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Used test: Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class: costs

The Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class drape their luxuries over familiar family car shapes, offering used savings of around £14,000 off new. Which should you choose? We have the answer...

Used test – posh hatches: Audi A3 vs Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

The Mercedes A-Class began life as a pricier new car compared with the slightly less expensive Audi A3. The margin was £540 and, after nine years, it has grown to £1500. The A3 comes in at around £8000, while the A-Class will set you back around £9500. Keep in mind that those prices relate to the configurations we're testing the two cars in. 

Used test – posh hatches: Audi A3 vs Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The case for the A3 builds further when you look at fuel consumption and tax. The official figures put its average consumption at 68.9mpg, against the A-Class's 62.8mpg. With a lower CO2 output, the A3 costs less to tax, too – although the difference is minimal, at £20 per year to the £30 of the A-Class.

Audi offers fixed price servicing for the A3, costing £480 for two services. A fixed price service plan with Mercedes is likely to cost you more, though. Two services of the A-Class comes in at £984. 

This generation of A3 (in petrol form) was present in the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey. It ranked 22nd out of 37 family cars. The A-Class generation in question was absent as a whole, though the current diesel model came 32nd. While we're on the topic of current versions, we might as well reference the latest A3's abysmal last place result. 

As brands, Audi placed 21st out of 32 manufacturers featured, while Mercedes ranked 23rd. 

Audi shows A3 at CeBIT tech show

As standard, the A3 comes with xenon headlights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and auto lights and wipers. Sport trim adds 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and front sports seats. Every A-Class features cruise control and a rear-view camera, while Sport trim gets you 17in alloy wheels, automatic wipers, an 8.0in infotainment screen and climate control. You have to step up to AMG Line to get sports suspension. 

In terms of safety, both cars received the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating when they were crash-tested, but their ratings have now expired. 

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