Driven: Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan
Compact sedans are fast becoming the new norm on the road. Let’s face it, larger sedans are becoming very costly however the demand for a sedan still seems to be there. Manufacturers have now made compact sedans to fill the gap between a hatchback and larger sedans. Audi has the A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz has now introduced the hot version of its popular A Class sedan, the A35.
Now though with demand growing for faster compact cars manufacturers have decided to offer more in terms of variety. Mercedes-AMG has for a number of years now been offering entry-level type AMG models. The likes of the 43 AMG range, the 53 AMG range, and now the 35 AMG range offer slightly less performance than the full-on 63 AMG offerings, however, what they offer is still incredibly good.
We recently sampled the A35 sedan which, like the hatchback is fitted with a potent 2.0-litre turbocharged motor that develops 225kW and 400Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via the 4Matic all-wheel drive system and the swapping of cogs is done via a 7G-tronic gearbox.
As for design, we really like it however you need to look twice though which caught a few unsuspecting rivals off guard. At first glance, the A35 sedan comes across as a regular A Sedan with an AMG body kit. The giveaway signs however are the two large tailpipes at the rear and the large AMG brake callipers behind the large black rims.
Inside, the A35 sedan benefits from a sporty and modern interior which despite its compact proportions remains spacious. Two large screens occupy the facia, one deals with the infotainment system which is powered by the brand's visually appealing MBUX system and the other is a digital instrument cluster. Mercedes has hit the nail on the head when it comes to offering a superior visual experience in terms of their digital interfaces. The interior is also full of quality materials and we found it to be spacious with convenient storage compartments throughout.
There is also smartphone connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto which is great however the adoption of USB type C ports is a bit premature in our opinion. Thankfully the good people over at Mercedes-Benz ensured that our test unit was fitted with a normal USB adapter cable.
Onto the driving aspect, which is quite important as this is an AMG after all. The first thing that we noticed is that the A35 AMG feels crisp when in Sport+ mode. One can use the rotary dial mounted on the steering wheel to adjust various driving mode settings. In Sport+ mode the car becomes very eager to get going, and going it gets with a sub 5 second 0-100km time.
The car also offers a planted feel due to the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. As for the sound, well in Sport+ it does provide aggressive pops and bangs when one changes up and comes off the throttle at high rpm. All in all, it makes any trip fun and we found any excuse to get behind the wheel.
In Comfort mode however, the car calms everything down and becomes a subdued everyday run around. It can go from Golf R levels of performance to Golf GTI levels at the turn of a dial. The A35 AMG might not be that different from the likes of the BMW M235i in terms of performance, however, it looks better than said BMW, to our eyes at least. Despite the over R800 000 price tag the A35 sedan is an extremely good product and one that we did not want to give back.