New Mercedes-AMG A35 vs BMW M140i

Mercedes-AMG’s new entry-level A35 isn’t as extreme as some hot hatches, but still promises to give BMW’s M140i a run for its money...

BMW M140i interior

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Which will cost you less? Well, that depends a lot on how you’re buying. If it’s on a PCP finance deal  (based on a three-year term, with a £3500 customer deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles per year), BMW’s massive £6429 deposit contribution means the M140i works out £57 a month cheaper. However, buy outright and the A35’s vastly better predicted resale values mean you’ll be spending £5000 less over three years. 

If you prefer to lease, the A35 comes up trumps again, costing £62 per month less than the M140i. With similar CO2 emissions, both will cost company car users roughly the same in benefit-in-kind tax, and if you pay for your own fuel, our tests show that each will drink petrol at a similar rate. 

Neither car comes stacked full of kit, but you get automatic lights and wipers, 18in alloy wheels, keyless start, dual-zone climate control and, in the M140i, leather seats, as opposed to faux leather and suede in the A35. 

BMW M140i inside

With the M140i, you can mix and match individual options to tailor it perfectly, whereas most of the A35’s extras come as part of expensive packs. Our suggestion is to add the £2395 AMG Premium Equipment Line Package, which brings real leather seats, power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and keyless entry. You also get 64-colour ambient lighting, which makes the swish interior look even better at night.

Something else to consider on the A35 is the Driver Assistance Package (£1695). It adds blindspot monitoring and adaptive cruise control with steering assistance to the already handsome list of safety features; these include automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assistance.  

You can’t get blindspot monitors or lane-keeping assistance on the M140i, and even AEB is an option (via the £390 Driving Assistant Pack). Both cars were awarded five stars for safety by Euro NCAP, but the 1 Series’ assessment way back in 2012 barely compares with the far more stringent testing that the A-Class was put through last year. The A-Class scored so highly that it was a deserving winner of our Safety Award at this year’s What Car? Awards.


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