Classy, good to drive, safe and packed with technology, the Mercedes A Class stands among the best premium-badged options in the family car class. Although the entry-level diesel (A180d) makes most sense for the majority of A Class buyers, we really like the performance offered by the more powerful A250 petrol, and the benefit to company car drivers of the A250e hybrid. For outright comfort, though, a Volkswagen Golf is suppler, and a BMW 1 Series is more exciting in the bends.get the best price
Trim: AMG S
Engine: A45 S 4Matic+
You might expect the A45 to share a basic engine with the A35, but in truth they are very different. Refreshingly, there’s no hybrid assistance to get the full 415bhp, just a very large turbo and a few tricks that would be more at home on a racing car. Even so, it’s perfectly refined and tractable when you’re driving sensibly.