The Germans are known for car manufacturing and two of the torchbearers are the BMW and the Mercedes Benz. In this article, we are going to compare the BMW 1 Series with the Mercedes Benz A-Class by taking a look at the interior, exterior, engines, and practicality.
(*Prices are reflective of average BE FORWARD pricings as of March 2021.)
BMW 1 Series Mercedes Benz A-Class
Generations 3 ((E81, 82, 87, 88), (F20/F21), F40) 4 (W168, W169, W176, W177)
Production Year 2004 - Present 1997 - Present
134 HP - 335 HP 122 HP - 360 HP
Fuel Consumption 14 KM/L - 26 KM/L 14.3 KM/L - 23 KM/L
Drivetrain RWD & AWD
FWD & AWD
Key Features CD Player, Power Steering, Airbag, Power Window, Radio,
A/C, ABS, DVD, Back Camera, Keyless Entry, Alloy Wheels
Radio, CD Player, Airbag, Power Steering,
Power Window, A/C, ABS, Keyless Entry,
Back Camera, Alloy Wheels
Seating Capacity 5 Passengers 5 Passengers
BE FORWARD Price US$ 870 - US$ 37,030
US$ 660 - US$ 86,340
Exterior and Interior Comparison
BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series has several exterior features depending on the model. Some of these features include 16-inch, 17-inch, or 18-inch alloy wheels, with the 18-inch painted ‘Jet Black’. Other features include adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights, anti-dazzle side mirrors, high-gloss ‘Shadow Line’, and a roof liner.
Front-seat occupants of the 1 Series are afforded plenty of space enabling them to sit comfortably with multiple storage options as well, that includes two cup holders on the center console, an oddments tray, a lidded deep bin between the front seats with USB connection, a glove box, and door pockets that can accommodate large water bottles.
Rear occupants have limited space for big-size adults, but enough for mid-size adults to sit comfortably. Rear storage is available with front seat pockets, door pockets, and cup holders for two.
The 1 Series has a 360-liter boot that extends to 1200-liters when the 60/40 seats are folded. The boot also features shopping bag hooks, tie-down points, small storage trays, and decent lighting.
The 1 Series standard (SE) comes fitted with BMW’s Live Cockpit Plus system which consists of an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in satellite navigation. The system can be operated using either the touchscreen or the rotary dial on the center console.
There two technological packs, Tech Pack 1 and Tech Pack 2. The Tech Pack 1 features a head-up display and wireless phone charging. While the Tech Pack 2 comes with a larger 10.25-inch screen, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, and BMW’s Personal Assistant system (an advanced voice-control system).
The BMW 1 Series is a safe car, it comes loaded with dozens of safety technologies as standard, and some are optional. Standard safety features include front, side, and head airbags, pedestrian detection, Intelligent Emergency Call assistance, forward-collision warning, AEB, ABS, and a lane-departure warning. Optional safety features include dynamic braking lights, pedestrian warning systems, DSC, Cornering Brake Control, Braking Assistant, Park Distance Control, Dynamic Traction Control, cruise control, reverse camera, and run-flat safety tires. The 1 Series also comes with three child restraint top tethers on the back seat, including ISOFIX anchor points on the two outer positions.
Mercedes Benz A-Class
The A-Class is one of the most attractive hatchbacks out there. The front features a bold grille with well-designed headlights and 16-inch wheels as standard, while the high-end models come with a grille with a diamond pattern and 18-inch wheels. Other exterior features are sporty dimensions and a low roofline.
The A-Class seats are firm and comfortable with part-leather upholstery, providing a secure grip to its occupants. The driving position is low and adjustable suiting drivers of all sizes and the steering wheel is leather-trimmed. The A-Class offers enough legroom and headroom at the front, not the same can be said of the rear space.
There’s limited headroom and legroom at the rear, three people might find the space a bit uncomfortable, as they will feel a bit squeezed, but two people are better. The boot is 341-liters, but if more space is required, the rear seats can be folded to expand the luggage area.
The A-Class dashboard and its surroundings are distinctively classic. It features two 7-inch screens as standard, with the option of upgrading one or both to a 10.25-inch. One screen is for infotainment, sat-nav, and smartphone integration, while the other displays driver assisting information.
The A-Class has a good safety rating, it received the highest score of 5 stars for crash safety from the Euro NCAP. The A-Class safety features include six airbags, collision prevention assist, tire pressure monitors, and Cruise control as standard, while lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition, ESP, Collision Prevention Assistance, and Pre-safe impending accident alert, are optional.
Engine, Performance & Fuel Consumption
BMW 1 Series
The 1 Series comes fitted with below engine options.
– The turbocharged 134 HP 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder, petrol, with fuel economy of 21 KM/L.
– The turbocharged 147 HP 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder diesel, with fuel economy of 26 KM/L.
– The turbocharged 181 HP 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, petrol, with fuel economy of 17 KM/L.
– The turbocharged 221 HP 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder petrol, with fuel economy of 16 KM/L.
– The turbocharged 335 HP 3.0-liter 6-cylinder petrol, with fuel economy of 14 KM/L.
These engines transfer power to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.
Mercedes Benz A-Class
The A-Class comes fitted with the below engines.
– The turbocharged 122 HP 1.6-liter 4-cylinder petrol, with fuel economy of 18.5 KM/L
– The turbocharged 188 HP 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol, with fuel economy of 17.6 KM/L
– The twin-turbo 360 HP 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol, with fuel economy of 14.3 KM/L.
– The 136 HP 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel, with fuel economy of 23 KM/L.
These engines transfer power to the wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or 6-speed manual.
We have managed to review these two hatchbacks from manufacturers that know how to make cars that leave a mark and we can agree that apart from the shortcomings with regards to interior space, especially on the A-Class, we can all agree that these are two nice cars. The BMW 1 Series has an edge over the A-Class by having better rear legroom and headroom, but the A-Class has a better interior design. Apart from that, these two cars are almost neck and neck on other aspects.
Written by: Samuel Mponezya