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Mercedes-Benz A-Class is cheaper than a Commodore

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With the Mercedes-Benz A-Class you really can have champagne on a beer budget.

A Mercedes-Benz that’s cheaper than a new Holden Commodore goes on sale in Australia today.

Despite the $35,600 pricetag the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback has more standard equipment than a $35,990 Holden Commodore SV6 sedan.

The budget-priced baby Benz -- loaded with nine airbags, a rear view camera and a crash alert system, among other standard fare -- is the starkest example yet of the challenges facing local car makers.

The prices of imported cars are at record lows thanks to the sustained strength of the dollar, and Australians are living it up.

Imported cars now account for 90 per cent of new vehicles sold; a decade ago imports represented 75 per cent of the market. Half a century ago they represented less than half of new car sales.

“Last week we had the highest order intake in our 50-plus year history in Australia,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy. “Mercedes-Benz is no longer out of reach of the ordinary Australian.”

As a further sign of our changing taste in cars, last year the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan was the second-highest selling medium-size car behind the Toyota Camry and ahead of the Mazda6 and Subaru Liberty.

Mercedes typically sells about 350 cars a week but dealer sources say this figure climbed to almost double that in the lead-up to the launch of the new model.

“Half of the buyers of our new cars have never owned a Mercedes-Benz before,” McCarthy said. “That shows you they’re coming from all types of cars and all walks of life.”

To ensure buyers aren’t scared off by high service costs, Mercedes has a fixed price servicing deal: $1400 covers all routine servicing for the first 50,000km. A Nissan Maxima V6 sedan costs almost $2000 to service over the same period.

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 16 comments

  • What a pointless article that gives the chardonnay sipping city-centric small-minded keyboard warriors a chance to crow about their 'superiority' whiloe they drive around in gutless, overpriced front wheel drive buzz boxes.

    Positive Spin Posted on 04 March 2013 10:59am
  • Your comment makes absolutely no sense, much like this article. Comparing an A Class to a Commodore is like comparing an old Nokia 3210 (Commodore) to an iPhone (A Class). The price of the A Class is very attractive and I would buy one any day over the Commodore. A 1.8L Turbo from that engine combined with the weight will ensure similar performance to a SV6 Commodore and much better fuel economy. Going to go and test drive an A Class. Can't wait to trade in my Commodore for it.

    Andrew of Sydney Posted on 03 March 2013 7:06pm
  • James of Sydney - it's more like saying you can eat a little tin of caviar or a big bucket of steaming crap.

    Luke Posted on 03 March 2013 10:46am
  • The Merc is most probably safer and uses less fuel.... How can that by inferiour? And it most probably has a better power to ratio too....

    Bailianhua of Sydney Posted on 02 March 2013 10:54pm
  • Dear James, Some people appreciate quality engineering over a quality burnout. We hope you understand.

    Joel C Posted on 02 March 2013 10:44am
  • James of Sydney...may I add that the Commodore SV6 Z series which is used as a comparison DOES have reverse camera with parking guidance, as well as 19" gunmetal alloys (as per VE1 SS-V) and leather bolstered seats and all for $36,990 DRIVE-AWAY. The $35,500 price of the 90kw (yes, 90kW) Mercedes A180 excludes on-road costs and any of the options, so you would be looking at close to or about $40k on the road and possibly more if you start to add options. Compared to the 210kW E-Class sized Sv6-Z with rear wheel drive, the headline of this story should appeal to those who know very little about cars. It's also the kind of headline that is killing the local motoring industry. A-Class has always started in the mid to high $30K mark..as a matter of fact, a few years ago Mercedes had an A160 (possibly A150) model that started at $29,990!

    Seats and a steering wheel Posted on 02 March 2013 7:26am
  • You can also buy a gutless FWD hatchback for Half this price so why compare it to a Commodore? Can you buy a cheaper lage RWD sedan cheaper than a Commodore or Falcon?

    Rocket of Brisbane Posted on 01 March 2013 8:06pm
  • James of Sydney; you can also get a VW Golf Gti or a Toyota 86 that would have a lot more extra's & better performance then a bland old Commodore.

    James of Newcastle Posted on 01 March 2013 4:05pm
  • why does it have to be "inferior" James. Most people would rather this sized car than a big Commodore, RWD or not

    tommo of sydney Posted on 01 March 2013 3:21pm
  • only if you are looking for a large rear wheel drive car is the Commodore a "better" car (however you measure that). I think the market would show very little overlap between these two cars James. I can't see many people umming and arhhing over which to choose

    stevecro of innerwest Posted on 01 March 2013 3:19pm
  • John, it depends on whether your plan is to savour the product or get drunk. VB is woeful stuff! That is a terrible analogy you have used. Bucketloads of an awful product does not make it better.

    Phil of Barossa Posted on 01 March 2013 12:08am
  • No redneck will buy merc over falcodore for two reasons, either too small or too expensive. Thing is this car was never meant to be appealing for such audience.

    Goran of Perth Posted on 28 February 2013 11:29pm
  • I'll take the sip of Champagne over the yard glass of Commodore.

    Alan Watson of Sydney Posted on 28 February 2013 9:47pm
  • It's because of articles like this crap that the local car industry is suffering. How on earth can you compare a car the size of a Barina (ok maybe a little bigger) with a Commodore, they are two different cars for two different markets. I don't understand how one week you guys write an article saying how good the Commodore is and then write something like this. If you are a real automotive journalist you would not write crap like this because you are off putting and make me not want to read your paper.

    Lets get real of Taylor's Hill Posted on 28 February 2013 7:56pm
  • But it will be smaller & more cramped, with a smaller boot, less power, worse looking, smaller towing capability, have higher servicing costs, be a less capable vehicle all round and won't drive as nicely. Quite a lot of things the Commodore does better really - and for the same price as the Benze! And if you really dislike the Commodores why would you then spend 35k on this cramped benze when you could buy several other nice cars - say from Honda, Mazda, Kia, Ford etc? So not a good case for the benze when you look at it logically. You put out an article like this a few months back dowling - you clearly just have it in for the commodore.

    alex Posted on 28 February 2013 7:11pm
  • And it's an inferior car, a low powered front wheel drive hatchback overloaded with mostly useless safety gimmicks compared with a full powered rear wheel drive. It's like saying you can buy a little sip of French champagne for less than the cost of a keg of VB. So what?

    James of Sydney Posted on 28 February 2013 3:01pm
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