Mercedes A-Class hatchback

£20,715 - £38,195

The Mercedes A-Class is the cheapest model in the Mercedes range and offers buyers an alternative to premium hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and BMW 1 Series. It has smart looks and a practical hatchback body style. 

Although the Mercedes isn’t as fun to drive as the BMW 1 Series, it is still enjoyable, although AMG models suffer from stiff suspension that can be uncomfortable on poor roads.

Counting in the car's favour is an excellent range of engines and the most economical diesel version can get more than 70mpg, while the 220CDI offers excellent economy and performance. The Mercedes A45 AMG performance variant offers more power than any of its competitors, and is fitted with four-wheel drive for excellent levels of grip in all weather conditions.

As hatchbacks go, the Mercedes A-Class is not cheap, but even the basic SE model comes equipped with a 5.8-inch colour display, 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows, a Bluetooth phone connection, air-conditioning and leather seats. Sport models add cruise control, auto wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels and twin exhaust pipes. Both the top-of-the-range A45 AMG and the Engineered by AMG model offer sporty looks, but the latter has much cheaper running costs.