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Buying a first car - what should I choose?

I’m 20 and am looking at my first car. I have two main options; a 2018/19 VW Polo or 2013-16 Mercedes-Benz A-Class. I like the A-Class for its beautiful interior but am concerned about expensive maintenance issues, with many approaching 100,000 miles. Both options are within my budget and roughly the same financially. What do I go for? The Volkswagen is probably sensible but could the Merc be a sensible risk?

Asked on 23 July 2020 by Josh

Answered by Dan Powell
If you are worried about costs, avoid the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Its servicing and maintenance costs will always be relative to a car that costs £20,000+. The insurance will also be expensive. The Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 115PS is the best small hatch on sale today. It's refined, comfortable and returns around 52mpg on the road:

If you want something a bit more stylish (but affordable) you might want to consider the Ford Fiesta ST Line. It gets the same bodykit as the ST hot hatch, but is powered by the standard 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. We ran one for a few months and were really impressed:
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