The A-class and B-class range of German premium carmaker Mercedes-Benz is now broader with the addition of new 'ECO SE' and all-wheel-drive variants that offer impressive fuel economy. The new ECO SE economy models will replace the A180 CDI SE and B180 CDI SE manual variants. Mercedes claims that the A180 CDI ECO SE has an average fuel consumption of 78.5 miles per gallon and emissions of 92 grams per km.
Meanwhile, the outgoing model returns 74.3 mpg and emits 98g/km of carbon dioxide. The same improvements were applied to the Mercedes B180 CDI ECO SE, with fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg and emissions level of 98g/km of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, the outgoing model returns 68.9 mpg and emits 108g/km of carbon dioxide. As a result, both are now free to tax, as opposed to only the A-class.
The new A-class and B-class ECO SE models also benefit from low company car tax bands. Set to become available in January 2014, the ECO SE models received aerodynamic enhancements, some weight-saving measures and powertrain modifications so that it will become more efficient without sacrificing performance. Mercedes said that the power, torque, top speed and acceleration figures of both models are unchanged.
The range will also have new '4MATIC' all-wheel-drive editions of the A-class and B-class. In addition, this system will be available on A250 models, in AMG Sport and Engineered by AMG trims, and on the B220 exclusively in Sport trim. The system, which was introduced in the Mercedes-Benz CLA, sends torque between the front and rear axles through an electro-hydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch unit.
It operates automatically and, when needed, it can distribute up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels. The new Mercedes A180 CDI ECO SE and B180 CDI ECO SE have starting prices of £21,965 and £22,950 respectively. Meanwhile, the all-wheel-drive versions of the A250 4MATIC have a starting price of £28,985. Meanwhile, the B220 4MATIC is priced from £28,135.
Just last month, Steve Cannon, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA, expressed confidence that the German premium brand will be able to wrest away the luxury sales crown in the United States from BMW this year.
It can be remembered that Mercedes was leading against BMW before December 2012 by around 1,800 units. BMW, however, outsold Mercedes by over 9,000 units in December 2012, allowing it to defend its US luxury crown. The situation for this year is almost similar, as Mercedes is currently holding onto a lead of less than 3,000 units through September.