Sprint Review: 2023 Mercedes-AMG A35 sedan

An A35 is the most affordable entry in the swivel-eyed world of AMG. We took this latest A35 sedan for an extended spin to learn more about it…

You should know: The A35 is sold in either hatchback or sedan guise, using a de-tuned version of the venerable 2-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, driving all four wheels via an 8-speed DCT (automated manual) gearbox. Brag-worthy numbers include 235kW, 400Nm, 0-100 in 4.8 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h.

More info: This is the second time we’ve piloted one of these compact but frenzied AMG sedans (the 2021 version had a bit less power) and for the second time in a row, we were so alarmed by the botched or rude shifts, that we elected against performance-testing this vehicle; in case the whole drive train explodes.

Why you shouldn’t: The older vehicle’s shifting woes were mostly eradicated by a software update (yup, no kidding) and our negative notes of this newbie also speak of twitchy steering, snug interior dimensions, stingy screen sizes and a borderline solid ride.

On the upside, it’s got plenty of safety and comfort features and is eager to shoot towards the horizon.

Why you should: The maximum torque figure may only appear from an unusually high 3,000rpm onwards but there are plenty of gears (and presumably, sufficient torque) to keep things flowing at lower tach numbers. Turbo-lag and gear shift hesitations are pleasingly low, and their memory is brutally erased by the resulting shove.

What else? Our testers also noted that this 35 version looks almost as mean as its bigger siblings, plus we quickly noticed that it’s just as alcoholic when you’re in a hurry! AMG claims 7.3L/100km but our week of testing was way beyond the 10L mark.

The fuel tank holds 51L while the boot can swallow 370L; 1210 with the rear seats folded. Other quick stats include at least 235/30R19 wheels (that’s where the jittery ride emanated from), an 11.5m turning radius, just 4.6m length and a dry weight of 1570kg.

In summary, the Mercedes-AMG A35 sedan is rather aggressive, hard, noisy, fast, thirsty and expensive compact sedan. In other words, a worthy base model for the AMG brand. Each new one is sold with a 2-year warranty and 5-year/100,000km service plan. 

Engine:1,991cc i-4 Turbo-petrol
Transmission:8-speed Automatic, AWD
Max. Power:235kW @ 5,800rpm
Max. Torque:400Nm @ 3,000rpm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 7.3L/100km
0-100km/h:Claimed 4.8
Top Speed:250km/h (claimed, limited)
List Price:From R1,142,000                      

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