Review: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018)

Rating:

First four-cylinder AMG model produces 360PS from turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. Impressive handling and grip levels. As quick as you'd expect

Expensive with a starting price of more than £37,000.

Recently Added To This Review

29 March 2019

Report of 2015 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG repeatedly stalling after having been brimmed with fuel. MB dealer 'investigated' twice inconclusively while car was under warranty. Then, a few weeks after the 3-year... Read more

27 June 2015

The Mercedes Benz A Class for 2016 and 2016 A45 AMG were launched to the World at Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands on Friday 26 th June 2015. The Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC for 2016 offers an increased... Read more

5 March 2013

Mercedes-Benz announced details of its new A45 AMG model, which will make its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month. The performance version of the new A-Class features a 360PS four cylinder... Read more

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018): At A Glance

Be under no illusions here. The Mercedes Benz A45 AMG is a very important car for its maker. AMG has made a name for itself building heavy-hitting V8 and sometimes V12 saloons, estates, coupes and cabriolets - but never before has it built a hot hatch.

This is a radical new direction for AMG and one with clear goals in mind. Firstly to create a halo for the rest of the A-Class range to bask under and to offer a three-pointed alternative to the mighty BMW M135i - the car which has re-defined what performance you can expect for £30,000-and-a-bit.

Good job then, that Mercedes-Benz and AMG decided to crowbar in much more power than the 315PS the BMW can muster. The A45 develops 360PS from its hand-built turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, sprints from 0-62mph in a claimed 4.6 seconds and comes with a starting price of £37,845.

Visually you're getting rather a lot over the standard A-Class. But then you should - the standard car is a bit awkward to look at from some angles and in certain colours. The AMG gets a new bumper and grille at the front, in order to accommodate the intercooler and supplementary radiator.

It's surprisingly un-aggressive head-on, which adds to the A45's low key appeal. Other visual modifications include lowered suspension, 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, side skirts, and twin exhausts. It's surprisingly subtle - for an AMG - and yet, to those in the know, it's instantly recognisable as a high-performance car.

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG 2013 Road Test

What does a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018) cost?

List Price from £35,955
Buy new from £31,899
Contract hire from £320.00 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4359–4367 mm
Width 2022 mm
Height 1417 mm
Wheelbase 2699 mm

Full specifications

Inside, it's what you'd be hoping for with all the best bits of the A-Class.  There's great fit and finish, spot-on ergonomics, a big boot and a good driving position, but with extra AMG-specific additions. The firm sports front seats are wonderfully supportive and look great, while the black trim with red highlights - including seatbelts - works for us. The dashboard's carbon fibre finish might be an acquired taste, though. The Command system is as good as it ever was and the add-on screen is funky, even if looks a little aftermarket at first glance.

Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018) like to drive?

Changes to the steering and suspension are more wide-ranging than the ride-height. The steering has been tuned for sharper turn-in and the anti-roll bars, springs and dampers have also all been uprated, plus there's a new multi-link rear suspension set-up.

The big news is the 4Matic transmission system, with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It's not a permanent four-wheel drive system, but rather a part-time traction aid, splitting power to the rear wheels when it's needed. So effectively, for the majority of the time, the A45 is a front-wheel drive car.

When you twist the key and start it up you're greeted with an interesting combination of sounds. The four-cylinder engine sounds distinctly flat and unremarkable at idle, but it's overlaid by a bass-rich exhaust note. The throttle response is keen without being over-sharp, meaning you can moderate your speed easily. And that's a good thing, because when you poke the right-hand pedal hard, the A45 takes off instantly and piles on speed with ease.

If you're using the A45 on typical British roads, you'll be wanting to use the adjustable suspension's Comfort setting. With it selected, the ride quality is suprisingly pliant, but the damping remains controlled on lumpier roads when you head for the corners at speed. In Sport mode it's far more responsive, turning almost aggresively into corners and tracking round them without a hint of body roll. The trade-off is a deterioration in ride quality, which can - on particularly pockmarked roads - literally knock the wind out of you.

Put the A45 AMG in Sport mode and the first thing that strikes you is how quickly it accelerates and how responsive the engine is. There's no epic soundtrack like you get with other AMG models, but the four-cylinder unit revs cleanly, isn't too loud and even under full throttle is remarkably civilised.

And from 2000rpm through to 6000rpm it pulls relentlessly, quickly building to the red-line. The gearchanges are fast and punchy and even mid-corner changes fail to unsettle the car. The brakes are strong, with superb feel and the fruity exhaust works a treat, popping when you back off the gas and fizzing at maximum revs.

The second A45 AMG revelation is that it's better dynamically than you probably hoped for. The incisive steering, flat cornering and huge reserves of grip make the A45 a real hoot. And it would take a very sensitive driver to pick up on what the clever 4Matic system is doing. Just enjoy it for what it is - a responsive super hot hatch.

Back in the real world, there's a final and very convincing string to the A45's bow. Its efficiency. It emits 161g/km of CO2 and returns a combined average of 40.9mpg. Whether your average A45 owner will be quite that restrained with their right foot is another matter entirely.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
A45 AMG 39–41 mpg 4.2–4.6 s 161–171 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

68%

Real MPG

20–32 mpg

MPGs submitted

19

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What are my legal rights against a dealer who sold me a car without a service history?

My 2015 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG was used and advertised by a dealer. The advert stated it had a performance exhaust fitted (an extra) and a full Mercedes-Benz service history (which they would provide me with after the sale, as it needed collating and printing off). Upon purchasing the car 6 weeks ago, I immediately found that it did not have the performance exhaust fitted. The dealer offered me a free service, as a gesture of goodwill, which I accepted. The trouble is that the service history does not exist on the Mercedes central computer (as I found when registering the car), and as the car has had 2 previous owners, and covered 26,000 miles, I think that the history is imperative. The dealer keeps fobbing me off regarding this and has offered to buy back the car at a reduced price if I'm not happy. I have informed him that I either require the full history or for him to buy back the car at the full price that I paid. What options do I have?
You are absolutely right. He has to buy the car back at the full price you paid for it because he lied to you twice and when you see him in court the judge is going to side with you. See: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ Send a letter by post office special deliver stating your reasons for rejecting the car and giving the dealer 10 days to respond. Get a certificate of posting and staple it to a copy of your letter so it becomes a matter of record.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (2013 – 2018)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Keen handling, Petrol engine and Hot hatchback.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.