Mercedes-AMG A45S review: Elephant in the room

Faster than a DB11, but can it beat the best hatchbacks?

Mercedes-AMG A45S

Expensive and heavy, the Mercedes loses out in the competitive hatchback field

Back in 1983, Fiat got serious about hot hatches and introduced the Strada 130tc whose 2-litre engine, as implied, produced 130bhp. At the time it was the most potent car of its kind. And I don’t think you’d have found  anyone alive then who would believe that 37 years later, the bar for the 2-litre fast hatchback would now be set beyond 400bhp. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Ferrari offered a standard production road car with more power than Mercedes-Benz offers today in a compact hatchback.

The Mercedes-AMG A45S is an extraordinary car, packing 416bhp under its stubby bonnet and distributing it to the four corners via a whipcrack-quick eight-speed double-clutch gearbox. Here is a shopping car that between rest and 62mph will put clear air between itself and an Aston Martin DB11. Thanks to a typically uncompromising AMG chassis and its compact dimensions, the result is one of the quickest point-to-point cars of my recent acquaintance. And yet other slower hatches are more engaging to drive, a Honda Civic Type-R for instance. The A45 is mightily powerful, but it’s also heavy at 1635kg and, at over £50,000, more expensive than a Porsche Cayman.

I’d probably take it over its only direct rival, the Audi RS3. For most people, a VW Golf R and £15,000 in the bank is a better bet.

Mercedes-AMG A45S
Price £50,570
Engine 2.0 litres, 4 cylinders, turbocharged
Power 415bhp at 6750rpm
Weight 1435kg
Power to weight 253bhp per tonne
Transmission eight-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
0-60mph 3.9sec
Top speed 168mph
Economy 32.5mpg
CO₂ 192g/km
Verdict Rapid, but better options exist

Digital extra

You may also like

Related products