Review – Mercedes A 45 AMG

Review Score

Handling 9
Performance 10
Price 7
Design 8
Economy 9
Safety 8
Fun 10
Practicality 8
Interior 8
Equipment & Technology 10

Overall: 8.70

mercedes A 45 AMG review

The A 45 AMG combines laughter, practicality and thrills to create the ultimate hot hatch experience. Beneath the bonnet lies an AMG 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo engine, the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world. This AMG infused rocket means business – a premium hot hatch with some real attitude.

Design and Styling
The A-class already has a sporty look and feel to it, the AMG enhances all these features for a more aggressive look. The AMG twin-louvre radiator grille comes as standard on the A 45 AMG and AMG sports exhaust system which can be upgraded to the AMG performance exhaust. The car we drove had the AMG performance exhaust – which includes a twin tailpipe design and louder note, something we couldn’t stop commenting on while driving around the streets of Milton Keynes. The exhaust crackle on the gear change from the A 45 AMG is addictive – there’s nothing like the sound of hearing petrol explode, it was violent.

AMG performance seats provides more support in the corners, thanks to the heavily angled seat shape design. The red stitching was something that works really well, it set aside from the A-class to the A 45 AMG. Inside, you really notice the AMG makeover; AMG floor mats and a leather-trimmed gearshift provide the utmost sporty ambience.

The Mercedes comes standard with 18” AMG alloy wheels – five twin-spoke design, a factor that really stands out in comparison to the standard wheels on the A-class. A £2,550 AMG exterior carbon-fibre trim package option is also available; not essential but it does beef up the front splitter, side sill inserts and rear apron trim.

mercedes A 45 AMG review drivers seat

Cabin
Inside, the car not only feels like a hot-hatchback, it looks like one and I can only assume a young designer was responsible for styling the interior of the A 45 AMG. The seats are coated in dinamica microfibre – which ensures you and your passengers won’t be sliding around. If you happen to be wearing denim jeans, imagine a sort of velcro effect – that’s what it’s like.

Regarding interior space, there was plenty of legroom in the rear of the Mercedes. Being 6’3” I’m not a short fella and my legs seem to outway a normal body shape. Considering this, I found the A 45 AMG comfy to be in and welcoming. Over models like the CLA where I found my head would hit the roof of the vehicle. In the A 45 I pretty much fitted perfectly.

The dashboard of the A 45 AMG uses a blend of carbon fibre-effect trim and red-ringed air vents, which emits an unorthodox style never seen inside an A class before. Maybe a bit too radical in terms of change, but if you’re buying an AMG Mercedes – you’d expect something a bit diverse.

mercedes A 45 AMG review interior

Behind the Wheel
Immediately you notice the A 45 AMG isn’t your ordinary hatchback, it’s a growling beast ready to fire you towards the tarmac carpet ahead. With a reasonably low seat position, you get a real sense of sportiness from the A 45 AMG.

The car feels agile in every way, around corners and bendy roads the A 45 AMG stuck to the surface like a magnet. You can really chuck it around and have the confidence to plant your foot. The all wheel drive A 45 AMG acts like a premium rally car – it sure sounded like a quietened down one anyway. Considering the A class is front wheel drive, the A 45 AMG feel so much more agile and responsive.

Technology wise, the A 45 AMG is balanced in regards to car tech and entertainment. It comes with a 5.8 inch tablet-style colour display and Mercedes’s own COMAND online system for all your in-car communications and entertainment. The COMAND online system and Media Interface has an available upgrade of £2,100 whereby you receive the following; DAB radio, single CD changer, Becker Map Pilot navigation in 3D and TMC (Traffic Message Channel), speed limit assist, linguatronic voice control and in car internet access. It also includes an SD memory card slot, 10GB music register, MP3 and portable media connectivity.

Engine, Gearbox and Performance
In terms of horsepower and acceleration, the A 45 AMG is not short of it. It’s a fast hatchback that offers so much more than meets the eye. The A 45 AMG has a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds – so if it’s competitive speed you’re after the AMG would be my number one choice hands down.

The AMG speedshift DCT seven-speed automatic gearbox offers a maximum of 360bhp at 6,000rpm. Better still, in sports mode the Mercedes engine holds it revs for longer and won’t upshift until the rev meter is sitting comfortably in the red zone. It’s at that moment you feel the full force of 360 galloping horses.

The top speed of the A 45 AMG is electronically limited to 168mph with the optional AMG driver’s package at £1,940. Formidable traction, mid-range torque and some high revs, the performance of the A 45 AMG would rival any premium-hatchback hands down. For the £51,190 A 45 AMG we drove, you’d expect nothing less. The car is a complete road king on the streets. The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG features a 360bhp turbocharged engine that can reach 150mph in a standing mile faster than any other hatchback on the market today.

The AMG has a torque output of 450Nm, which is loads! More than a 3.0 V6 Supercharged Jaguar XF or Porsche 911 GT3 RS 997.

Competitors (no options)

Car Top Speed 0-60 MPH BHP Engine Size Weight Price (£)
A45 AMG (2013) 155 MPH 4.6s 360 2.0 L 1,406kg £38,190
BMW M135i (2013) 155 MPH 5.1s 320 3.0 L 1,500kg £29,995
Audi RS3 (2014) 155 MPH (est) 5s (est) 360 (est) 2.5 L (est) 1,430kg (est) TBC
Boot Space
Offering 341 litres, the Mercedes offers less than the BMW 1 Series at 360 litres. The shape of the boot opening limits width and makes it difficult to insert longer items such a golf clubs or a pram for example.

mercedes A 45 AMG review rear

Suspension and Steering
The A 45 AMG comes standard with AMG’s own speed sensitive steering and sports suspension. The AMG steering offers a direct steering performance – it enhances the drivers feedback as the vehicle speed increases – a crucial factor when driving quickly on a straight road. The steering wheel itself has a flat lower section for more comfort and control, as well as being upholstered in nappa leather for optimum grip and control in all driving situations.

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Safety and Security
The A 45 AMG has a five star Euro NCAP rating and offers dual stage airbags, side bags and head bags, driver’s knee bag and window bags. Safety is a strong presence in the Mercedes: like all models in the Mercedes range, they offer the utmost safety for driver and passengers.

mercedes A 45 AMG review mirror

Prices, Equipment and Options
The A45 AMG we drove ticked all the boxes you’d expect, including all the options equalling a combined price of £13,000. It included; red painted calipers, carbon fibre exterior mirror housing, increased top speed, performance exhaust, panoramic sliding sunroof and interior options including; lane tracking package, AMG performance steering wheel, COMAND online system with media interface and more.

For £1,230, you can have AMG carbon fibre exterior mirror housing. A lot of money I think you’d agree? As we discovered, if you’re one for found the AMG performance exhaust is highly recommended. In comparison to other options, £510 for the performance exhaust is a mere bargain considering what you get.

Buying a standard A 45 AMG will set you back a tasty £38,190. The car we reviewed with all the options, costs £51,190. To be honest, without the options the car has more than enough equipment as standard. But you can always personalise it with a few options without going to the extremes of the test model.

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Cost of Ownership
The Mercedes has a combined combined fuel economy of 40.9mpg. These are good economical stats in the premium-hatchback range and thanks to help from Mercedes ECO start/stop function it produces just 161g/km of CO2. Mercedes claim it’s a reasonable car to run considering harsh prices on fuel and road tax.

In comparison to the BMW M135i and Audi RS3, the A 45 AMG price tag does seem steep if your budget for a premium-hatch is around £30-35K. It’s an expensive piece of kit in comparison to competitors in the market. The standard A-class road price comes in at £20,715, a huge chunk cheaper than the AMG version. But you would be driving the most powerful premium-hatchback on the market in return. The AMG pack turns the standard A class into a totally new car.

mercedes A 45 AMG review

Mercedes A 45 AMG

Conclusion

The A45 was always going to be a balanced treat sitting between practicality, fun and AMG technology. You get what you ask for, no questions. The A 45 AMG shone through and surprised me when it mattered most. It’s capable of all your daily tasks, and would consider it a good choice in the premium-hatchback market. It’s the best looking A-class ever produced and is also crazy fast! There’s no match in regards to performance.

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