The following comparison test from Autocar couldn’t bring together more different types of hot-hatches. For starters, there’s the all-wheel-drive Mercedes A45 AMG powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit developing 355 horsepower (360PS). Then there’s the rear-wheel-drive BMW M135i powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine that churns out 316 hp (320PS). Finally, the most curious choice of the test is the VW Golf GTI Performance, a front-wheel-drive 227hp (230PS) car powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Why curious? Because in my view, the more appropriate VW Group opponent for the A45 AMG and the M135i would have been the Audi S3. Moving on to the test, reviewer Steve Sutcliffe found himself impressed with the Mercedes’ steering and ride and with how the car accelerates, as the A45 AMG was no doubt the fastest of the lot.
Unsurprisingly, the VW was much slower than both its rivals, especially in straight-line acceleration. However, Sutcliffe praised the VW for being the best GTI ever made and much more affordable than its rivals in the UK – about £9,000 cheaper than the Merc and £2,700 cheaper than the BMW. As for the M135i, Sutcliffe loved its engine but no so much its body control, which he rated behind even the GTI’s.
As a conclusion, the A45 AMG won the test, with the Golf GTI surprisingly beating the M135i in Sutcliffe’s view. Scroll down to watch the review.
By Dan Mihalascu