The Mercedes A-Class is a premium feeling small hatchback does a similar job to the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series – but with that hugely desirable Mercedes star on the front of it. Read our dimensions guide to see if it’ll suit your lifestyle and find out how it compares to the Audi and BMW.
At 2,022mm the Mercedes A-Class is wider than the 1,984 of the BMW 1-Series and the 1,966mm of the Audi A3. It won’t really make much of a difference in a narrow width restriction, but a tight multi-storey car park space might feel that bit tighter.
The A-Class is marginally taller than its rivals – although the difference is so small it’s negligible – and its 2,699mm wheelbase is 9mm longer than the 1-Series and a huge 104mm longer than the A3.
The headroom in the front of these cars is so close that you really won’t notice the extra two or three millimetres in the A3 compared with the 1-Series and A-Class. In the rear, however, taller passengers will be better off in the BMW – 972mm is 20mm more than either the A-Class or A3.
The A-Class is trumped by the 1-Series for shoulder room, too. The Mercedes offers 1,422mm in the front and 1,410mm in the rear, compared with 1,436mm and 1,417mm for the BMW. That said, the A-Class offers 30mm more shoulder room in the front than the Audi and 66mm more in the rear. Read our Mercedes A-Class interior review for more detailed information on headroom and legroom.
|Shoulder room (front/rear)||1,422mm/1,410mm|
In this comparison, the A-Class has the smallest boot at 341 litres, while the 1-Series offers 360 litres and the A3 offers 365 litres. In the A3 saloon, which is a closer rival to the Mercedes CLA, buyers get 425 litres with the seats up. The boot aperture is also very narrow in the A-Class because the rear lights aren’t integrated into the boot lid – if you’re regularly carrying suitcases or wider items, you might be better off in the A3.
Seats down, the A-Class is also at a slight disadvantage. Its 1,157 litres is roughly forty litres down on the 1-Series, and another twenty litres shy of the largest-capacity A3. However, some A3s offer 1,100 litres, while with the seats down in the A3 saloon, only 880 litres are available.
|Boot space (seats up)||341 litres|
|Boot space (seats down)||1,157 litres|
Fuel tank and turning circle
The A-Class has a 50-litre fuel tank in most versions, which is exactly the same as most A3s but two litres shy of the 1-Series. The supercar-baiting A45 AMG version of the Mercedes comes with a 56-litre tank. You might need it, as most of the time you won’t get close to the claimed 40.9mpg. The Mercedes’ turning circle is 11 metres, the same as the 1-Series but slightly bigger than the A3’s 10.7 metre turning circle.
|Fuel tank||50-56 litres|
Weight and towing capacity
The difference between the weight of the lightest A-Class and 1-Series is just 5kg, but buy the lightest A3 and the 220kg deficit might be more apparent. However, the heaviest A3, the S3 cabriolet with an automatic gearbox, weighs a heavyweight 1,620kg – 65kg more than the A45 AMG and 115kg more than the heaviest 1-Series.
These hatchbacks aren’t the ideal towing vehicles, but some versions of both the Mercedes and the BMW will manage a braked trailer weighing up to 1,500kg and an unbraked trailer of up to 750kg.
|Weight (lightest/heaviest)||1,370kg (A160 manual)/1,555kg (A45 automatic)|
|Max towing weight (braked/unbraked)||1,500kg/750kg|