Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
2021 Mercedes-AMG 35
This week we are reviewing the AMG A35 4Matic Sedan. Our vehicle was assembled at the Rastatt plant in Germany and has an MSRP of $54,990.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 9
The smallest AMG in its lineup is also the stealthiest looking AMG. Some might say this is a bad thing; in our eyes, this might be one of the most exciting sleepers currently available. From the outside, it looks almost like a standard A220, making it the perfect vehicle for someone wanting something interesting under the hood without having to look like a boy racer, especially when you have a car seat installed in the back. The AMG enhanced 2.0L turbocharged in-line 4 makes a very respectable 302hp and 295 lb-ft torque. The transmission used is a 7-speed dual-clutch that shifts extremely quickly in Sport and Sport+, emphasizing that this vehicle deserves the AMG badge as it can hit 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. Everything changes in Comfort mode, where it always tries to shift to the highest gear possible, naturally all in the name of fuel economy. Thus, overtaking in this mode can sometimes feel sluggish before realizing that it has enough oomph to rocket off. The suspension is quite firm; as a result, it handles with finesse around corners. Beware, your heart may stop for a moment when you hit these pesky potholes.
Can it Family: 6
The sedan might not be as practical as the A 35 hatchback; even with its compact size, a family would still find happiness with this sedan. We found that 3 kids in the back were a little tight yet feasible. The trunk is surprisingly big enough to store a stroller and still provide room for your groceries. The one item that was an annoyance was the back seat belts' position; they're positioned at a height to accommodate adults, while the legroom available is limited for adults. Therefore, the seatbelt is not so adequate for children, but the legroom is sufficient, mainly for smaller adults or teenagers sitting in the back. Finally, the interior is stunning with all the screens and the option to choose up to 64 different ambient lighting colours, lifting the mood inside the vehicle.
The average fuel economy observed with the A 35 was 9.7L/100km over a 750km distance. Naturally, we've driven the vehicle enthusiastically, being an AMG; hence the average city fuel economy we observed was 12.7L/100km, and the HWY fuel economy was situated at 6.7L/100km. AMG announces a combined fuel economy of 9.5L/100km, in the city 10.6/100km and 8.2L/100km.
On the Hwy, we could really sense the A 35's German DNA, making it an enjoyable long-distance cruiser that returns excellent fuel economy. We were able to beat the announced fuel economy. We find it unfortunate that blind-spot monitoring does not come standard and only comes with the premium package. Luckily, other driver assistance is packaged under one bundle, making it a simple decision, even though some should be standard.
Karaoke Friendly: 8
The Burmester Surround Sound System offers 12 speakers with 590-watt output and surely will rock your passengers. What stands out are the dual 10.25-inch screens, with one being a touch screen. The left one is an instrument cluster; that you can customize to your driving mood. It does require a slight learning curve since most of the controls are directly on the screening wheel as haptic buttons. On the right, almost central, you have the main infotainment that allows both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. The integrated navigation from Mercedes also offers something quite unique; it will give you directions by activating the front camera to guide you in the direction you need to go. This can be extremely useful when driving through complex intersections. The vehicle offers both wireless charging and wireless connectivity for your smartphone.
The compact rear door opening of the A35 makes it more challenging to enter a car seat. But, once inside, you have lower ISOFIX ports accessible on the outer seats. As for the anchor latches, they are available on all 3 seats. They are placed awkwardly due to the shard silhouette of the A35. Door opening is easy, and children will access the vehicle without any help; they will require assistance with the belt buckles. It can be even more challenging when a car seat is installed next to them. As we mentioned earlier, the seatbelts hit the passengers at a strange height; you'll need to consider this when choosing your booster to make sure it's tall enough so that your child is comfortable.
City Cruising: 7
The A35 makes a lot of sense in the city if you don't want to compromise the performance in a compact vehicle. Its size is going to be the most interesting factor for city dwellers. This thing will pretty much fit anywhere, and parking isn't too hard either. It can be loud enough to feel like a proper AMG, and if you don't want to wake up the whole neighbourhood, it can be hushed with a click of a button.
Why would we buy the 2021 Mercedes A 35 4Matic, or what we liked about it?
Powerful engine that can be tamed depending on your mood, comfortable seating position, playful to drive, excellent fuel economy can be achieved when driving it sensibly. The trunk is usable for a compact vehicle.
Why would we not buy the 2021 Mercedes A 35 4Matic, or what did we not like about it?
The rear seating is a little compromised. Suspension can be a little harsh over bumps; the steering wheel feels a bit cheap for an AMG, and some interior materials do not scream premium.
Mercedes-AMG has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Mercedes Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.
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