Autohullut.fi test: 2013 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG review

MercedesBenz_A45-AMG_2

Autohullut.fi had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in October with the 2013/2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. The 2013/2014 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 is one of our most favorite cars at the moment and it was great to get behind the wheel of another car equipped with the same world’s most powerful two liter four-cylinder engine.



Our testcar was colored Jupiter Red. The A45 is typically-styled for AMG cars, aggressive and low-key at the same time. The appearance of the A45 differs only slightly from the standard A-class AMG sport package.

The car is streamlined with a muscular grille and contoured rear bumper, which hint at it’s performance potential. When starting the car, there is no doubt left that this is something special. At the initial start of our test car’s engine the effect of the sport exhaust system is instantly visible: everywhere you go heads turn. The red brake calipers, 18-inch AMG wheels, and the AMG Turbo badges hint at what lays under the hood. If the car isn’t sporty enough as it is, it is possible to add a big rear wing as an optional extra.

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The engine, transmission , and performance:

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The engine, transmission and sports exhaust system are the AMG’s strengths. When you listen to the music from the exhaust, nothing else matters. Our test car’s AMG Performance exhaust system was insane. When releasing your foot off the accelerator, the exhaust releases a snap, crackle and pop cacophony which causes even Ferrari owners to turn their heads at the lights. We like the AMG V8 engine sound more, but it is amazing what has been achieved with such a small engine. The 2-liter engine with its turbocharger delivers a whopping 360 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. Our test car had winter tires, so from that perspective the acceleration time we achieved, 4.8s 0-100 km/h, is below what this car can achieve in optimum conditions. We feel confident that with summer tires a 4.5s run is achievable.



This car does not seem to run out of power in any situation. Power output is constant and the turbo is relatively lag-free. The 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox supplements the engine perfectly and in this Mercedes we liked the feel of the manual paddles also. Even with the paddles gear changes were immediate and the right gear came easily upon request. Gear ratios are short so it is easy to run into the rev limiter if one is not vigilant.  When the AWD A 45 AMG is in front of you on small B-roads, you will have a hard time following it whatever you are driving. It is that poised and quick.

Driveability, practicality and interior:

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The A 45 AMG is a great drive and its interior exudes modern sportiness. The LCD instrument cluster is stylish and our test vehicle’s carbon fiber dashboard pleased the eye. The leather steering wheel gives a good grip and we preferred it to the E 63 AMG S’s wheel, which consists of a variety of materials. On B-roads this car is in its element. The 50/50-split all wheel drive provides the necessary grip in corners also with electronic assistants off and the frisky engine provides the necessary power when accelerating out of the bends.

On the other hand, the A45 AMG class feels one class bigger and is very stable even at high speeds on the motorway. The leather sports seats are solid and comfortable even on longer journeys providing also excellent lateral grip. The red seat belts and seat stitching complement the sporty, but stylish interior. A good driving position is easily obtainable and we recommend the sport seats also in regular A-class models. There is ample room for a family of up to five. Rear facing child seats fit easily on the back seats, leaving still room for an adult to sit in the front. It is more spacious than one would expect judging from the outside. The CLA’s bigger trunk makes it more usable for a bigger family than the A-class (341 vs 470 liters). Our car had the optional rear-view camera and the active parking assist. The rear-view camera is not as important in the A-series as it is in the CLA, because overall visibility is clearly better, but the parking assist function will save nerves and rim edges when parking in tight spaces.

There are a few things worth mentioning in the A 45 AMG, that hinder its everyday usability. First of all, the car is very low. The car scraped the ground on a bumpy sand road which has seen a large variety of sports cars over the years without this happening, so its ground clearance might be an issue in parking garages. We didn’t have time to test this. The suspension is stiff for daily use, but on the other hand it is less firm than we expected after reading other reviews on the car. The faster you drive , the more you will appreciate how well balanced and agile this car is. The rear hatch is also very heavy to close. It opens easily, but for a lightweight woman it is hard to close. The standard A-series head restraints also protrude far giving us neck problems after long drives. The A 45 AMG does not have this problem because the sport seats have a fixed head restraint. Smartphones do not fit in any of the car’s storage compartments, except for the center arm rest hatch. The owner’s manual does not fit in the glove box, and therefore occupies the driver’s door locker. There could use more storage space. The temperature of the A/C can only be adjusted by just one degree at a time and from time to time the appropriate cab temperature is hard to obtain. A half-degree scale would be more practical. We liked the optional Harman Kardon audio system’s sound quality, but at this time we must admit that the exhaust noise interested us far more than any car stereo. We would have welcomed optional extras such as keyless-go and air suspension, but such buyers would probably prefer the E-Class AMG anyway.


The A45 AMG is an awesome package. It is a pocket rocket which is, however, at the same time very quiet and stable on the motorway. Comfort mode smooths the car’s sounds, steering and gearshifts appropriately. Consumption drops in C-mode to around 8 liters per 100 km. We have to confess at this stage that our test car stayed diligently in the S-and M- modes for the most part and thus our average consumption of 11.6 l/100 km may be overestimated. We prefer the CLA 45 AMG to the A-Series AMG because of it’s larger 470-liter trunk and its design is unprecedented in this class. On the other hand with the exception of the sport exhaust system, the A45 AMG is a very stealthy vehicle and some might prefer this.

The car’s only real negative point is the price in Finland, because of our unique tax system. The price starts from 67.982,29 euros and our well-equipped test car was a whopping 81.625,43 euros. The CLA is about 10.000 euros more. On the other hand, cars with corresponding performance cost well over 100.000 euros. The A 45 AMG gives its occupant the same tickle that the Lancia Delta HF Integrale gave its owners in the 1980s. AMG has done it in it’s own stylish way. The car is a hooligan, thanks for making it Mercedes-Benz!

Test results (winter tires) :

0-100 km / h (Race start, 3/4 full tank and driver) : 4.8s
0-100 km / h ( 3/4 full tank , two passengers no LC) : 5.2s
Test consumption: 11.6 l/100 km

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Technical specifications:

Engine
Capacity (cc)
1,991
Arrangement / cylinders / valves
in-line / 4 / 16
Power: hp (kW) at rpm [2]
360 (265) / 6,000
Torque: Nm at rpm [2]
450 / 2,250 – 5,000
Transmission
6-speed manual
Not available
7G-DCT 7-speed automatic
Not available
AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission
Standard
Performance
Acceleration 0-62 mph (s)
4.6
Top speed (mph)
155 (electronically limited)
Weights and capacities
Kerb weight (kg)
1,555
Perm. Gross Vehicle Weight (kg)
2,050
Towing capacity – unbraked / braked (kg)
Boot capacity (I)
341
Fuel tank capacity / of which reserve (I)
56 / 8
Turning circle (m)
11.04
Fuel consumption [3]
Urban (mpg)
32.1
Extra-urban (mpg) [4]
48.7
Combined (mpg)
40.9
CO2 emissions [5]
 169
Emissions standard
EU6
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