Eight little Mercedes-AMG A45 things

A few likes and dislikes about Merc's hottest hatch

Mercedes-AMG A45

Mercedes recently updated its A45 AMG, adding more power, more equipment and a fairly decent overhaul of the chassis, too.

We've run it down the drag strip, where we found it ballistically quick - if not quite as quick as Audi's new RS3 - and we've also compared it to Ingolstadt's equivalent hyper-hatch in our latest issue.

Overall we're pretty impressed, however here are a few quick likes and dislikes.


Adjustable dampers - Arguably the biggest improvement the update A45 displays is its ride quality thanks to the new standard-fit adjustable dampers. It's still pretty firm, but now has enough absorbency that it's perfectly acceptable for everyday use.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-dampersBrakes - The A45's stoppers are absolutely awesome. With 350mm ventilated discs clamped by four-piston calipers at the front, they're powerful with great pedal feel and can take a mighty pounding. 

Mercedes -AMG-A45-brakesDynamic Select - Also new is the Dynamic Select dial, which allows you to select anything from mild (Comfort) to wild (Race). You can also mix and match settings thanks to the Individual function; dampers in comfort, engine in Sport+ and gearbox in manual for us.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-drive -selectRear diffuser - Does this actually aid aerodynamics? Perhaps, but it definitely looks cool.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-rear -diffuserDislikes

Gearbox - The A45's Achilles heel continues to be its transmission. The seven-speed dual-clutch 'box just can't match its competitors for responsiveness or shift speed. It's not too bad left to make its own choices in Sport, but needs improving, especially on downshifts.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-shift -paddleRear-three-quarter vision - Thick C-pillars and a relatively small (and heavily raked) rear screen means seeing out of the back of an A45 can be a challenge.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-rear -three -quarterSeats - No problems in terms of support, the heavily sculpted buckets hold you in place nicely. Unfortunately the flip side is on longer journeys numb bum sets in quite quickly.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-seatsAlcanatara steering wheel - No doubting Alcantara on the steering wheel looks cool; it feels quite nice as well. Unfortunately, the oil in your skin isn't good for it so unless you're going to wear gloves while you're driving it isn't the most practical solution.

Mercedes -AMG-A45-steering -wheel


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