The new Mercedes A-Class is now available to order, with prices starting from £25,800.
Hitting UK roads in May, the basic SE version comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, half-leather upholstery and air conditioning, as well as a new digital instrument display. Set within a seven-inch screen, the display sits alongside the infotainment screen to create a wide, futuristic panel across two-thirds of the dashboard.
Other standard-fit tech includes keyless start and a range of safety systems, such as lane departure warning.
Moving up to Sport trim buys you 17-inch alloy wheels, LED ‘performance’ headlights and automatic climate control, while the range-topping AMG-Line includes 18-inch alloys and a sporty AMG bodykit.
You can choose from a range of optional extras, too, including a larger touchscreen, heated front seats and an upgraded sound system.
Customers will also have the choice of three engines: the 1.5-litre diesel ‘180 d’, the 1.4-litre petrol ‘200’ model and the 2.0-litre petrol ‘250’.
The ‘180 d’ is the cheapest to buy and run, returning 68.9mpg on the combined cycle. Performance, however, is the price you pay for that efficiency. With just 114bhp on tap, the sprint from 0-62mph takes 10.5 seconds and the top speed is 125mph.
As you might expect, the petrol variants have a little more spring in their steps. The 221bhp ‘250’ provides genuine ‘hot hatch’ performance, achieving the benchmark sprint in 6.2 seconds – faster than a VW Golf GTI. This pace doesn’t even come at the cost of economy, either, with the ‘250’ managing 45.6mpg and the 161bhp ‘200’ model returning an impressive 51.4mpg.