Mercedes A45 AMG (2015-2019) review
The Mercedes A45 AMG combines practicality, style and sheer power. Main rivals include the frisky BMW M140i, great-sounding Audi RS3 and the verging-on-sensible VW Golf R.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Mercedes A45 AMG (2015-2019)
Powering the Mercedes 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 and the short wheelbase means that the A45 drives with great agility and is encouraging when tackling a series of winding roads.
This is still a Mercedes, though, so the interior offers a sporty and premium feel thanks to the use of high-quality metals and plastics.
Unlike other A-Class models, the Mercedes A45 AMG has body-hugging seats that give a heavy hint to its sporting credentials. Practicality isn’t its strong suit, however, so there isn’t much space for tall adults to get comfy in the back and the small rear windows mean it can feel a little claustrophobic. The 341 litres of boot space falls a bit short of the other rivals – the BMW M140i, for example.
Sat-nav is standard and it’s easy to operate without having to take your eyes off the road.
The Mercedes A45 AMG is an AMG that anybody can tame, its performance is very accessible
On the right road, the Mercedes 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.
Mat has the Mercedes AMG A45S as his daily driver. Check out his review on the car by tapping on the video below.
We think the Mercedes A45 AMG 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…
On any given road, there is very little that could keep up with the A45.
The performance of the A45 can and does embarrass much more, so called, exotic, machinery
Although the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine sitting under the bonnet perhaps sounds a little plain from inside the car, from outside there’s a loutish bark from the exhaust – and nobody can argue against the sheer performance on offer. Producing 381hp, 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 Mercedes A45 AMG 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 the top speed up from a ‘respectable’ 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.
Even when you look at sensible stuff (you know, running costs), Mercedes claim it will return fuel economy of 40.9mpg if driven carefully, while CO2 emissions are 162g/km.
Huge grip from the confidence-inspiring four-wheel-drive system means that this is a seriously quick car in almost all weathers.
It’s not all good news, though, we think that the Mercedes A45 AMG is almost too effortless and is less engaging to drive than the BMW M140i as a result.
A 2015 facelift remedied one of the biggest complaints – 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. We love the added comfort, but the car has lost nothing of its incredible driving characteristics when in Sport mode. It’s a highly recommended option.
The interior of the Mercedes A45 AMG is a very special place to sit, but isn’t to everybody’s tastes.