What’s new: This is the sub-100g/km version of Mercedes’ new A-class, coming in with 98g/km and an official 74.3mpg courtesy of its 109hp 1.5-litre engine.

Excellent: A residual value of 43.4% is outstanding for a lower medium hatchback, although the equivalent Audi A3 Sportback manages 45.6% and the rival BMW?1-series is over the 40% marker too. Emissions are 1g/km lower than either, though.

Good: A cost per mile of 43.2p matches the 116d Efficient?Dynamics, but the Audi A3 Sportback has a price advantage over either of its rivals, which works with the residual value improvement to put the A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE at 41.4p per mile.

Average: The A-class is a decent drive but not as good as the 1-series, or comfortable as the A3. The SE is also less dramatically styled than the Sport trims.

Poor: Rear access, especially headroom, is restricted by the stylish lines of the new car, while the boot is also small.

Verdict: Performance is fine for what’s obviously not the most potent of engines, but all-round running costs put the A180 CDI SE in the sector’s heartland.