2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG | Road Test

Posted on Aug 10, 2014 by
2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
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  • A 45 AMG
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  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 11, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 90%
  • Interior
    Editor: 90%
  • Quality
    Editor: 90%
  • Features
    Editor: 80%
  • Performance
    Editor: 95%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 90%

Review Summary:

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG, sounds like performance and guess what, it is! In fact, it is without a doubt, the ultimate hot hatch.

Pros

* The A 45 AMG is the ultimate hot hatch.
* It redefines what a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine is capable of.
* Quad exhaust tips emit aural symphonies that are more closely related to music, than mere release of exhaust gases.

Cons

* Major glitch with the Blind Spot Monitoring system makes it beep intermittently even if there is no other car on the entire road. In turn, it makes changing lanes quite daunting as the system is ever so insistent that there is a vehicle present in your blind spot nearly at all times.
* Mercedes-Benz needs to make more and bask in the economies of scale, because the A 45 AMG is most definitely a vehicle that everyone should be able to experience.

Introduction & Summary

It’s been a busy week here at AME, hopping from one fancy ride into another, we’ve actually been conforming to the stereotypical lifestyle people believe we auto journo’s lead. Having returned the world’s fastest seven seater (GL 63 AMG) a few days ago, we headed to Daimler’s secret hideout to pick up our next set of wheels; the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG, or should I say the that gets its strength from the most powerful four cylinder engine in the world?

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG front

Styling & Design

Compared to the standard A-Class, the A 45 AMG is its sibling from hell; or Affalterbach in this case. Unlike its tamer kin, the A 45 AMG is an absolute brute and wastes no time in making that point known. Packing in a mix of insane amounts of power and an exterior to match, the German hatchback is a product of carefully crafted contours and aggressive edges that work in symphony to capture sights and hearts simultaneously.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG front

With tapered creases drawing attention towards the twin-blade radiator grille and vertical LED’s embellishing the headlamp clusters, the narrow anterior and wide rear bring to mind one thing and one thing only; a stealth bomber. Finished in Cosmos Black, our tester even looked the part, with the only bright bits being the enormous brake callipers and touches of red hue along the spoiler, side mirrors, and mesh grille.

Features

On the luxury front, the German hatchback is well kitted out for a little pocket rocket that measures just 4,292mm in length. Packing in a large sunroof for all occupants to enjoy, in addition to a 500 watts 11 speaker Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system, the boffins at Affalterbach have ensured, when in the A 45 AMG, the driver isn’t the only one having a blast.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG interior

Scrolling through the multi-information display located in the instrument cluster, you’re likely to stumble across something rather interesting; a lap timer. Now, while that is obviously something of utmost importance to the boy racers Mercedes is targeting, a zero to 100 km/h timer is something that wouldn’t have gone amiss. It would definitely be used a lot more often, to say the least…

Performance, Ride and Handling

Switch the A 45 AMG on and it emits nothing short of a throaty bark from its quad exhaust tips; a bark, best described as one you’d hear from a pit bull when you awaken it with a firecracker beside its ear. Reach over to the drive controller switch located near the shifter lever and scroll through until you reach Sports, or better yet, Manual mode, to feel sharper throttle responses, greater steering feedback, and the benefits of a wider opening in the exhaust system.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG gear

Generating 360 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 450 Nm of torque at 5,000 RPM, thanks to a Twinscroll turbocharger, forged pistons and crankshaft, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG is preposterously powerful. For the number crunching crowds, there’s no need to break it down, as they’ve probably already worked it out; a mind boggling 181 horsepower for each litre of displacement!

Shuffling your way through the 7 speed dual clutch sports transmission, the feeling of sheer power is heightened, with partial cylinder deactivation when upshifting and a double-declutching function for when downshifting. It goes without saying, with Recaro seats holding you in place, throttle blips on shifts, and nothing but unadulterated adrenaline rushing through your veins when in the driver’s seat, you do tend to feel like Colin McRae relatively quickly.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG gauges

Sitting 15mm closer to the ground than the standard A-Class and sending power to all four wheels, the level of grip available at all times, is simply unbelievable. Be it either cruising well within the speed limits, or at speeds that could land you in serious trouble with the authorities, the A 45 AMG refuses to let go and almost feels like it is creating grooves in the tarmac as you drive along.

Thankfully, for times when your right foot gets carried away, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs are just a tap away. Equipped with 350x32mm discs with 4-piston fixed callipers up front and 330x32mm discs with single-piston floating callipers in the rear, the high performance AMG anchors instil great amounts of confidence when hunting for roads that will allow the German hatchback to achieve its 250 km/h electronically limited top speed.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG badge

Weirdly enough, the guys at Mercedes-Benz have gone through quite a bit of effort to make the A 45 AMG an economical run about too. In spite of a shift indicator that lights up to show the most economical time to shift cogs, a controlled efficiency drive mode, and a speed limiter feature, we refused to attempt to achieve the claimed 5.7 litres / 100 km, since driving a performance oriented vehicle with a focus on saving fuel, isn’t something any self-respecting individual should do.

Comfort & Practicality

In standard Mercedes-Benz flair, the interior overflows with high quality materials all around. A combination of leather and Alcantara run around the flat-bottomed hexagonal steering wheel, and while the driver and front seat passenger get to park their rear end in Recaro’s with an adjustable lumbar support, the backbenchers aren’t as privileged.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG interior

For individuals occupying the second row seats, there’s an ample amount of leg space on offer, a bit surprising for a tiny little hatchback, really. There’s also rear A/C vents so as to ensure they don’t pass out due to a heat stroke in the peak of Dubai’s summer, but while it all sounds well and good, there’s still a major flaw; headroom. Bordering of the lines of appalling, asking anyone who is over 5’10 to sit in the rear seats could very well be considered a felony, as it is extremely torturous to have your head sandwiched between your neck and the roof of the vehicle, or worse still, tilted at an angle for the duration of the ride.

Practicality wise, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG doesn’t score too well, either. By placing the space saver tyre above the boot floor, cargo room is quite literally, nonexistent, as the tyre eats up whatever little of the 341 litres could be found behind the rear seats. The good news, however, is that should you plan to stock up for an alien apocalypse, getting rid of the spare tyre and folding the second row seats flat, opens up a mighty impressive 1,157 litres of cargo room; should be enough for a month’s supply from Spinneys, I reckon.

Price & Verdict

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG is the ultimate hatchback as far as performance is concerned. Powered by the world’s most potent 4 cylinder engine, it challenges the boundaries of what a 4-pot is capable of, and in return, it offers exhilarating and adrenaline pumping performance that is only restricted by the size of the driver’s cojones. After all, the little hatchback proves that good things do indeed, come in small packages.

2014 Mercedes Benz A 45 AMG rear

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