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

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

New Jaguar XE & Mercedes CLA vs Audi A5 Sportback

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

Despite initial predictions, it would appear that the Audi has lost the most value compared with its rivals here. That makes the A5 the least expensive to buy today at £22,178 according to the What Car? Valuation service compared with the £26,767 of the XE and £28,552 of the CLA.  

As standard, each car gets 18in alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, heated front seats, keyless start and climate control (three-zone in the A5, so that rear passengers can set a different temperature). The CLA tested here adds tinted windows and keyless entry.

Audi A5 Coupe RHD centre console

The A5 and CLA get artificial leather seats, whereas the XE’s are made of the real stuff. Then again, Jaguar was alone in charging for power-folding door mirrors.

As for safety aids, all three get automatic emergency braking, but the CLA and XE add lane-keeping assistance. Euro NCAP has rated the CLA as a five-star car because it provides excellent protection for not only adult and child occupants, but also for vulnerable road users outside the vehicle. The XE and A5 were tested in 2015, when the rules were less stringent; the A5 scored better for child protection, while the XE edged it for adult protection.

Mercedes CLA crash test

Historically, Jaguar has often come up short against its German competition in terms of reliability, but the tide seems to be turning according to the latest What Car? Reliability survey. When looking at each model individually, the XE scored better than the Audi A4 and the Mercedes A-Class (cars upon which the Audi A5 and Mercedes CLA are closely related to), while Jaguar as a brand ranked one place higher than Audi, and five positions above Mercedes.

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