New Mercedes-Benz A-Class ‘clean diesel’ engines will cut company car tax bills

New A 200 d and A 220 d 2.0-litre diesel engine is RDE2-compliant so will remove the 4 percent surcharge on diesel company cars introduced in March 2018

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-ClassMercedes-Benz has become one of the first brands in the UK to offer a ‘next generation’ RDE2 clean diesel engine that escapes the 4 percent company car tax surcharge introduced in March 2018. The new Mercedes-Benz A 200 d and A 220 d are on sale now.

First announced in the 2017 Budget, the surcharge saw existing company car diesel taxes, which added 3 percent onto the CO2-based Benefit in Kind bill of fleet car drivers, increased by another 1 percent.

But ultra-clean new diesels that met so-called RDE2 emissions tests, due to come into force from 2020, escaped the surcharge entirely.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Both the new 150hp A 200 d and 190hp A 220d are RDE2-compliant. They’re also going into the new B-Class, further broadening the range of RDE2 Mercedes-Benz.

For the A-Class, the savings are modest, but still welcome: around £150 a year for a 40 percent tax payer, compared to the old, non-RDE2 car.

Private car buyers will also get a one band saving in the first VED road tax payment upon registration.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, codenamed OM654, is offered as an A 200 d Sport for £28,805, and a A 220 d AMG Line for £30,005.

What is RDE2?

RDE2 is part of the Euro 6d emissions regulations that come into force from January 2020 for newly-launched cars, and 2021 for all new cars sold. It stands for ‘Real Driving Emissions 2’, or the second stage of the new real-world testing regime for NOx emissions.

Real Driving Emissions compares NOx emissions on the road with those from the regular WLTP laboratory tests. Since September 2019, RDE has been mandatory: it requires new cars to emit no more than 2.1 times their lab-tested NOx emissions in real-world driving.

RDE2 cuts the allowance to 1.5 times lab tests.

The ultimate aim is to reach parity with laboratory tests by around 2023.

But enough of this RDE2 excitement; how do they perform? The 150hp A 200 d does 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, and has a top speed (interestingly, it’s electronically limited) of 137mph. It also averages a WLTP-approved 67.3mpg and emits 110g/km CO2.

The 190hp A 220 d does 0-62mph in a speedy-sounding 7.0 seconds, and will run to 146mph. It averages a still creditable 65.7mpg and emits 114g/km CO2. Both engines have a standard eight-speed DCT automatic gearbox.

Ordering is open now and deliveries begin in Spring 2019.

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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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