We visually compare 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class to its predecessor

Take your pick: old W176 or new W177 A-Class?

The all-new, fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class promises to be a significant leap forward for the automaker as far as practicality, technology, and luxury go. But is the same statement true when it comes to the design? Opinions are likely to be split in this area, which is why we've put old versus new side by side so you can pick your winner.

Seen from the front, the new A-Class looks more aggressive than its predecessor, and that's mostly due to the flat, triangular headlights (available in Multibeam LED form) and larger radiator grille. Mercedes-Benz calls it a "Predator" face and the fact that the A-Class shares it with the CLS four-door coupé will no doubt play in the smaller model's favor.

From the side, the two models appear very similar, but a closer look reveals some differences. The new A-Class features a sloping engine hood, less pronounced creases on the bodywork and a more inclined tailgate design. It's hard to pick a winner from this angle — if you asked me I would say it's a tie.

To wrap things up as far as the exterior design goes, the rear ends of the two A-Class models couldn't be more different. The greatest change regards the taillights, which have a triangular, two-piece design on the new model as opposed to the square-ish, one-piece appearance adopted by the W176. Besides helping the car look wider than it is the two-section tail lamps make possible a 200-mm wider aperture of the tailgate, allowing for the loading of larger items.

And so we get to the interior, which is where the new A-Class differs the most from its predecessor. It takes things to a whole different level, with a layout inspired by E-Class and S-Class models, as well as hi-tech features also sourced from those cars.

Gone are the analog instrument panel and the "floating" central screen, replaced by a free-standing Widescreen display that can be had in three different combinations — what you see in the photos is the biggest one available, formed of two 10.25-inch screens. Other striking details include the new multifunction steering wheel from the S-Class, the turbine-look air vents, and optional 64-color ambient lighting.

The new A-Class' interior truly gives the impression of a luxury car, but we have to say we're looking forward to seeing what lower-range models look like too — both on the outside and on the inside. What it's clear right now is that competitors will have a lot of catching up to do, as the A-Class does not only look the part, but it's said to be significantly roomier, more refined, and more luxurious than ever before.

Now check out the technical differences between the two generation models, courtesy of our "Compare Cars" feature.

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