The time has finally come when tradition is defied; when what once was hailed as the stereotype is now under question. Yes, I am talking of the gradual shift in thought of Indian customers, with them becoming more brand conscious and having aspirations to be associated with names we usually associate with premium cars.
Mercedes was intelligent to follow this changing train of thought and quickly launched the A-Class. Soon to follow was the 1-Series by BMW.
Now where does the Bavarian model stand when pitched against its Stuttgart counterpart? Let’s have a look…
Let me say, both these are luxury compact cars, having an instant style statement. Both are very similar in dimensions, with the 1-Series being slightly longer and A-Class marginally taller and wider.
When it comes to the styling department, the 1-Series is no match with the A-Class. Infact, to call the 1-Series attractive, would be injustice on my part. Merc has given a heavy makeover and face lifted this model, which is surely going to make you fall for it. The 1 series looks rather back dated and there is nothing going for it when the two are compared. Enough said. Let’s move into interiors. Both cars offer the front passengers more space and the rear passers are bound to feel a bit claustrophobic. Moreover, with the big transmission tunnel in the 1 series, it strictly limits the rear to two passengers.
However, the 1 series offers more leg room and feels much more roomy compared to the A class.
Moving on to performance, the A class is a front wheel drive vehicle while the 1 series is rear wheel drive. The picture which comes to our mind is that the 1 series should be much heavier. On the contrary, the 1 series is lighter! Considering the higher power output along with the lower weight, is there a question on which is quicker?! The A class hits the ton in 10.6 seconds while the 1 series takes a good two seconds less to reach there.
Fuel efficiency wise, both cars are equally frugal and should return 13km/l in cities. The transmission makes a further difference in performance, with the A class using a 7 speed unit having bit of a lag as opposed to the 1 series having 8 speed autobox without any finger to point at all.
Final verdict? BMW proves to be much more promising when it comes to driving dynamics, be it cornering or sheer driving. The A class scores highly in the styling department. If we were to compare the top-end variants of both these models, the 1 series comes out to be costlier by Rs 10 lakh, which is quite a sum of money considering you don’t get much difference, and isn’t quite worth the buck. For sheer driving pleasure and for one who wouldn’t mind shelling out the extra amount, go for the 1 series! But, to be more practical, and knowing that you are not going to take the car for a roller coaster ride every day, makes sense to go for the A-Class!