2020 MERCEDES-AMG A35 REVIEW

Mercedes-AMG_A35_frontThe new Mercedes-AMG A35 is the lowest cost model ever offered by the company’s high-performance division. Not that about $75,000 by the times it’s on your driveway is exactly cheap, but you do get not only excellent engineering and driving pleasure, but also a strong dose of prestige.

Though it’s often seen as purely a city car the A35 is also an excellent open road machine. Note, however, that its speed is limited to 250 km/h.

STYLING
The guys and gals in the AMG styling department have given the A35 a bold look. It has aerodynamically optimised 19-inch alloy wheels with a twin-spoke design; side sill panels that are in a similar shape to others in the AMG Line; a radiator grille with twin louvres; AMG Line front apron with flics on the air intakes; a front splitter and silver chromed trim elements.

All our friends in the hot car business liked what they saw, even those who sometimes screw up their faces when we talk about what they call, “overpriced Euro cars”.

INTERIOR
Leather seats have a nice sporty look and dual-zone climate control was much appreciated during the far-too-muggy spell of weather in our home base on the Gold Coast.

The rear seats aren’t spacious enough to regard this as a comfortable four-adult car, as is often the way in this class three grown-ups and a child will be fine if the front passenger is willing to slide their seat forward a little.

There’s an AMG steering wheel with a flattened lower section, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting stitching.

Mercedes-AMG_A35_rear

INFOTAINMENT
The Mercedes’ twin 10.25-inch screens in a widescreen digital cockpit are simple to use thanks to the company’s new MBUX interface.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The little AMG A35 is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 225 kW (306 hp) of power. Torque is 400Nm between 3000 and 4000rpm. That sort of grunt means it has all-wheel-drive through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G dual-clutch transmission.

SAFETY
It comes as no surprise that the little Mercedes-AMG easily achieved a five-star safety rating. It’s crammed full of gear to help drivers out of trouble, and if the worst still happens, to minimise injury or prevent death.

DRIVING
It’s obviously not as quick as its big brother the AMG A45 in straight line acceleration but the A35 has got excellent pick up that’s significantly better than some V8 engines not that many years ago.

Okay, that’s not really an apples-with-apples comparo but if you’re well off and have a big V8 Brock, Falcon GT or the like in your garage this Merc-AMG may well be an ideal daily driver.

Mercedes-AMG_A35_interior

The 4.7 seconds for the zero to 100 km/h is sure to bring a smile to your face. More realistically in a world where you seldom, if ever, go from zero to 100 the hard acceleration makes for prompt, safe overtaking.

There’s prompt feedback through the steering and the little German machine just loved being fanged around our twisty mountain road test route. Indeed its smaller dimensions and lighter weight make it even more fun than its bigger brothers in the AMG range.

The sports seats provide good side grip for hard cornering, but are still relatively comfortable for normal day-to-day driving.

There’s a fair bit of road noise on concrete motorways and the famous Aussie coarse-chip country roads. Try for yourself during your pre-purchase road testing, but we feel keen drivers won’t complain about the compromise inherent in any sports machine.

Drivers can choose between three AMG display styles for the instrument cluster. The Supersport mode has a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter:

You can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data. These are probably there to be used for track days, but are fun the rest of the time in any case.

Talking of track days, why not join a car club and keep really get out there to make the most of your car? You will also have the chance to improve your driving skills at the same time.

SUMMING UP
Mercedes-AMG is a great little sports machine that not only looks the part but follows up its styling with plenty of excellent road holding. It’s a great entry level into the world of prestige power-packed German motoring.

Mercedes-AMG A35 is also offered as an A 35 4MATIC Saloon. They have the upmarket title of ‘saloon’, rather than ‘sedan’ to give it a connection to the larger saloons in this prestige German marque.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mercedes-AMG dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mercedes-AMG A35 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.991 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 225 kW @ 5800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ NA rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.6 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 168 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4562 mm
Wheelbase: 2729 mm
Width: 1790 mm
Height: 1414 mm
Turning Circle: NA
Kerb Mass: 1581 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 51 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilate disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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