New BMW 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class

BMW has made a radical change for the new 1 Series, now sending power to its front wheels to help fix its major flaw: practicality. And yet we’re told this doesn’t make it any less sporty to driv...

BMW 1 Series infotainment


BMW 1 Series

In addition to the touchscreen and natural speech voice control (also featured in the A-Class), the rotary controller by the gear selector is easier to use while you’re on the go. You get all the connectivity features of the A-Class bar Android Auto. We had issues with the system losing Bluetooth connection with phones, though. The larger (10.3in) touchscreen pictured is part of a £1500 pack of options. 

Mercedes A-Class infotainment

Mercedes A-Class

The standard 7.0in touchscreen can be enlarged to 10.3in (pictured) if you add one of the upgrade packs, the cheapest being Executive (£1395). Aside from the touchscreen, there’s a trackpad controller that’s fiddlier to operate than BMW’s iDrive dial, but the system is otherwise responsive and easy to use. You must pay extra for smartphone mirroring, but at least it works with both Apple and Android phones.

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