Luxo hatchbacks: the group test

But it's a visual treat, a magnet for the eye and clearly reveals its in-house allegiances. Unlike the A4 and 1-Series, the A-Class isn't a bottom step on the C-, E-, S-Class stairway; instead, it is more closely affiliated to the CLS. It has that sense of style. So, no, it might not work from all angles, but it beats the heck out of its German rivals for attitude and impact.

I mean, be honest, can you imagine lusting after the A3? It might have the all-new Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) platform underneath, but this is not a car to toy or tamper with existing owners' expectations. Instead Audi has chosen to focus on and improve the areas it already does well. The shut lines are immaculate, and, inside, the cabin design and quality are second to none. From the glowing rings around the cupholders to the slender pop-up screen, it is notably better than anything else here. And the layout is so clean and clear.