Used test: Audi A3 Sportback vs BMW 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class - costs

Buy any of these upmarket family cars at a couple of years old and you'll save yourself a tidy sum, but which is the best premium hatch? We have the answer.....

Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class side

What will they cost?

The A-Class would have cost you the most when bought new in 2018, and the 1 Series the least, and that’s the same pattern bought as here at two years old. Buy any of them and you’ll enjoy a saving of around £10,000 on the new price, although it’s worth bearing in mind that both the A3 and the 1 Series have now been replaced by all-new versions.

All three are pretty evenly matched when it comes to the official fuel consumption figures, although the A-Class just edges it over the other two. The A-Class costs the most to insure, and the 1 Series the least, while both cost considerably more to service than the A3. Road tax costs will be the same for all three.

2018 BMW 1 Series side

Reliability-wise, in the latest What Car? Reliability survey the 1 Series finished in seventh place in the family car class, while the A3 finished ninth and the A-Class a disappointing 26th place out of 31 cars. By brand, Audi finished 20th, BMW 21st and Mercedes-Benz 24th out of 31 manufacturers.

The A-Class received a five-star safety rating when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2018, which is perhaps not surprising as it comes with the most safety kit, including automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assist. Both the 1 Series and A3 received five-star NCAP ratings, but way back in 2012, so they wouldn’t score as highly under today’s more stringent tests. AEB was an option on the A3 and part of an optional £390 Driving Assistant Pack on the 1 Series (which also includes lane departure warning). It’s worth checking if the used car you’re looking at has these very useful options fitted.

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