Driving

Mercedes-AMG A45 review

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Mercedes-AMG A45
Review continues below...
27 May 2016 14:27 | Last updated: 12 Oct 2018 13:06

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The A45’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine might not produce the melodic warble of the Audi RS3’s five-cylinder unit, but it still barks like a racing car when you prod the accelerator pedal and the exhaust pops and crackles angrily thereafter.

As a reference point, the A45 has roughly 10bhp more than a Porsche 911 Carrera, so it should come as no surprise that this baby AMG is properly quick. However, it never feels scary, which is probably down to how effectively its four-wheel drive system transfers all that power to the road.

As you come to a corner and jump on the brakes the pedal gives you all the reassurance you need, as the A45 sheds speed even quicker than it piled it on. Turn in and the quick, accurate steering builds just the right amount of weight to tell you how close you are to the limits of grip.

In the dry, and with the optional limited-slip differential fitted, traction is immense. All four tyres dig in stubbornly to fire you out of corners, and while wet roads are a little more challenging, the A45 feels incredibly planted whatever the weather.

We’ve only tried the A45 with optional adaptive dampers fitted, but in this form the ride is compliant enough to keep the car composed even when goaded by mid-bend bumps. Sure, it's firm, but it’s never harsh, even though it can't quite match the suppleness of the rival RS3.

Meanwhile, the gearchanges are appropriately snappy when you take control using the paddles behind the steering wheel, and reasonably smooth when you let the automatic gearbox go about its business unchallenged.

Mercedes-AMG A45
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There are 4 trims available for the A-Class hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
Entry-level SE trim gets you most of the basics, including (relatively small) 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and keyless start. We'd still recommend paying a bit extra for Spor...View trim
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OUR PICK
Sport
Mid-rung Sport is our favourite trim. Over and above SE trim, you get more attractive 17in alloy wheels, more powerful LED headlights, dual-zone climate control and various styling enhancements. Co...View trim
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AMG Line
Range-topping AMG Line is tempting, but pushes the price into the territory of larger cars such as the Audi A4. For that reason, we’d stick with Sport trim and add the Executive package – and the P...View trim
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AMG
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
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