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Mercedes-AMG A 35 review

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 53.9
” Competent, rapid, grippy with an impressive interior “

At a glance

Price new £46,010 - £50,920
Used prices £17,432 - £36,796
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Insurance group 32 - 38
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Fuel economy 32.5 - 35.8 mpg
Range 393 - 426 miles
Miles per pound 4.8 - 5.2
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types


Pros & cons

  • Excellent acceleration
  • Impressive interior
  • Four-wheel drive traction
  • Boring engine note
  • Lacks excitement
  • Steering lacks feel

Written by Keith Adams Published: 31 January 2024 Updated: 29 February 2024


The Mercedes-AMG A35 is the entry-level model in the brand’s range, but despite that, it still packs quite a punch. This practical family hatchback appeals to keen drivers, and getting on their drive is ably assisted by some very competitive finance deals.

The A35 has been on sale since 2019 and has been kept sharp with a refresh with the most recent changes coming in 2023. With a maximum power output of 310hp, lags behind the AMG A45 S by around 100hp, but it’s still quick enough to be coming up against some feisty rivals.

Closest of these will be the BMW M135i and Audi S3, but the Honda Civic Type R, Cupra Leon and Volkswagen Golf R are also up there in terms of performance and capability. If you like this engine, but want it in a different package, AMG will helpfully sell you the A35 in Saloon form, as well as the closely related CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA SUV.

That’s quite a selection.

Mercedes-AMG A35 review (2024)
Mercedes-AMG A35’s interior is classy and well finished.

What’s it like inside?

The A35’s interior and dashboard are overtly modern, and visually pleasing as a result. As with all other A-Class models, you get a pair of conjoined screens mounted atop of the dashboard, and these cover instrumentation and infotainment.

The A35 gets sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with a pair of rotary controls. One is for the driving mode, and the other can be customised to activate a number of different functions relating to the way the A45 S drives. Very agreeable.

Like its premium rivals, build quality and materials are good throughout, and all of the touchpoints are a tactile joy. Air vents and the paddleshifters for the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission are a particular delight.

Another positive is the slick MBUX infotainment system – which is pretty to look at and (relatively) easy to get to grips with. Voice control for major functions as seamless and responds brilliantly, and is an object lesson for all of its rivals.

Mercedes-AMG A35 review (2024)
Sports seats are comfortable and supportive.


The sports seats in the front look fantastic and offer excellent comfort and support. Bear in mind than they’re manually adjustable as standard, and you need to specify the Premium Plus pack for electric control. We’d choose that.

The A35 is roomy for small families, and will accommodate four adults in relative comfort. Rear-seat passengers get decent headroom, although six-footers may complain of a lack of kneeroom – either way, it’s comparable with its BMW and Audi rivals.


The A35 is packed with standard safety equipment, and also has a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Though this dates back to 2018, the amount of active safety equipment included would continue to make this a top performer.

It also gets a pop-up bonnet to reduce pedestrian impact injury, active blind spot assist, and active lane keeping. The augmented reality sat-nav can show you exactly where to drive by displaying arrows over a live video feed, which is an excellent aid to safe driving.

Mercedes-AMG A35 review (2024)
Acceleration is strong with 0-62mph coming in at less than five seconds.

What’s it like to drive?

The A35 has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces 310hp and 400Nm of torque – enough for 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. It’s an undeniably rapid engine, yet it’s short on outright excitement.

There’s nothing wrong with the power delivery or throttle response, plus the quick-shifting gearbox does its part, too, it just doesn’t add up to an experience that’s genuinely thrilling. The engine note feels artificial, and while it revs well, you rarely feel encouraged to explore much beyond 5,000rpm thanks to the torque on offer. Effective, yes; exciting, no.

The A35 gets Mercedes-AMG’s 4Matic all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution, AMG Ride Control adaptive dampers and Dynamic Select drive modes. Consequently, traction is immense and the all-wheel drive system feels very active as it quickly distributes power between the front and rear axles. The front wheels produce a huge amount of grip when turning into corners. This makes the A35 an easy car to place when hurtling from challenging bend to challenging bend.

Mercedes-AMG A35 review (2024)
Surefooted handling with four-wheel drive traction.

When driven smoothly, you pick a line through a corner, and it tracks accurately. There’s a lack of steering feel compared with its best rivals, so it’s not as appealing as the Honda Civic Type R, or even Volkswagen Golf R for enthusiastic drivers. The steering is too light, leaving you with no sensation as to what the front wheels are doing.

There is a solution around this though. First of all, if you cycle through the drive modes into Sport+, the A35 feels a little more alert in its responses. If you drive it in a more aggressive manner on more challenging bends, it begins to unearth its more fun side – and this performance hatch comes out of its sensibly-behaved shell and starts to be a little more playful.

What models and trims are available?

The entry-level Executive trim is well equipped, and comes with cruise control, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, parking aids and the excellent 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. 

Premium trim gets you an upgraded sound system and (even) more safety features, such as exit warning assist and blind-spot assist. The range-topping Premium Plus adds electric seats and a sunroof. 

Should you buy one? Our verdict on the Mercedes-AMG A35 is on the next page.

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