New A-Class W169 an improvement

Courtesy a car hire company I drove a new A-Class (170 petrol, first registered Aug 04) when in Germany in the last few days. I had it for a day only but covered almost three hundred kms on motorway and country roads. Of
course country roads there ('B-Strassen') are not as twisty as those in the UK (A roads).
The impression I had from the brochures is confirmed; it is a definite improvement on the previous version, IMO. Nicer, not cheap-looking interior; smarter, cleaner external lines with a nice appearance from the side and rear (front is same).
The engine ticked over (idled) rather noisily, sounding a bit like a diesel, but that may have been poor adjustment. The 5-speed manual gearbox was ok.
At a tangent: First time I had the radio-console-sized satnav, i.e. not a large full-colour screen. Once I managed to get it going it was actually quite good, and I really needed it for once as I was looking for an airport in the middle of nowhere; neither it nor the nearby small town were marked on the map supplied with the car... (Hahn im Hunsrck if you want to know.) Curiously, from about 30 km away from my destination there was at first a 3 km discrepancy, then a 2 km one, between the distance signs on the road and on the satnav. In the end I rushed out in a hurry and forgot to check, but I think that, unsurprisingly, the satnav was correct in showing a distance 2 km less than the roadside signs.
Even though there is no bonnet star sticking up I would even consider buying one (instead of a Ford Focus) if I were in the market...Maybe even with the simple satnav...
DAS
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The question is: Would you buy an A-class instead of a VW Golf V, even if the A class ist more expensive?
Frank
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