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Looks brilliant, is practical and economical and has near sportscar dynamics. You just have to decide if you want to spend money on the fun of an A class or the space of a Passat or Superb
Ride is comfortable. The suspension is pretty vocal over bumps, but it never tosses you about. Don't expect space to lounge at the back, but two can be comfortable and three will be a squeeze.
If your idea of performance is for bar-stool snobbery and winning red-light races, then the steer clear of the A. But with for a 1.6-litre, 121bhp engine, the car is quite a rocket. In-gear acceleration is superb and the seven-speed auto extracts the best possible out of such a tiny engine
An E or an S-Class says you have seen enough life. The A says you have an entire life ahead of you and are looking forward to it.
The cabin is sporty and very tastefully designed giving you the impression of being inside a baby SLS AMG. And nothing looks like it will be hanging loose very soon.
Steering has a lot of feel and yet is easy in town. Only extremely sharp, 90 degree turns will give away the A's front-wheel drive underpinnings.
While two will be comfortable at the back, this is not a Merc if you let a driver do the driving. But there's decent boot space and the rear seats split and fold flat. That should leave enough room for two and your camping gear, if you are that sort.
It is expensive for a small car. But look at it this way. The diesel is cheaper than the petrol. And the petrol itself gives about 13kpl in the real world. So if you can get a bank loan, the rest of the car will not burn a big hole in your balance sheet.