If you are looking for a premium hatchback, then the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are probably on your shortlist. Perhaps we’re biased (okay, we are biased!) but the 1 Series is the car to choose.
It’s not just that everyone at Elms lives and breathes BMW. We genuinely think the 1 Series is a better car.
Let’s start with value for money. The 1 Series can be on your drive for less, with prices starting from £17,510. That’s for a three-door. The five-door range starts from £18,040. The A-Class line up starts from £20,370. Hmm. Seems a tad greedy to us…
What’s more there are some great finance offers to make the 1 Series even more affordable. At the time of writing the 114i ES can be financed from as little as £189 per month.
If emissions are you’re biggest concern, then the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics emits just 99g/km of carbon dioxide. That means a 14% Benefit-in-Kind tax banding if you’re a company car driver. For private buyers, the car sits in VED Band A, so there’s no car tax to pay. The A180 CDi sits in the same tax band but crucially it’s the more expensive car. While the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics 5dr costs £21,095, the Mercedes A180 CDI SE costs £21,445. Private buyers will have to dig a little deeper to own one, and business drivers will shell out more in tax.
Maybe that price difference would be worth paying if the A-Class were the better car. But we don’t think it is. Again, you wouldn’t expect a BMW dealership to tell you anything else, but most independent car experts agree.
What Car?‘s road testers give the 1 Series range four out of five stars, and describe it as “one of the best small family cars you can buy because it’s hugely desirable, good to drive and surprisingly cheap to run”.
When it comes to the A-Class, What Car? is nothing like as positive. The Merc scores just two out of five: “The Mercedes A-Class looks great inside and out, but rivals are classier, better to drive and more refined, so it’s hard to recommend.” Ouch.
Auto Express gives the 1 Series the full five stars: “The BMW 1 Series is fun to drive, with a quality interior and efficient engines to rival the VW Golf.”
The Auto Express road testers are much more keen on the A-Class than their colleagues at What Car?, describing it as “a proper rival to the Audi A3, VW Golf and BMW 1 Series”. However, it still trails the brilliant 1 Series with an overall score of four out of five.
If you’re still not convinced, test drive the Merc then contact your nearest Elms BMW dealer to arrange a 1 Series test drive. We’re sure you’ll discover our confidence is justified.