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Mercedes-AMG A45 review - is AMG's hot hatch capable of bringing the fight to the Focus RS? - Ride and Handling

Incredible performance and grip, but lacking the involvement and fun that a great hot hatch requires

Evo rating
Price
from £39,995
  • Blisteringly quick
  • Not quite as rewarding as less powerful and cheaper rivals

Ride and handling

The four-wheel drive system delivers incredible levels of traction, which, when combined with the relentless power delivery from the engine, make for rapid pace.

In almost any of the chassis setting the A45’s ride is hard. That firmness does translate to very little roll and exceptional body control. There’s never any wayward or unexpected movement from the body, over crest or out of compressions the A45 reacts quickly and predictably.

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The steering is sadly lacking in feedback, which makes corner entry difficult to judge. However, the hard ride and some firm seats mean that what’s going on at road level is well communicated.

Once you’re in-tune with the car, and aware of the huge amounts of grip the chassis can generate, you’re able to maintain some ridiculously high speeds when cornering. Thanks to its four-wheel drive, traction is always high and you can be on the power early in a corner; the outside rear wheel pushing you round and firing you out of the corner.

The A45 AMG is not the most adjustable car, a lift mid-corner makes a slight difference to your line but it isn’t dramatic. It certainly doesn’t have the character of something like a Megane 275 Trophy, or even a Golf R, but it’s fast and relatively intuitive.

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