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 driving

Our verdict

The best hot hatches are all about the raw pleasure of driving, but how this is achieved varies. For example, the Honda Civic Type R’s brilliance lies in its magnificent poise and delicacy and the Renault Mégane RS’s in its more flamboyant handling. The truth is that neither the M140i nor the A35 is quite at their level. 

However, they’re still very good hot hatches. The A35 strikes a fair balance between fun and usability, sounds fruity and makes it easy to cover ground quickly. It just misses out on the handling delicacy that makes a car a truly joyful thing to drive, and the gearbox really frustrates.

The M140i may not be as quick through corners, especially in wet conditions, but you’ll be having more fun, thanks to its delicious rear-wheel drive handling balance and brilliant engine. That’s the main reason why it edges the win.

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1st - BMW M140i - 4 stars

BMW M140i rear

For More engaging handling; comfier ride; superb engine; excellent infotainment

Against Trickier to drive in the wet; cramped rear seats; offset driving position

Recommended options Driving Assistant (£390), Apple CarPlay (£235), adaptive dampers (£515)

Read our full BMW M140i review here >

Find a great BMW M140i Series deal >

2nd - Mercedes-AMG A35 - 4 stars

Mercedes AMG A35

For Great traction; stylish interior; more practical; stronger resale values

Against Less handling finesse; annoying gearbox; options restricted to costly packs 

Recommended options AMG Premium Equipment Line (£2395)

Read our full Mercedes-AMG A35 review >

Find a great Mercedes-AMG A35 deal > 

Specifications: BMW M140i 3dr 

  • Engine 6cyl, 2998cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £36,000
  • Target price £33,745
  • Power 335bhp @ 5500rpm
  • Torque 369lb ft @ 1520-4500rpm
  • Gearbox 8-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 5.0sec
  • Top speed 155mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 32.5mpg (WLTP combined)
  • Test mpg 31.1mpg
  • CO2 emissions 168g/km

Specifications: Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic

  • Engine 4cyl, 1991cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £35,580
  • Target price £33,777
  • Power 302bhp @ 5800rpm
  • Torque 295lb ft @ 3000-4000rpm 
  • Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic
  • 0-60mph 4.8sec
  • Top speed 155mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 35.8mpg (WLTP combined)
  • Test mpg 31.7mpg
  • CO2 emissions 167g/km

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