Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
To put it simply, the A35 is just as practically designed as any other Mercedes A Class. That means plenty of space up front for a couple of 6ft-plus adults, especially if you avoid the head room-stealing optional sunroof, and there's decent oddment storage, too.
A couple of tall mates will fit in the back of both the hatchback and saloon, but can expect to find their knees close to the backs of the seat in front, and their heads near the ceiling. Overall, rear space is broadly on a par with that of the BMW M135i, so if you need to carry adults in the rear regularly, the more generous rear leg room of the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus ST would come in handy.
There’s nothing spectacular about the boot of the hatchback version of the A35, but it’s roomy enough for a big weekly shop or a week away for two. In fact, when we did our carry-on suitcase boot test, it beat the BMW 1 Series by swallowing six suitcases (the 1 Series managed five), although the Honda Civic Type R swallowed seven. The saloon version of the A35 actually has a slightly bigger boot, but the space itself is shallow and its opening is small, hindering access.