Any diesel car with four-wheel drive and off-road pretensions, no matter how trivial, that can return close to 50mpg on a touring run is one whose economy should be lauded.

Overall, we achieved 39.6mpg during extended testing of the 220 CDI SE 4Matic version, so a routine return of something in the mid-40s should be achievable for most owners.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
I assumed that the attractive (fake) leather on the chairs would be some kind of cost option, but it's not. Plush

Likewise, there’s decent news when it comes to residuals. The Mercedes sits among a group of premium compact SUVs but, with stronger resale values, it’s likely to cost no more to own than a volume-brand alternative.

Of any, the SE specification is probably the one to go for: it comes well equipped, with an automatic gearbox as standard. Avoid any unnecessary options that won't give you a return when you resell the car.

Don't automatically discount the petrol variants, though. It's worth taking the time to work out a provisional set of running costs for both petrol and diesel GLAs, based on your mileage, instead of just opting for the diesel by default.

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