This is the Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon – the car to whet your appetite before the full fat A 45 joins the range – and here’s everything you need to know about it.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon
306hp, 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds
Price and release date
From £37,000; on sale end of April
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The Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon is like one of the company’s larger AMG models that’s been through a 90-degree heat cycle. Smaller, but almost as posh inside and very nearly as quick. It’s a car well worth holding out for if you were already planning on buying an Audi S3 saloon.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon styling
The A-Class Saloon is based on the standard A-Class family car but trades a practical hatchback boot for a more stylish saloon-car style rear end.
Up front, it has a chrome twin-louvre grille and a more aggressive AMG-specific bumper, while around the sides you’ll see 18-inch alloy wheels that can be upgraded to 19-inch versions. Around the back of the car, you’ll find another sporty bumper with a mock rear diffuser complete with a pair of girthy exhaust pipes poking out either side.
Combine all those changes together and you get a car that looks more purposeful than the standard A-Class Saloon but without the shouty styling of a hot hatch from a more mainstream car maker.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon interior
The news gets even better when you get inside the Mercedes’ cabin. It makes the interior in most other cars this size – BMWs and Audis included – feel like they were designed in the dark ages. That’s down to the A-Class’ huge infotainment screens which are crystal clear and rival an expensive OLED TV’s vibrancy and colour. You can even have a tiny screen on the optional sports steering wheel, which allows you to flick quickly between your two favourite driving settings.
The finishing touches come in the form of the Mercedes’ pretty turbine-style air vents, shiny plastic and metal trim pieces, glowing ambient lighting and Artico leather upholstery that you can have finished in either black with red piping or the black/neva grey you see here.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon infotainment
You’ll soon learn there’s more to the Merc’s infotainment screens that just how they look. They’re hooked up to Mercedes’ new MBUX operating system which has voice recognition that understands spoken commands and leaps into action when you say ‘Hey Mercedes…’ Unlike most systems, it isn’t limited to a set list of phrases and, while it’s not perfect, most of the time it’ll understand your requests to do everything from turning up the heater to changing a radio station, no matter how you word it.
You can also set a location on the sat-nav, which will reveal the infotainment’s best trick – its augmented-reality directions. The sat-nav screens an image of the road ahead, complete with directions overlaid on top of it. Like the best technology, it doesn’t just look cool, it’s also very functional.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon practicality
In terms of space, you can expect the Mercedes to have room for four tall adults and a few suitcases. In the back you get above average shoulder and elbow room and, Mercedes claims, more headroom than you’ll find in any alternative. The 420-litre boot, meanwhile, is almost 25% bigger than the one in the normal A-Class.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon performance and driving
Along with being posh, practical and crammed full clever tech, the A 35 is also properly quick.
How proper is proper? Well, it has 306hp, 400nm of torque and will get from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds – although that’s actually slightly slower than the Merc’s most obvious alternative, the Audi S3 saloon. Merc claims the A 35 can get fuel economy of 37mpg.
Like the Audi, the Mercedes should be easy to drive quickly because it comes fitted with four-wheel that’ll stop you from sliding about on slippery roads and its standard seven-speed automatic gearbox means you get perfect shifts every time you pull the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
The Mercedes can even help you corner. Using its AMG Dynamics system it can brake an inside-rear wheel to trim the car’s line into bends. While it’s a cost option, you can also have adjustable suspension that can be stiffened for more control in corners or softened up to give you a comfier ride on bumpy roads.
The whole lot is controlled using Mercedes’ AMG Dynamic Select, the carmaker’s name for its drive-select system. It has four settings called Slippery, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – which can set up the A 35 for anything from driving in the snow to pounding around a race track. You also get an Individual mode that allows you to pick and choose your preferred settings.
Mercedes has also made an effort to get the low tech stuff right. So, there’s stiffening bars at the front of the car and underneath the A-Class’ engine, you’ll find a solid aluminium plate. The idea of both is to make the car feel more precise in bends.
With all this talk of performance, its good to know that you also get beefed up brakes. Up front, you get big four-piston calipers and there’s ventilated drilled discs front and back to help the brakes resist fade even after repeated hard stops.
Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic Saloon options
If you’re really serious about getting the best out of your A35 – or you just want something to show off to your mates – Mercedes offers the AMG Track Pace pack. With it, you can save the layout of a track, time your self going around it and analyse your data to help you improve your lap times. You can even use the augmented sat-nav to show you the racing line, and you can record 0-60, 0-100mph and 1/4-mile times.
If you’d rather spend your money on making your A 35 look sportier then you’ll want the AMG Aerodynamics package. That buys you a more aggressive front bumper, a larger boot-mounted spoiler and adds some flashes of glossy black plastic to the exterior. The Night Package adds yet more black exterior trim and gives all the rear windows a dark tint.
If the A 35 Saloon sounds like exactly what you’re after then your wait is almost over. It’ll go on sale at the end of April with prices kicking off from around £37,000. Get your name down early and you can expect to take delivery in August.