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Mercedes is now looking to debut the X-class, get this, below the GLA. Its going to be based on the Renault Captur (which they have access to through their minor stake) and will very possibly come in at the $20K mark. The Captur is based on the Clio, and in all likely hood we see a small hatch/sedan based on the Clio as well...

a Mercedes in every garage? Honestly this has gone quite far enough...

Mercedes-Benz planning X-Class to slot below GLA, to be based on the Renault Captur - report)
 

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I'm not too sure a Captur based Mercedes would make it to the states, though I could see it do fine in the EU. The best equivalent car in the US would probably be a Kia Soul, and that is probably a little too cheap for Mercedes to go right now. They probably should test the waters with the A-class before going to that.

That said, if Mercedes were to bring a rebadged Clio it might do alright. It looks like a fun little hatch, and would probably sell reasonably well if people knew it was a Clio. There's enough Top Gear watchers in the states to make a modest first run sell fine. However, a rebadged Clio does kind of defeat the purpose of the A-class.

Mercedes, like everyone else, is probably looking at the emission standards and trying to work under them, especially given their cars in general aren't really designed for efficiency. They have to deal with CAFE (US), SEPA (China), and ACEA (EU) emissions standards.
 

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Mercedes has the tech to make super efficient cars if they want to. The GLA is the most efficient car in its class (or will be once its released).

I do agree that this new X-Class might stick to Europe though. I just can't see a Benz placed lower than the GLA. I didn't think the GLA would dilute the brand, but I do think that this X-Class could.
 

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Mercedes has the tech to make super efficient cars if they want to. The GLA is the most efficient car in its class (or will be once its released).
It's not just average per model, it's average among units sold. It does no good to make a car with 100 mpg that costs 100k. That's one of the reasons why the Cygnet failed. You need volume to drag up the average mpg, meaning your volume cars need to be efficient. And the GLA is not going to reach that 50 mpg that needs to be met by 2025. Even the CLA, which has the lowest Cd of any production car ever and has a microscopic 2.0L cannot get close.

A great example of mpg average games is actually the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Chrysler knew it would be somewhat of a volume car when it came out but also knew its (relatively) bad mpg would hurt it a lot. So they classified it as a truck since trucks had their own (much lower) bar to get over. That way the large number of PT Cruisers wouldn't affect their car mpg average.

And smaller cars don't always get good mpg. There's a reason why so many of those small hatches and mini cars usually top out at low to mid 40s in the US. The fuel is lower octane and the drag created by a short body is hard to overcome.

In fact, if you want to see how much these new regulations are impacting cars and car companies, you can look at how many cars are now 2.0 liters. The entire reason is China. China has a steep tariff on cars that have more than 2.0 liter displacement, which is why so many cars in the last 5-10 years all magically have 2.0 liter engines.

Edit: Dang my posts are getting long . . .
 
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