Check out our video group test to find out. And see how much you could save when you buy through our trusted dealers using Mat Watson’s recommended engine and spec combination.
The Audi A3 looks pretty smart inside and out – those sweeping horizontal lines, wraparound design and hexagonal air vents look like they’ve been pinched off an unsuspecting Lamborghini. Every version gets great tech too, but our favourite is the sportiest looking S line. It gets bigger alloy wheels compared with Technik and Sport versions and gets a sportier suspension set-up too, which makes it the most fun to drive. It also gets more aggressive styling than the other two, and comes with leather sports seats, dark aluminium interior trim and LED interior lighting.
Match that to the 35 TFSI S Tronic model, with its 150hp, 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with 7-speed dual-clutch auto and you’ve got pretty much the ideal A3. That should cost £29,755 but click on the image below to see how much you could save from our trusted Audi dealers.
BMW 1 Series
The latest BMW 1 Series is the roomiest version yet thanks to BMW ditching the rear-wheel-drive it’s famous for in favour of space-saving front-wheel drive. As a result, BMW purists complain this new model isn’t as fun to drive but at least the imposing front grille means it has no trouble standing out from the other more conservatively styled cars here. It has a great infotainment system too.
In our view, M Sport is the best trim for the 1 Series – it just looks a bit sharper than the other versions in the range. Choose the 118i model with an automatic gearbox, and you’ve got our ideal spec. That should cost you £29,155 but if you buy from our trusted dealers you can expect a healthy discount. Tap on the image to find out how much you could save.
First impressions are crucial, and when you first sit behind the wheel of the Mercedes A-Class you’ll be wowed by its high-tech display and cool interior. Sure, it’s not the most fun-to-drive car here, and while the 1.3-litre engine you get in the A200 doesn’t sound that impressive on paper, it’s more than enough for zipping around town and should prove fairly efficient on motorway journeys.
Our recommended trim is called AMG Line Premium. It gets AMG body styling, man-made leather seats but most importantly in our view, a large 10-inch digital display. It packs the biggest visual punch in the A-Class range. That should cost £32,905 but tap on the image below to see how much you could save.
Can the humble VW Golf really mix it with the posh brands here? Absolutely. The latest Golf is packed with tech and has a pared-back minimalist interior that looks uber cool. Sure, some of the tech isn’t the easiest to use, and the car’s monobrow face might not be to everyone’s liking. But, we think the Golf looks best in R Line spec – and it comes with a leather interior too. Like the A3, our favourite engine is the 150hp 1.5-litre petrol engine, again with an automatic gearbox. The Golf, however, has a mild hybrid system that helps a tiny bit with fuel economy.
The RRP should be £28,705 but see how much you could save on Mat’s recommended engine/trim combination by tapping the image below.