By Sala Masindane
Hot Hatch – that’s a difficult list to get into but the Mercedes A35 4Matic seems to have entered the fray without breaking a sweat. Of course, it’s under the wing of its older the A45 which now appears to be positioned as a hyper hatch. Of course Mercedes Benz didn’t introduce the likes of the C43 or A35 derivates but rather as an alternative to those who do not want to go full on AMG.
How does it differ from the A45 S outside?
The A35 is identifiable from the A45 S by a radiator grille with twin louvres, an AMG Line front apron with flics on the air intakes, a front splitter and silver chrome trims on the louvres in the outer intakes. The side view features sill panels borrowed from the A45 S. When following the A35 you notice a rear roof spoiler and two real exhaust pipes behind the four exhaust tips.
Inside you are met by dual screens for the MBUX infotainment system and instrument cluster, an AMG performance steering wheel, ambient lighting, and Sports seats. We found that the MBUX is still impressive in the A35 as in the other models of the brand.
The front seats are firm, and the seating position is higher in the cabin than generally preferred. They are however moderately comfortable during long distance driving. Space is generous at the rear as well with two adult passengers seating comfortably.
Engine and Drive
Powering the A35 range is a fire breathing 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It produces 225kW and 400Nm that is sent to a fully variable all-wheel drive system. Gears are changed via an AMG Speed shift 7G-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The A35 will do the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.7 seconds. The seven-speed automatic gear doesn’t offer the same obedience as the transmission in the A45 S, however, it is still able to perform when required. Although you may not get the loud cracks and pops that can be heard in the A45 sibling, the A35 is still engaging and enjoyable to drive whether you are on the normal Comfort mode for daily driving or the hair-raising Sports mode. Once required power is instantly available when you stamp your foot on the accelerator. The ride is a bit on the harsh side when traveling on uneven roads, but it is not a deal breaker.
The Mercedes Benz scores high on looks and performance. Naturally, the spotlight shines brightly on the A45 S but would be owners would enjoy this car. It will also blend in much better into everyday life than the A45.
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