Don't know about the US but in the UK Honda have a tremendous reliability record whereas Mercedes reliability is less than desirable. I have driven the Type R on a race track, and it was fantastic. My wife, on the other hand, would choose the AMG every time, just for looks. The Type R is definitely a Marmite car. You either love it or hate it.
2006 Honda Jazz 1.2i-DSi S Vivid Blue Pearl
I like the style of the Mercedes, but the interior of the Honda looks very good. I find it strange that the Mercedes hatchback is available in Canada, but not in the US. Car And Driver did a long term test for the Type R and overall it was a very good car, but they got rid of the 19" rims and replaced them with 18". In the real world, the rims bent and cracked.