The best alternatives to the Mercedes A-Class

The Mercedes A-Class drives well, comes with a vast array of quality engines and is a practical, refined and comfortable place to spend time in. Not everyone, however, is going to like its mini-C-Class looks and some reviewers have criticised its front-wheel drive platform.

So, if you want to widen your search past the little Mercedes, here are our top five alternatives on the market right now. Don’t forget, you can put any of these cars in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

If it’s style you want, why not consider the Alfa Romeo Giulietta? Looks are subjective but a fair few critics say the Alfa Romeo is the best looking premium hatchback on sale. This is of no coincidence because the styling was inspired from the firm’s 8C Competizione supercar.

The Giulietta impresses with its comfortable ride, decent handling and its great set of engines. It does share some of the A-Class’s problems, however, including limited rear passenger space and occasionally questionable interior quality. The Giulietta isn’t perfect, but it’s a worthy adversary to the A-Class and one that’ll make any buyer feel impressed.

Find out what discounts are available by picking your ideal Alfa Romeo Giulietta in our car configurator.

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series is the only car in its class to come with rear-wheel drive and, for keen drivers, this might be enough to sell it. It conforms to the company’s philosophy of being ‘the ultimate driving machine’ and, as a result, is one of the most entertaining cars to drive in the premium hatchback segment.

Like the Mercedes, the 1 Series is really comfortable and refined on the move and comes with a host of great engines that combine power with fuel-efficiency well. If you want ultimate driving enjoyment, the BMW is definitely worth considering.

Pick your perfect BMW 1 Series in our car configurator to see how much you could save.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf offers an all-round package that’s very hard to beat. It offers solid Germanic build quality, plenty of practical features, a comfortable ride, a relaxed driving experience, fuel efficient engines and a desirable image. It might not have the visual flair of the A-Class but it’s hard to argue with its wealth of abilities.

If you want a Golf with some added kick, VW builds a faster GTI version and an even faster Golf R. If you want the power without the extra fuel costs, you can have the diesel powered Golf GTD, the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE or the electric E-Golf so there’s a powertrain to suit everyone.

Find out how much you could save by choosing your perfect Volkswagen Golf in our car configurator.

Mercedes CLA

The Mercedes CLA shares exactly the same platform and interior as the A-Class hatch. The CLA, however, is a longer, sleeker four-door coupe meaning it’s more striking to look at and has a larger boot. Everything else is the same as the A-Class hatch including the equipment and engine range. As you’d expect, it offers exactly the same driving experience, too.

The sloping roofline eats into rear passenger headspace and you have to pay a near-£4,000 premium but, if you want your Mercedes to stand out from the crowd a little more, be more practical and you can stomach the price premium, then the CLA is a great alternative.

Select your favourite Mercedes CLA in our car configurator to see the potential savings.

BMW i3

The BMW i3 is a truly different alternative to the Mercedes A-Class. Buyers that do mainly city centre journeys should seriously consider the BMW because it’s an electric car meaning its running costs are shockingly low and it’s congestion charge exempt. Its distinctive looks and surprisingly practical cabin are simply icing on the cake.

On a full charge, the i3’s claimed range is about 100 miles but if you pick the range-extender it can continue driving until the petrol tank is emptied. It might not look it but, around town, its electric motor makes it almost hot hatch-quick – sprinting from 0-62mph in under eight seconds. If your driving habits can accommodate the compromises demanded by an electric car, the i3 is one of the very best on sale.

Find out how much you could save by speccing up a BMW i3 in our car configurator.

What next?

These are all great alternatives but if you’re still not swayed from the Stuttgart superstar, put the Mercedes A-Class in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. Head over to our deals page to see more options or, if you still can’t decide what car you’d like, check out our car chooser.

BMW 1 Series

Fun-to-drive small hatchback with an upmarket interior
£20,930 - £31,015
Read review Compare offers

Volkswagen Golf

Proven family hatchback with a classy interior
£17,625 - £27,785
Read review Compare offers

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Family hatchback looks great
£18,700 - £28,735
Read review Compare offers
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