There are two types of people in this world: those who like BMW’s and those who like Mercedes-Benz. I have always considered myself to be part of the latter group; the more cultured, sophisticated and classy of the two. This preference of mine began as a small boy. My family has always owned one Mercedes or another, always replacing a worn out, worse-for-wear Merc with a new one, seemingly without even considering a BM or one of the other German competitors. By the time I was old enough to have a personal opinion on cars I did not see a reason to change this imprinted bias of mine. I have always believed Mercs to be better looking than their compatriots and have argued this point to the bitter end with those who disagree. I would point out the sleek lines that grace the large saloons and the innovation that always appears on the new S-class. As a last resort, if I was faced with a particularly zealous opponent I would whip out the SLR card. No one could ever argue that the Mclaren-Mercedes SLR isn’t more beautiful and impressive than any BMW in existence. Nine arguments out of ten I would be victorious. The unfortunate person who had the courage to try and tell me that BMW or Audi were better than Mercedes would be left with tears in their eyes and a 3-pointed star imprint on their pride. However, that was not always the case. My resolute defence of the Benz brand had a gaping hole in it that I would pray my opponent would not pick up on. That hole, that weak link, that Achilles heel…was the A-Class.
The A-Class has long been the skid-mark on the pristine white pants of Mercedes-Benz. Looking like the bizarre combination of a doorstop and a half-eaten loaf of bread, it is the car that does not get invited to the beauty contests. Other cars shun it in the car park for fear of becoming ugly by association. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has never been invited to a birthday party. One can compare the A-Class to the Hunchback of Notredame except that unlike Quasimodo, he will never save the day or get the girl. When I pull up at a traffic light next to an A-Class I give the unfortunate driver a look of pity because if they aren’t blind then they must be part of some hideous nightmare where they are forced by an evil villain to drive around all day in the A-Class, a fate worse than eternal damnation. If my opponent in the BMW/Mercedes argument brought up the A-Class I would simply turn around and walk away, unable to face the shame of trying to defend it. I would be unable to show my face in public for at least 5 minutes as the tears subsided and I regained the confidence to face the world. Thankfully, that is about to change.
Somebody at Mercedes finally developed some sense. Either that or they have only just realised that they have unwittingly been manufacturing and selling the grotesque A-Class for the last 5 years when it was clearly only meant to be a prank played by the design team on the first of April. Whatever the reason, Quasimodo of the car world shall be with us no more. He is being replaced by Cameron Diaz. Yes, it’s true, the A-Class has become beautiful and cool. In a dramatic redesign, clearly aimed at eating into the dominance of the compact car market by the BMW 1-series, the new A-Class looks up to the task. It is sleek and graceful with curves that will make a man’s jaw drop as it passes by. The front end is styled in the fashion of the iconic SLS, a sight that has been known to cause grown women wet their pants. No longer will I look at the driver of this car with pity. My face will now be a mix of admiration and jealousy as I picture myself behind the wheel, with the backseat taken up by the beautiful women who will inevitably be drawn to the grace and good looks of the car (if not the driver). I am truly happy that Mercedes have fixed this slight on their historic mark. The A has finally found some class.