Once upon a time, the Mercedes A-Class was the runt of the litter. It was a boxy, unattractive hatchback. However, in recent years, Mercedes are upped their game and their new A-Class is a superb car. But Mercedes didn’t stop there. They knew they were onto a winner and therefore decided to give the A-Class the famous AMG treatment and now we have the Mercedes A45 AMG, a premium hot hatchback, taking on rivals like the Volkswagen Golf R and BMW M140i.
A45 AMG Engine
Mercedes have given their A45 AMG a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 381 bhp. From that power, the car accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. Whilst this car is designed to produces speed from huge amounts of power, it does produce a combined fuel economy of 40.9 mpg, which isn’t bad for a hot hatchback.
s direct rival, BMW M140i comes with a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, developing 340 bhp. It has the same limited top speed of 155 mph and is slower from 0-60 mph with 4.6 seconds. It’s combined fuel economy is lower with 39.8 mpg. With regards to the Volkswagen Golf R, you get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 300 bhp, a limited top speed of 155 bhp and a slower 0-60 mph of 4.9 seconds. It has a lower combined fuel economy than the A45 AMG, but the same as the BMW.
Now when you slip inside the A45, you discover a comfortable, high quality, well-built interior. The front seats are extraordinarily comfortable and supportive when taking corners at speed. The steering wheel feels great in your hands and is a beauty to behold. The whole cabin is designed to give you a sportier feel. The dashboard has flashes of carbon fibre trims with red inserts to break up any chances of it looking too dull.
A45’s cabin gives you plenty of space in the front and comfortable headroom and legroom in the rear. In fact, the space is like its rival models from BMW and Audi, however, the rear doors open wider. That means you no longer have to forcibly squeeze yourself in. Head around to the back of your car and open the boot. You will find a modest 341-litres, which is smaller than its direct rivals, the Golf R & BMW M140i.
If you do find yourself inside the Golf R’s cabin, you will be very happy with what you get for the price you pay. The design is less interesting when compared with the A45, but it is well-built, with high quality materials and the layout is logically set out and designed for the driver’s use. The seats are supportive and give you a little hug, holding you in place as you use the three-spoke leather-bound steering wheel to turn into a corner at speed.
Volkswagen Golf R has the biggest boot capacity of the three rivals. It comes with 380-litres, which is almost 40-litres more than the A45. Passenger space is brilliant for 4 six-foot adults, especially if you upgrade to the five-door model. The headroom is particularly good thanks to the Golf’s boxy design and the legroom is rather generous also. There are plenty of cubby holes, with large door bins and glovebox.
In the final rival, the BMW M140i, you get a cabin built with mostly high-quality materials with some cheap plastics thrown in for good measure. It is a well-designed and well-built cabin, but it doesn’t match the A45’s sportier look. However, the console is designed to tilt towards the driver for a more functional design rather than simple style. BMW have given the M140i comfortable and supportive, body-hugging seats with additional electrically inflatable side bolsters for perfect support.
BMW have given the driver and front passenger plenty of space upfront, ensuring they are comfortable and have great visibility. It isn’t so spacious in the rear of the car, with tight legroom, especially for the middle passenger thanks to the rear-wheel drive transmission tunnel taking up most of the leg room. In the boot, BMW have given you 360-litres of boot capacity, which sits in the middle of the A45 and Golf R. If you drop those rear seats however, you get 1200-litres of boot capacity.
For the cabin interior, the A45 has the best looking, sportiest design and is built with the highest quality materials available for the price you are paying. It does suffer from lack of space compared to its rivals, but it makes comfortable use of the space given to it.
Lease and drive
One of the best things about the A45 is that most cars will not be able to keep up with it. It is a great hot hatchback for all seasons thanks to the four-wheel drive system delivering plenty of traction and huge amounts of grip. You can throw this car into any corner and it will effortlessly take it. The A45 AMG has adaptive dampers ensures that you have an extremely comfortable ride, even in Sports mode.
BMW M140i is the only premium hot hatchback that comes with rear-wheel drive. This ensures it is incredibly fun to drive. It has huge reserves of grip ensuring like its rivals, you can toss it into a corner and it will maintain its speed all the way around. Whilst its four-wheel drive rivals, like the A45 AMG, will hold it better in the slippery conditions, this car is still incredible fun to drive.
Volkswagen Golf R is a great drive, but it isn’t as sharp or controlled at the Mercedes A45. Its four-wheel drive system does allow you to enter a corner at speed, come out the other end and slingshot around the next corners without a worry. But to get the best performance out of this car is to sit at cruising speed. It is so smooth and comfortable and very quiet and you can cruise along without a care in the world.
For speed and performance and drive the Mercedes A45 AMG is the top dog out of its closest rivals. The only place it is beat is on interior space, but it makes up for it in spades thanks to the sporty design and extremely comfortable seats. Whilst it may be too late to lease a car before Christmas, the New Year is approaching and it is worth considering getting one through personal car leasing. New Year, New You, New Mercedes.