Mercedes-Benz A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY SE Finance
The Mercedes-Benz A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY SE sparkles like diamonds in a jeweller's window.
The Mercedes-Benz A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY SE sparkles like diamonds in a jeweller's window. And - like a five carat rock on special offer – it is also surprisingly affordable. Why? Because it can be bought for only £20,125 or via a Personal Contract Plan. Terms for the latter include the £3,282.93 deposit which is followed by twenty-four payments of £249. At the end of the term there are three options. One, pay the £12,400 Optional Purchase Payment to own this five-door hatchback outright. This totals £21,993.93 including interest, the £180 Acceptance Fee, and the £95 Purchase Activation Fee. Option two is to return it and walk away. There should be nothing else to pay assuming it is in reasonable condition and has not exceeded the 10,000 mile annual allowance. Any excesses may be charged per-mile. Option three is to purchase - as per option one - then part exchange for a new Mercedes-Benz via another Personal Contract Plan. Hard choice.The Mercedes-Benz A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY SE has strengths that help it shine like perfectly cut stones. For starters, it sports a prestigious badge. The importance of this to some motorists cannot be overstressed. Diamonds, after all, are prized - at least for the most part - because they are fashionable. This helps elevate their value far beyond that of the simulated rocks that even experts struggle to distinguish. The same applies to vehicles … some are loved more because of their status. But the all-new A- Class is more than a badge – it is also nice to drive. As such it has beautifully weighted steering, a decent ride, and composed chassis to complement its 1.6-litre petrol engine. This sends 122PS through six-speed manual transmission and propels rock lovers to 62mph in 9.2 seconds. That is fairly fast. The A 180 SE also averages a pleasing 50.1mpg, returns 65.7mpg on the extra-urban cycle, and hits 37.7mpg in town. That, of course, is the best place to find jewellers. It also helps save fuel by indicating on the dashboard when to change gear. The key is to keep engine revolutions lower than the cost of fake diamonds. The Mercedes-Benz A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY SE also has a decent equipment specification. Highlights include the: electronic stability programme, air-conditioning, electric parking brake, and the tyre pressure loss warning system. That is a fantastic feature that could save lives. However, it would be nice to see a few more toys considering the vehicle's price and badge. The optional cruise control, parking sensors, reversing camera, panoramic roof, and front fog lamps in particular make it feel more special. But even in standard form the comfortable cabin has a high quality finish. It feels spacious too. As such, four diamond lovers can travel in comfort and there is room for five at a squeeze. This complements the 341-litre boot and cargo capacity can be increased to 1,157-litres by folding the rear seats flat. Not vast, but it is comparable to the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus Hatchbacks. So, what is it to be - diamonds or a new Mercedes-Benz A 180 SE?