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.
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. 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…