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Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG review - prices, specs and 0-60 time
There are few quicker ways of getting down a twisty road in poor weather than the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. Its combination of huge power and four-wheel drive traction gives it the sort of cross-country ability that used to be the preserve of rally homologation specials. Combine this with Mercedes desirability, quality and day-to-day liveability, and you have an appealing package. Unfortunately the poor ride, hesitant dual-clutch gearbox and one-dimensional approach to speed all conspire against it. Others may not be as fast, but several are more fun.
'The A45 rides firmly along a broken road surface. Its chassis always feel very tough and tightly wound, picking out imperfections and failing to deal with bigger intrusions such as potholes. It's hard to imagine a road where the firmer of the two damper settings would offer any sort of dynamic advantage. Still, this revised model is an improvement in terms of ride quality, if only a slim amount - Dan Prosser, Road test editor (evo 221)
AMG Ride Control (a £595 option) enables you to choose between two damper settings that address the previously uncompromisingly stiff ride and well worth selecting. You can also specify a limited-slip in the front axle as part of the AMG Dynamic Plus package, we haven't tried it but we can't imagine you'd need much more grip, though.
If the A45's performance appeals but you can't get on with the styling, the same drivetrain is also available in the CLA 45 AMG saloon, CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake and the GLA 45 AMG crossover. All are more expensive, but each offers its own unique take on the all-wheel-drive-and-powerful-engine formula that makes the A45 appealing. Unfortunately, they also share many of its negatives.
Performance and 0-62 time > Sports and supercars alike should be worried because the four-wheel drive A45 AMG is staggeringly fast in a straight-line. Acceleration is fairly linear, however, so it's swift rather than terrifying. Read our full thoughts on the A45's performance and 0-62 time
Engine and gearbox > Gear changes are fast thanks to the fitment of a paddle-operated seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Unsurprisingly, given the 2-litre engine's heavy turbocharging, there is some turbo lag at lower revs. Find out more about the engine and gearbox
Ride and handling > The ride is hard thanks to a very aggressive suspension setup. This does enable the car to stay planted at high speeds, but can be a little unforgiving on British roads. Read our detailed report of the ride and handling
Prices, specs and rivals > The Mercedes is a far more premium place to spend time than say, a Renaultsport Megane, but the French hatch and its competitors are arguably more playful for a fraction of the price. Get more information on price, specs and the A45's rivals
Interior and tech > The overall layout is pleasing, but the odd touchscreen and soft touch fake carbon-fibre let the side down. Find out more about the interior and tech in the A45
Design > There's no confusing the A45 AMG with the rest of the range, 18-inch wheels, a large rear wing and winglets confirm its more aggressive nature. Read more about the A45's design