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Used test: Audi A5 Sportback vs Jaguar XE vs Mercedes CLA: verdict

The Audi A5 Sportback, Jaguar XE and Mercedes CLA all combine rakish good looks with surprising practicality, but which is the best used buy?...

2019 Mercedes CLA vs Audi A5 Sportback vs Jaguar XE

Our verdict

With its fun handling, the Jaguar XE speaks to the heart, but not necessarily the head. It'll cost you the most in fuel and its infotainment system is frustrating. If it were better value, and perhaps if it were outside the company of these two rivals, it would rank higher, but here it finds itself in third place. 

Despite its high price, the Mercedes CLA makes a really good case for itself on the surface. It offers the most performance, not to mention the most equipment. Look underneath and that's where its questionable reliability becomes the main reason it missed out on the top spot. 

Speaking of which, let's get to the Audi A5 Sportback. It's the easiest to live with, thanks to it having the best ride, quietest driving experience and good fuel economy. As an all-rounder, it excels. 

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1st – Audi A5 Sportback

Audi A5 driving

For Intuitive infotainment; best ride; quietest; good fuel economy; roomiest rear seats; practical boot
Against Average pace; least safety kit; fastest depreciation 

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Used Audi A5 Sportback review >>

Used Audi A5 Sportbacks for sale >>

2nd – Mercedes CLA

Mercedes CLA driving

For Stonking performance; most equipment; strong on safety; biggest boot
Against Tightest for rear seat space; priciest to buy; mixed quality; questionable reliability

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

Used Mercedes reviews >>

Used Mercedes CLAs for sale >>

3rd – Jaguar XE

Used Jaguar XE 2015-2024 side driving

For Sweetest handling; best driving position
Against Tricky to drive smoothly; smallest boot; thirstiest; fiddly infotainment

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

Used Jaguar XE review >>

Used Jaguar XEs for sale >>

Specification: Audi A5 Sportback 35 TFSI Sport S tronic

Engine size 2.0-litre petrol
Power 148bhp @ 3900-6000rpm
Torque 199lb ft @ 1350-3900rpm
0-60mph 8.8sec
Top speed 139mph
Fuel economy 39.8mpg (Official WLTP combined)
CO2 emissions 135g/km

Specification: Jaguar XE P250 R-Dynamic S

Engine size 2.0-litre petrol
Power 247bhp
Torque 269lb ft 
0-60mph 7.3sec
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 36.2mpg (Official WLTP combined)
CO2 emissions 159g/km

Specification: Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 AMG Line Premium

Engine size 2.0-litre petrol
Power 221bhp 
Torque 258lb ft 
0-60mph 6.8sec
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 40.4mpg (Official WLTP combined)
CO2 emissions 138g/km