Luxo hatchbacks: the group test

You are Mercedes. You have spent 15 years of grit, sweat and toil persuading the world it needs a brilliantly packaged, extravagantly engineered mini-MPV, and it's worked. You've sold 20 lakh+ A-Classes. Congratulations. But now you're going to squander your unique market position and risk losing your individuality and reputation for thinking outside the box. Sacrifice it all, in other words, merely to build an ‘ordinary' hatchback. Punchy strategy, Merc.

You are the reader, and I bet you don't see it like that. You're thinking this one's a damn sight better-looking than its nerdy predecessor and won't fall over in an elk test. You're thinking it's a car you wouldn't mind being seen in. That's the gamble Merc is hoping will pay off.