The Mercedes-Benz A-Class holds its value best, according to auction prices.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class holds its value best, according to auction prices.
2nd place: BMW 1 Series.
2nd place: BMW 1 Series.
3rd place: Audi A3.
3rd place: Audi A3.

Johannesburg - If you were given the choice between an Audi A3 Sportback, BMW 1 Series or Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which one would you have in your garage? 

These are the ‘starter packs’ of the premium car world, and all but the Audi are the entry points into their respective German luxury brands, but opt for the perkier engines and tick the options list enough times and you can get yourself a truly snazzy, but really expensive, hatchback.

While you are paying for the badge on these three - a ‘humble’ Volkswagen Golf is just as good, but a lot cheaper - many find their allure irresistible. But how do they shine when it comes to resale?

According to True Price managing director Darryl Jacobson, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the clear winner, at least when it comes to auction prices.

When analysing the selling prices, at auction, of A-Class, A3 and 1 Series models registered between 2016 and mid-2019, all with a maximum of 90 000km on the clock, it was the A-Class that took the lead, retaining 76.69 percent of its original selling price, versus 68.74 percent for the 1 Series and 66.46 percent for the A3.

It’s worth noting, however, that this data comes from repossession auctions only, so it’s not necessarily a reflection of prices paid at dealer level, but it is still a good indication of what people are prepared to pay for these vehicles.

The A-Class has the upper hand at the moment, having been replaced last year by an all-new model, which also won the AutoTrader South African Car of the Year competition, while the A3 and 1 Series are both due for replacement in the not too distant future. First in line will be the 1 Series, which arrives in South Africa later this year, riding on a new front-wheel-drive platform (sorry, no more RWD thrills people). The next-generation Audi A3 has yet to be revealed, but it is expected to come on stream some time in 2020.

IOL Motoring