The Mercedes AMG A35 is an upmarket hot hatch with more than 300bhp, a luxurious cabin and four-wheel drive but it isn’t quite as practical as some less stylish alternatives
If your dream hatchback combines a high-tech cabin with high-performance and slick styling, look no further than the Mercedes AMG A35. This 306bhp alternative to the likes of the Audi S3 and BMW M140i is one of the most futuristic fast cars on sale and seriously good fun to drive.
The Mercedes AMG A35 blends the new A-Class hatchback’s grown-up styling with plenty of childish wings and splitters borrowed from the outgoing – and frankly, pretty outrageous – A45. It’s no Honda Civic Type R, but its huge alloy wheels, gaping air intakes and standard rear diffuser mean it looks sportier than the comparably covert BMW M140i.
It’s a similar story inside, where the Mercedes AMG A35 gets a flashy flat-bottomed steering wheel and much more supportive seats than you’ll find in the standard A-Class. There’s also a super-slick dual-screen infotainment system that looks like it belongs on the set of a sci-fi blockbuster and boat-loads of soft plastic and posh brushed-metal trims.
Unlike the standard Mercedes A-Class, almost all of this flashy kit comes as standard. You will have to fork out for the upgraded sports seats, but they’re so comfortable and supportive that even your wallet will feel relaxed after a few hours behind the wheel.
These low-slung leather-clad items do cut into your passengers’ rear knee room a tad but there’s still enough space for six-footers to get fairly comfy in the back seats. Boot space isn’t quite on a par with the more practical BMW M140i, but it won’t let you down on a big weekly shop or family weekend away.
The Mercedes AMG A35 is a seriously quick hot hatch with a fab interior, but put it in its sportiest setting and the incessant pops and bangs from the exhaust will get pretty annoying
If you plan to use your Mercedes AMG A35 for regular family getaways, make sure you include a few twisty country roads in your route. The AMG A35’s 306hp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and standard four-wheel drive help it leap from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds and carve through tight twisty roads more keenly than the rear-wheel drive BMW M140i.
Helping the Mercedes AMG A35 feel so sure-footed are its direct steering and clever system that’ll individually brake the rear wheels to help it tuck its nose into corners more tightly. You can also adjust the stiffness of the suspension using a dial on the steering wheel, too – just like in the AMG GT 4 Door – but head down a poorly maintained road and it’ll still feel like you’re being used as a guinea pig by a heavy-handed masseuse.
Thankfully, the AMG A35 copes with long motorway journeys surprisingly well. You won’t hear much wind noise and tyre noise from its whopping great wheels is mostly muted, too. You can even get it with a host of driver aids that’ll let it brake and accelerate for you – perfect for taking the stress out of rush-hour traffic.
This tasty tech does come at a price, however – the A35 looks expensive alongside comparable hot hatches. So, why not see how much you can save on our Mercedes AMG A35 deals page.