While revolutionary in many respects, the original Mercedes-Benz A-Class of 1997 was not a car that was about to draw younger buyers towards the German marque. Indeed, it wasn’t until the introduction of the third-generation A-Class in 2012 that sales figures really began to soar thanks to a combination of that car’s more conventional design appealing to a wider audience, and the increasing popularity of affordable finance deals.
new to the used market
Ask any car manufacturer where its performance models are most popular and the answer will almost always be the UK. We are a nation of fast car – and in particular hot hatch – addicts, a point well and truly demonstrated by the fact that Volkswagen UK’s director, Alison Jones, this week told us that the company has already sold out of its initial allocation of up! GTIs. Fear not, however, for if you are desperate to get your hands on one of these pocket rockets but can’t wait until the next build slots materialise (likely to be in the new year) the first approved used examples have just appeared on CarGurus.
Are there any other manufacturers that do the whole super-fast estate thing as well as Audi? Certainly none have been at it for as long, with the first seriously rapid RS Audi wagon dating back to the RS2 of 1994 (even if it was co-developed with Porsche).
There was an awful lot that could’ve gone wrong when, almost 20 years ago, BMW relaunched MINI. Yet from the retro-inspired styling to the UK-based Plant Oxford production facility, the modern MINI has in fact been a complete triumph, serving as a masterclass in how to make an old brand relevant to new consumers.
The poor old estate car has come in for a tough time of it in recent years. The problem has nothing to do with the products themselves, which continue to improve with every generation, but with buyers discovering something they deem to be better.