If you're looking for a car that combines blistering performance, cutting-edge technology and practicality, look no further than the Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG. This is the hottest version of the A-Class hatchback, and it has been updated for 2023 with some subtle but effective changes.
What's new for 2023?
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG has received a mild facelift that enhances its aggressive appearance. The headlights have revised LED internals and flank a grille that has been reshaped. The AMG logo replaces the traditional three-pointed star above the grille, giving it a more distinctive identity. The rear lights have also been updated, and there are new alloy wheel designs.
The interior has also been improved with a new MBUX infotainment system with faster loading times, sharper graphics, and more intuitive menus. The system also offers some new features for keen drivers, such as switching between drive modes and customizing each one to your preference. The steering wheel has two round dials that let you adjust the exhaust note, damper modes, gearbox, and more on the fly.
The mechanical aspects of the Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG remain unchanged, which is not a bad thing considering how impressive they are. The car is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 415bhp and 500Nm of torque. This makes it one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines in the world, and it delivers stunning performance. The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG can sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 168mph (electronically limited).
How does it drive?
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG is not just a straight-line rocket, it's also a very capable and engaging car to drive on twisty roads. The engine is eager and angry, with a satisfying sound that is enhanced by pops and bangs from the exhaust in the sportier modes. The gearbox is quick and smooth when you're driving hard but can be a bit clunky when you're cruising.
The car has an advanced all-wheel drive system that can vary the torque distribution between the front and rear axles, and even between the rear wheels. This gives it excellent traction and stability and the ability to perform controlled drifts in a special mode. The steering is sharp and responsive but could do with more feedback. The suspension is firm but not harsh and can be adjusted to suit different road conditions and driving styles.
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG is also a practical car, with a spacious and comfortable interior that can accommodate five adults. The boot has a decent capacity of 370 liters, which can be expanded to 1210 litres by folding the rear seats. The car also has a high level of equipment and safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, head-up display, wireless charging, and more.
How much does Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG cost?
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG is not a cheap car, but it offers a lot of value for money, considering what it can do. The starting price in the UK is £63,285 ($83,000), which is comparable to other high-performance hatchbacks such as the Audi RS3 and the BMW M135i. However, if you want to add some optional extras such as carbon fibre trim, panoramic sunroof, Burmester sound system or AMG performance seats, you'll have to pay more.
The running costs of the Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG are also not low, as you would expect from such a powerful car. The official fuel economy figures are 29.4mpg combined and 212g/km of CO2 emissions, which means you'll have to pay £1,345 ($1,765) for the first year's road tax and £490 ($644) for subsequent years. The insurance group is 50E, which is the highest possible rating.
How does it compare to its rivals?
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG faces some tough competition from other hot hatchbacks in the market. One of its main rivals is the Audi RS3 Sportback, which has a similar price tag but a more powerful 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine that produces 444bhp and 500Nm of torque. The RS3 can match the A45 S in terms of acceleration (0-62mph in 3.9 seconds) and top speed (168mph), but it has a slightly lower fuel economy (28mpg combined) and higher CO2 emissions (225g/km). The RS3 also has a more understated design and a less engaging driving experience than the A45 S.
Another rival is the BMW M135i xDrive, which is cheaper than the A45 S but also less powerful. It has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 302bhp and 450Nm of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph (electronically limited). It has a better fuel economy (34.9mpg combined) and lower CO2 emissions (188g/km) than the A45 S, but it also has a less exciting sound and a less sophisticated all-wheel drive system.
Is Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG worth it?
The Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG is a remarkable car that offers an exhilarating driving experience without compromising on practicality or quality. It's one of the best hot hatchbacks on the market today, and it deserves to be on your shortlist if you're looking for a car that can do it all.