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Old 19th June 2019, 19:18   #1
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Default Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

I'm in the process of replacing my Alto which has completed 15 years now. The fitness certificate was recently obtained and there is no hurry to decide. I'm on the look out for a small but luxurious car.
Requirement:
  • Small/ Looks small
  • AT
  • Petrol/ Diesel
  • Luxury segment
  • decent tourer

Unfortunately the market has very few options. The only ones available are the Merc B-class, Mini Cooper and Volvo V40.

There is a 2017 CBU Merc B class B200d available, last piece at the factory which is offered with no discounts (newer models are not produced). There is a Sept 2018 Mini Cooper D 3 door with about 4 lakhs discount (2019 models have not yet landed). And no Volvo as I don't particularly like the car. I like the B-class for it's understated looks and its practicality. I also like the mini, but the family hates it because of the 2 door concept. Also the mini is barebones compared to the Merc, feature wise.

Should I go ahead and get one of these, or wait for the new B-class which is expected in 2 years. The other car I liked is the estate version of the E-class all terrain, but that's way over budget.
I'm open to the preowned route too and almost picked up a Porsche Cayenne a few months back from a friend. But preowned has to be company certified and with warranty.
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Old 19th June 2019, 19:46   #2
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Default re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Alto to Mini or similar - that's a big leap and congrats for being able to save and invest for so long!!!

Your options are chalk and cheese! One of them is tastier unless you are a vegan! If its a family car, you need to take the vegan option and go for the Merc, my heart would say Mini!

Have you tried for a BMW 1 series? There might be a few gathering dust at the dealer and would be a good compromise between these two although not great on the space front.
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Old 19th June 2019, 19:52   #3
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Default re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

for me that is a no-contest. Mercedes B-class and Volvo 40 are just middle of the road kind of family cars, nothing special, but very good at safely and comfortably transporting you and a family

The Mini Cooper is differently. It will put a smile on your face every time you get into it. They’re a hoot to drive, although the original Cooper is even more fun.

They are reliable in a pretty decent way too. https://www.osv.ltd.uk/how-reliable-are-minis/

Mind you, I have worked on the odd one, and I did not find very mechanic friendly. But then again, few new cars are these days.

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Old 19th June 2019, 20:40   #4
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Default re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
I like the B-class for it's understated looks and its practicality. I also like the mini, but the family hates it because of the 2 door concept. Also the mini is barebones compared to the Merc, feature wise.

Should I go ahead and get one of these, or wait for the new B-class which is expected in 2 years. .
From a distance, the B-class looks more suited to your (family) requirements. Also, why wait 2 more years for the new B-class ?

Only question here: this B is a 2017 model, and the Mini a 2018. Would this be a concern here ? May be the more knowledgeable folks can answer this.
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Old 20th June 2019, 08:10   #5
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

From an Alto straight to the luxury brands - congrats on your success . Couple of pointers:

1. Don't go for the B-Class. It's old & nothing special.

2. Since you like the Mini and family hates the 2 doors, have you considered the Countryman?

3. My top recommendation to you today would be the Volvo XC40. Size-wise, its comparable to the V40 you've already considered. Link to our review (Driven: Volvo XC40).

4. Since "small" is the first on your requirement list:

- Wait for the new A-Class to come to India. It's not too far away.

- Also wait for the new A-Class sedan, CLA-Class & GLA-Class. Their new generation replacements will be here soon.

- Open to a Jeep Compass? It's a small & sexy SUV. Diesel MT is a LOT of fun on the open road, while the Diesel AT is around the corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
I'm open to the preowned route too and almost picked up a Porsche Cayenne a few months back from a friend. But preowned has to be company certified and with warranty.
Good call in avoiding it .
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Old 20th June 2019, 08:45   #6
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
I'm in the process of replacing my Alto which has completed 15 years now.
Alto to Mini/Mercedes – that’s wonderful!
I would say forget the B, a go with the Mini Cooper. I would even suggest a Mini One (if that’s available in India) will be better than the B.
And now you have the 5-door option for that added practicality
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Old 20th June 2019, 09:53   #7
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Default

Congratulations. I am glad more people see compact luxury cars as desirable. I have only one input. Seriously see if you can get a sparingly used one. That will save you a LOT of money. Even as luxury cars go the A class, B class, 1 series, Mini, V40 etc suffer the biggest depreciation hit because they have the least demand because of their very compact size.

Of course if you plan to own it for 8-10 years as you seem capable of you could opt new but I still feel there is a lot of value to be gained regardless in going used in this particular segment.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:13   #8
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

My first pick in this segment would be the not-so-popular BMW 1 Series LCI. You can check with BMW Premium Selection if they have one in their inventory. The 1 Series didn't do well in terms of sales, so I am guessing the depreciation would be pretty high. Makes sense to pick up a slightly used example.

Why the 1 Series LCI ?
  • It is small yet practical.
  • It is Rear Wheel Drive so definitely more fun to drive through serpentine roads. Seeing your location as Bangalore, there are plenty of route options where you can actually have fun driving a RWD hatchback.

The next best option I can think of is a compact SUV, like a Volvo XC40 - very practical, very usable and very fresh in the market compared to the B Class or Mini.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:28   #9
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

A friend of mine had a similar dilemma. He wanted a luxury car, that would be small enough to easily drive/park in the city, but spacious enough to comfortably seat the family.

He ended up buying an Audi A3, and is very happy with it. Not as small as the options you've listed above, but not as massive as the typical luxury car.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:38   #10
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Have you considered a Hot Hatch like POLO GTI or Abarth Punto as well?
Extremely good & VFM is amazing.

Other than that, I would wait for the A series to come again in the market, I used to love it in cherry red, with that, oh-my-bling diamond grill.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:39   #11
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Take a look at the Audi A3 if you want.
  • Small/ Looks small -Yes
  • AT -Yes
  • Petrol/ Diesel -Yes
  • Luxury segment - Yes
  • decent tourer -Yes

I was in a similar position as you are in, a year ago. It was exactly the same time the Polo GTI was sold out, so that option went out of the window. Any other hatchback above that was way out of my budget. A year and 14k kms later I am extremely happy and have 0 regrets.
Do not compare the A3 with other cars based on price. I have seen people compare it to VW Passat and Skoda Superb based on that alone. The A3 actually falls in the same segment as Polo/Vento though mechanically it is far superior.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:44   #12
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Since you have mentioned Small as one of the key requirement, it restrict you significantly in the luxury segment.

Except for Mini, there are no real good options to consider. Mini is great to drive (probably the best car to drive on this side of 50L) but a big compromise on rear seat space, even when compared to Alto.
This segment of luxury cars receive least interest from buyers as well as manufacturers.

May I suggest A3 Cabriolet & Jaguar XE, these could become interesting choices, if Mini doesn't fit the bill.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 21st June 2019 at 06:49. Reason: Spacing
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:43   #13
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. Since you like the Mini and family hates the 2 doors, have you considered the Countryman?

We own a countryman in the family since the past 4-5 years and it's a great car. Makes you feel special and different from the crowd. Also it's maintenance has not been problematic or very expensive at all.

Congratulations on your upgrade from the Alto! I don't think you should wait any longer for future car launches. Your Alto needs to be replaced ASAP, not just from a luxury point of view but also from a safety point of view. You have the budget, why risk driving such an old car with no safety features.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:48   #14
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
Take a look at the Audi A3 if you want.
  • Small/ Looks small -Yes
  • AT -Yes
  • Petrol/ Diesel -Yes
  • Luxury segment - Yes
  • decent tourer -Yes

I was in a similar position as you are in, a year ago. It was exactly the same time the Polo GTI was sold out, so that option went out of the window. Any other hatchback above that was way out of my budget. A year and 14k kms later I am extremely happy and have 0 regrets.
Do not compare the A3 with other cars based on price. I have seen people compare it to VW Passat and Skoda Superb based on that alone. The A3 actually falls in the same segment as Polo/Vento though mechanically it is far superior.
Having owned the S3 (A3's sister) and strongly compared it against the A class, I would suggest going for the A3 or A class or CLA only if you are fine with reclining rear roof line. Its an understated problem statement but one which my family had a lot of issues with. I am guessing the apprehension against the 3 door Mini will translate into a similar hatred for reclining roof lines (sooner or later).

I am with GTO on stretching from 4m to 4.3m. +10,000 to Jeep compass or similar premium crossovers (not butch SUVs with 3rd row sitting). Your price to features ratio, resale value etc. will drastically change as the competition is little more mature (as compared to small luxury hatches). You can find a number of X1 and Q3s or wait for a few more cars to flood the 15-25L price bucket

Last edited by kanishka88 : 20th June 2019 at 11:49.
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Old 20th June 2019, 12:05   #15
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Default Re: Small luxury car: Mercedes B-Class or Mini Cooper?

Congratulations on hitting the jackpot. If you need a kindly uncle to help you spend the money just let me know. :-) To support what GTO suggested - go for the XC40 - looks, modern, latest, great drive and Volvo safety. Plus thus far ASS at Volvo had been good. The XC40 is in my sights too
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