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Used test: BMW 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class verdict

Buy either of these desirable family cars at a year old instead of new and you'll save more than £10,000, but which is the better option?...

New BMW 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class

Our verdict

It's close, but the 118d takes the victory here.

It is, for starters, the better car to drive. It’s a fraction behind on pace, but its handling is much livelier when you’re looking to have fun. Sure, the ride is firmer if you find one in M Sport trim, but it’s still measured and relatively comfortable most of the time. And because it’s quieter over bumps and less jerky to drive in traffic, it’s the more polished car overall. Bought here at a year old it's also cheaper, and has a better reliability record. 

Having said that, in the areas where the A200d falls behind, it never does so by much, and it has clear strengths of its own, including its ride comfort and practicality. It finishes second, but we wouldn't blame you if you were swayed by its charms.

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1st – BMW 1 Series 118d M Sport auto

    BMW 1 Series rear

    For Agile handling; well-controlled ride; smart interior; great driving position; excellent infotainment system
    Against Smaller boot; lower Euro NCAP scores

    What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

    Read our full used BMW 1 Series review >> 

    Find a used BMW 1 Series for sale >>

    2nd - Mercedes A-Class A200d AMG Line

    Mercedes A-Class rear

    For Excellent safety rating; better economy; stronger engine
    Against Jerky gearbox in traffic; poor reliability rating; generally a bit noisier

    What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

    Read our full used Mercedes A-Class review >>

    Find a used Mercedes A-Class for sale >>

    Specifications: BMW 1 Series 118d M Sport auto

    Engine 4cyl, 1995cc, diesel 
    List price £31,040
    Target Price £29,242
    Power 148bhp @ 4000rpm 
    Torque 258lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm 
    Gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic
    0-60mph 8.2sec
    Top speed 135mph
    Official fuel economy 55.4mpg (WLTP)
    Test MPG 49.2mpg 
    CO2 emissions 109%/km

    Specifications: Mercedes A-Class A200d AMG Line

    Engine 4cyl, 1950cc, diesel
    List price £30,385
    Target Price £28,033
    Power 148bhp @ 3400rpm 
    Torque 236lb ft @ 1400-3200rpm 
    Gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic
    0-60mph 7.8sec
    Top speed 137mph
    Official fuel economy 56.5mpg (WLTP)
    Test MPG 52.3mpg
    CO2 emissions 110g/km