New Mercedes-Benz A-Class vs Audi A3 Sportback vs BMW 1 Series
Mercedes’ new A-Class promises to dazzle you with luxury as it renews its battle with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series at the top end of the family car class...
Audi’s MMI is an intuitive and responsive system, operated via a rotary dial controller by the gearlever and a 7.0in screen. We recommend the Technology Pack (£1395), which adds a handwriting pad, more advanced sat-nav with dynamic route guidance, wireless phone charging, a 10GB hard drive and a subscription to online services such as Google Earth. The standard stereo sounds weak, so the £995 Bang & Olufsen upgrade is worth considering.
Smart graphics and easy-to-navigate menus have always been hallmarks of BMW’s iDrive system, and the rotary controller is easy to use while driving. A concierge service is standard, but Apple CarPlay costs extra or is included in the Professional Media Pack (£900), which upgrades the display to an 8.8in touchscreen (pictured) with a handwriting pad, 3D graphics and online services. The optional Harman Kardon hi-fi (£600) sounds warm and punchy.
Known as MBUX, this new system operates via a 7.0in touchscreen (upgradable to the 10.25in unit shown as part of a £1395 pack) or via touchsensitive pads on the steering wheel and by the armrest. They aren’t too distracting to use while driving, but not as simple as the rotary controllers in the other two. The system responds swiftly to inputs and the menus are easy to interpret. If you say “Hey Mercedes” and read out a postcode, it’ll programme the sat-nav accordingly.