The Mercedes-Benz A35 aims to target the young crowd looking to delve into the luxury ride with sporty aspirations. Packed into the A35 is plenty of features, styling, and performance for the price tag. The 302-turbocharged four launches from a dead stop, and roars like a banshee that surely delight your desire for performance. The subtle slope on the roof from back to front, the cascading curve line on the side paneling , and the intricate front end really make this compact look agile and elegant. Inside the elegance continues with classic Mercedes styling to the dashboard, air vents, and a generous screen gauge combined with touchscreen infotainment display. Tying everything together is a modern cabin-lining ambient lighting to really wow the passengers. Though it’s the littlest car in the Mercedes lineup, the A35 sits atop the A-class with an AMG-enhanced turbocharged 4MATIC. However, if that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps its slightly larger platform-mate, the CLA, will; it can be had with a rowdy 382-hp four-cylinder.
In Canada we have the option of choosing the A35 in either sedan or hatchback. The neighbors to the south will only have the Sedan. The comparisons between the two are 420 litres of seats-up capacity in the sedan compared to the hatchback’s 370 litres, but the hatchback configuration is much more dynamic.
Under the A35’s hood sits an AMG enhanced turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive comes standard, and the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic boasts a launch-control feature that propels acceleration from a complete standstill. The hatchback itself being a lower profile and agile vehicle, the quickness and response was appreciated. The optional adaptive dampers for a more superior sport feel and handling prestige are nice, but this comes with a bit of stiffness and jolt when hitting the occasional pot hole or expansion joint.
Inside the cabin, the feeling is definitely snug. This is common with a sporty vehicle and the A35 is nothing short of that , as well as Mercedes staying true to its AMG brand. Starting with the steering wheel, the perforated leather is wrapped throughout, with the signature straight bottom. Paddle-shifters for manual control of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes standard. A35s cabin features a true “wow factor” reminiscent of any Miami club. The 64-color ambient-light system complete with backlit center vents comes standard this year. If you want a little more luxury, Mercedes offers real wood accents in place of the standard aluminum trim as well as leather upholstery. I would say the wood looks a bit out of place in something that appears to be going for a certain “look” and feel, but to each there own. As the smallest of AMG’s models, the A-class will undoubtedly be a tight fit for some, but we find its rear seat accommodates most people reasonably well and we had zero complaints from passengers.
While it’s not unique to the A35 strictly, the double widescreen display made up of two LCD monitors- one screen dedicated for the gauges and the other controlling the infotainment system-protected by one long piece of glass stretching across the dash. Drivers have the ability to control the MBUX infotainment system by way of steering-wheel buttons, touchpad on the center console, manually tapping the touchscreen, or direct voice command. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration comes standard. Mercedes provides five USB-C ports throughout the cabin plus an eight-speaker stereo. Optional though, you can upgrade to a 12-speaker sound system made by Burmester sound system.
AMG A 35 4MATIC Hatch $51,100
The Mercedes-Benz A35 is about more than just getting from point A to point B quickly in a straight line, though. It is great at winding its way down twisty roads, too, although it does it in a manner that is better described as surefooted and predictable rather than playful and fun. This does mean it is very easy to drive quickly, though.
The standard four-wheel-drive system is able to judge whether you are better off with power going to the front or the rear wheels and it adjusts accordingly. This helps get you around corners in a more suitable fashion.
The A35 borrows a feature from Mercedes’ more expensive AMG GT 4 Door model – an adjustable suspension using a dial on the wheel.
Pop it into the most comfortable setting and the A35 settles down well on long motorway journeys. The large wheels mean that there is a bit more noisy.
You can also opt for a host of driver aids that’ll let it brake, accelerate, blind spot detection and lane assist – perfect for taking the stress out of rush-hour traffic.
Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC Hatchback
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$52,705 (base price: $45,945)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1991 cm3
302 hp @ 5800 rpm
295 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.8-in vented, cross-drilled disc/12.9-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, 235/35ZR-19 (91Y) MO1
Passenger volume: 1 210 L
Trunk volume: 370 L
Curb weight: 3513 lb
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 8.7/9.8/7.5 L/100km