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The Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class: From W168 to W177

Personally, the first time I saw the A Class driving on Zambian roads I thought someone got a Mercedes Benz badge and welded it on the grille of some unknown vehicle.

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The Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is truly a marvel. In just two decades from the poorly designed first-gen in 1997 to the amazing third-gen in 2014.

Yes, Mercedes-Benz, a name synonymous with luxury and innovation, has come a long way with its A-Class series.

In Zambia, where affordability meets a deep love for cars, the A-Class has left a remarkable mark, especially for those of us who can’t get to the S or E class.

Let’s take a technical but occasionally casual journey through the evolution of this iconic vehicle, from the W168 to the W177 generation, including the facelifts that transformed them.

Mercedes Benz A Class A160 and A 190 W168: The Pioneer


The journey starts with the W168, the first-generation A-Class, which hit the streets in 1997. Affordable and stylish, it became a common sight in Europe, though in Zambia it was to be 10-15 years later to be seen on the road.

Its compact size and innovative design made it perfect for city driving. However, its early models lacked the luxurious comfort we now associate with Mercedes-Benz.

Personally, the first time I saw the A Class driving on Zambian roads I thought someone got a Mercedes Benz badge and welded it on the grille of some unknown vehicle.

However, that view was not for long (right about into the second generation). A significant facelift in 2001 brought improvements in aesthetics and ride comfort, making it more appealing to car enthusiasts and the beginning of the Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

W168 fetches as low as $800 USD from the Japanese Used Car market.

Mercedes Benz A Class W169: A Step Up


As time progressed, the W169 made its way into a wider market and the Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class was now beginning to be apparent.

This second-generation A-Class offered more space and improved comfort.

And Zambians for now were beginning to look at the W168 from the second-hand Japanese cars. W169 saw the shift in design and this car became an attractive upgrade.

The A-Class started to appeal not only to city drivers but also to those looking for a bit of elegance in their ride. A facelift in 2008 enhanced its interior and exterior, setting new standards in compact luxury.

A Class W176: Sporty Vibes


The W176, the third-generation A-Class came really to the fore in the Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class as it brought sportiness into the mix.

With its sleek design and advanced technology, it continues to captivate car enthusiasts in Zambia.

Still, for many at the time, the pocket was not enough to buy this compact car off the showroom as the price range was enough to buy a medium-cost house in Zambia.

This car will begin to appear on Zambian roads perhaps 2 years from now when the Japanese price drops below the $3000 dollar mark that most of us afford to buy a used car.

The casual chats at the local hangouts started to focus more on the joy of driving this impressive compact car. A facelift in 2016 added more power, and the design got even edgier, making it a desirable choice for those looking for a sporty ride.

2014 Mercedes-Benz A 180 Urban 5-door hatchback pre-facelift

Benz A Class W177: The Present-Day Marvel


And here we are at the W177 introduced in 2018, the fourth generation of the A-Class.

This car has redefined what’s possible in a compact luxury vehicle. With a blend of cutting-edge technology, comfort, and performance, it has earned a special place in the hearts of car lovers.

Though the precedesor W176 looks better in appearance. And those W168s parked in garages are now being revitalized the W177 stands as a symbol of the A-Class’s continuous evolution.

A recent facelift in 2020 brought updated styling, further improving the car’s aesthetics and modernizing its features.

The Evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class to Present – W177 A 180d

In Zambia, the evolution of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been seen from affordable city runners to stylish, comfortable, and technologically advanced marvels, thanks to these well-thought-out facelifts.

Going by our car cultureness this may mean the A class, especially from the second and third generation will flood the Zambian roads just as the C class has been the favorite on the roads.

The secret to keeping these cars on the road is proper maintenance. So, if you’re an A-Class owner in Zambia, remember that taking good care of your car can ensure it stays on the road for years to come.

Enjoy the ride, and may the evolution continue!

By Zambia Car Tips

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