We had a busy day earlier in the week for two of our local personal leasing customers (one from Wigan and the other from Leigh), as they each collected their brand-new vehicles:
Number 1 – the Mercedes-Benz A CLASS DIESEL HATCHBACK A180d AMG Line 5dr Auto based on the following configuration:
· Black Metallic Paint
· Artico leather/Dinamica – Black with red stitching
· 18″ AMG 5 twin spoke light alloy wheels in titanium grey with highsheen finish
· Carbon effect trim
And Number 2 – Mercedes A CLASS DIESEL HATCHBACK A180d Sport Executive 5dr Manual based on the following configuration:
· Cirrus White Solid paint
· Artico leather – Black
· Grey headlining
· 17″ 5 twin spoke alloy wheels
The growth of the automatic transmission is not a surprising one, as manufacturers are now producing more and more vehicles with this type of box (and at a more affordable price).
Traditionally, UK drivers have seemed somewhat obsessed with the manual vehicle as they believe they are more efficient/they drive better/they are cheaper to buy/lease.
While all of those points are certainly valid, what we have seen over the last 5 years is an increased production of better quality automatic/semi-auto transmissions which are not only more efficient than their manual equivalent but they do also provide a significantly better driving experience for the driver i.e. the VW DSG and the BMW Auto. Automatics are no longer the reserve of the executive cars and it is far more common to see smaller cars i.e. the Golf, Focus and A-Class being produced in the auto form.
There is also a strong argument that using an automatic car is far safer, as this allows the driver to concentrate more on driving the vehicle, rather than changing gears – do you really want to shift between 1st and 2nd gear while stuck in traffic? As a result, a significant proportion of our passenger cars are now automatic and this does beg question whether manual vehicles will become a redundant proposition in the future?
In terms of the second car shown here, the Sport Executive, this is one of the “middle-range” cars within the A-Class offering. As standard you get rain sensing wipers, adaptive brake system, hill start assist, comfort suspension, Bluetooth, attention assist, collision prevention assist, park assist pilot, 8” colour screen, reversing camera, body coloured externals, Garmin map pilot navigation, audio 20 sound system, Apple carplay, 17” alloys, heated front seats and a warning triangle/first aid kit.
The first car, the AMG Line, is the top of the range for Mercedes. What you get with the AMG is very much an increase in the level of styling and aesthetics – 18” AMG alloys, perforated brake discs, brake callipers with lettering, lowered suspension, body kit, diamond grille radiator, chrome vents, comfort pack, keyless ignition and ambient lighting. One thing you don’t get with the AMG is navigation (which customers do find very frustrating). If you do want to improve on the model, go for the Executive pack for your navigation or, if budgets allow, go for a premium plus pack for the panoramic sunroof, LED lights, electrically folding mirrors and electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support.
On the technical-side, company car drivers can note the P11d of £27,480.00 and CO2 at 101g/km for the AMG Line (£27,180.00 for the Sport Executive). The 1461CC 7 speed auto engine delivers 109ps, combined mpg of 74.3 and 0-62 times of just over 11 seconds. Service intervals are every year or every 15,500 miles, whichever lands sooner.
With any contract hire arrangement, do weigh up the costs between a driver-maintained and funder-maintained contracts. With yearly service intervals, you do need to consider the maintenance costs particularly if you are undertaking a long-term agreement.
So would the Mercedes A-Class be your choice of hatchback? Or would you be thinking about the VW Golf, BMW 1 series or Audi A3?
Let us know your thoughts and comments below on which car you like the look of most!!
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