Sportier, larger, roomier, more premium – these are all given, but ‘grown up’, in Benz’s words specifically, suggests an about-face for a range born of maturity in small cars, but went for the youthful jugular in successive second and third generations.
Certainly, ‘grown up’ seems strange for a new model range whose marketing figurehead is pop princess Nicki Minaj. And seemingly contradictory when the average age of Aussie A-Class buyers – half male, half female, it transpires – is actually 47. On face value, this makes little sense, before you consider the hip-pocket benefits twenty-somethings might enjoy at the ground floor of tri-star badge ownership (of sorts) with mum’s or dad’s name on the rego and insurance paperwork.
The A-Class still targets youth, sniper-like. But it’s also making a bigger play in gen-four. It casts a broader net of conquest and aims to swoon buyers of all ages away from various ownership segments. And many of the lures lie in strategic and sweeping changes to the A-Class format, even if the basic formula is familiar and friendly. That’s the underlying message we got from sampling a number of variants at the new range’s recent international launch in Croatia.