£40,695 - £42,590 Price range
The Mercedes A45 AMG combines practicality, style and sheer power. Main rivals include the frisky BMW M135i, great-sounding Audi RS3 and the slightly more sensible VW Golf R. You can save a healthy £5,350 if you buy your A45 AMG via carwow.
Powering the A45 AMG is a masterpiece of an engine. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder unit produces 360hp and a generous 332lb ft of torque. With the help of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and sophisticated four-wheel drive, the 0-60 time is only 4.3 seconds – faster than a Porsche 911. The extra grip provided by the four-wheel drive system will come in handy on wet UK roads.
The front seats are praised by testers because they offer enough grip and support for any kind of fast driving. The cabin offers a sporty and premium feel but the 341 litres of boot space falls a bit short of the other rivals – the BMW M135i, for example, has 360 litres.
Mercedes A45 AMG specs
A racy body kit and 18-inch alloy wheels mark the A45 out from lesser models and it also comes equipped with powerful xenon headlights, lowered suspension and leather sports seats.
Read on to find out more about A45 AMG and see if it is the car for you.
If there is one thing every critic can agree on about the A45, its that it comes equipped with an excellent pair of front seats. They’re hold you in place when cornering quickly, are supportive and set low to give the A45 a sporty feel. The AMG steering wheel is a pleasure both to hold and look at.
The dashboard looks smart too, with sporty flashes of carbonfibre trim featuring red inserts. Apparently this effect is somewhat over the top for some testers, but when you consider that many German hot hatches are criticised for being too dull inside, it seems like it’s hard to please everybody.
Mercedes A45 AMG passenger space
Aside from the changes up front, the rest of the cabin is shared with lesser A-Class models. That means rear space is on par with premium rivals from BMW and Audi, although the Mercedes’ rear doors could open wider for better access. Also, the relatively small rear windows makes the interior seem a little gloomy to rear seat passengers.
Mercedes A45 AMG boot space
Although the 341-litre boot is modest – being smaller than the ones found in the Golf R, Audi RS3 and BMW M135i – it’s significantly more spacious than the load bays found in sports cars rivalling the A45’s performance.
On any given road, there is very little that could keep up with the A45. Huge grip combined with the confidence-inspiring four-wheel-drive system means that this is a seriously quick car in almost all weathers.
Its not all good news, though, some testers complain that the Mercedes is almost too effortless and is less engaging to drive than the BMW M135i as a result.
A 2015 facelift remedied one of the biggest complaints the reviewers had – the bone-shakingly firm ride. To address that, the A45 AMG can now be equipped with adaptive dampers, which in Comfort mode are worlds better than what the ride used to be. Testers loved the added comfort, but said the car has lost nothing of its incredible driving characteristics when in Sport mode. It’s a highly recommended option.
Although one or two testers suggest that the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine sitting under the bonnet perhaps sounds a little plain, nobody can argue against the sheer performance on offer. Producing 380hp, the motor is combined with a quick, smooth-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch (automatic) transmission.
Thanks to the combination of both four-wheel drive and an advanced launch control system, the A45 can hit 62mph from a standstill in just 4.2 seconds, time and time again. With the optional AMG Driver’s package (£1,940), the electronic limiter is raised, bumping top speed from 155mph to a barmy 168mph. In other words, whatever gear you find yourself in, planting the A45’s accelerator pedal to the carpet delivers huge performance.
The A45 AMG is certainly expensive in hot hatch terms, though only the upcoming Audi RS3 can match the A45 in terms of outright power. The experts believe that the A45 will hold its value very well, so private buyers should be reassured to know that they won’t be simply be throwing their money away. However, it should be considered that it is quite easy to add over £10,000 worth of options to the list price, so the price can rapidly increase if you’re not careful.
For those looking to personalize their A45 and add even more to the capabilities of the car there is the optional AMG aerodynamics package which adds a more aggressive front bumper with small winglets, a larger rear wing and a bigger rear diffuser.
Not only is the 2.0-litre turbo a very powerful engine, but according to Mercedes it is remarkably frugal too. It will apparently return fuel economy of 40.9mpg if driven carefully, while CO2 emissions of 162g/km puts the car’s tax bill at £180 a year.
On the right road, the A45 AMG is a hugely capable car, delivering searing performance in the corners and the straights. It is well made, potentially frugal, and should be considered one of the great all-rounders available on the market today.
When compared to some of its rivals though, the case for itself becomes just a little more difficult. Not only does the universally praised Volkswagen Golf R feel almost as fast, but it rides much more smoothly and in standard form costs over £8,000 less. Testers agree that the A45 is a brilliant car – with one or two flaws – but it’s up to you whether you think the lure of a three-pointed star on the bonnet is enough to justify the cost compared to its rivals…