its V-shape, a radiator grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, double slats to the sides of the star, extra air intakes on the sides as well as separate headlights. The headlamps’ design and the configuration of the respective light functions are considered as some of the key features of the design concept. Mercedes arranged the light modules and LED units in the headlamp cover to create the so-called "flare effect" for their daytime driving lights and indicators. This "flare" actually includes the feature line inside the headlamp, the bulb sets for the indicators and the LED modules for the daytime running lamps.

The side profile features a "dropping line” that dissolves towards the front end. Meanwhile, the roof of the new A-Class features a dynamic design while providing outstanding aerodynamics, thanks to its arching curve and its smooth surfaces and taut, arcing curve. Its silhouette exposes smooth flowing lines that end in a flat edge. On the other hand, the car’s roof spoiler works not only to conceal all aerials but also to lend structure to the roof assembly while providing a sporty touch.

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