Instant Adrenaline The Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic Sedan

POSTED BY Shuen Lim ON 05 October 2019

by Justin Voon

Graced by the presence of Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, the entry-level Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic Sedan was launched in Malaysia.  

Retailing at RM 348,888 (excluding insurance), the V177 performance sedan now represents the more affordable entry into the world of Mercedes-AMG performance vehicles. It is worth noting that the new A 35 4Matic is priced similarly as the previous generation W176 Mercedes-AMG A45 hatchback.

The German CBU (completely built-up) cost RM 81,000 more than A250 Sedan AMG Line, and RM 119,000 more than the basic A200 Sedan Progressive Line. Without a doubt, this puts the A35 at the apex of the Malaysia A-Class range.  Meanwhile, the launch date of the A35 hatchback variant has yet to be announced.

Go-fast bits

The Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan is powered by a 2.0 liter M260 turbocharged petrol engine making 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The power is channeled to the 7-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission which makes its way to the road via the all-wheel-drive AMG Performance 4Matic system. An AMG twin-exhaust system provides a sportier sound into the mix and helps the engine breathe better.

For handling, AMG Ride Control adaptive suspension, bigger brakes, and a reinforced body keep the ride and handling of the A35 sedan in check. The A35 can do the century sprint from a standstill (0 – 100 km/h sprint) in an impressive 4.8 seconds and its top speed maxes out at 250 km/h.

Although it carries the AMG badge, there is no hand-built engine. It is intended as a bridging model between regular Mercedes cars and the full-blown AMG ones, it features an uprated M260 engine used in the A250 Sedan. 

On the pecking order

The concept of the Mercedes-AMG 35 series cars is similar in vein to BMW’s M-Performance (e.g. BMW M140i) and Audi’s S (e.g. Audi S3) range of cars. As highlighted, it is intended to be in mid range between the high-performance AMG cars and the regular Mercedes models. The A35 sedan will eventually be positioned in the middle of the A-class range when the line-up is complete. 

Buyers who prefer a car that is built to the AMG “one man, one engine” philosophy will have to wait a while longer for the launch of the A45. Until then the A35 is the king of the A-Class hill.

Exterior and Interior 

Externally, the A35 Sedan features dynamic and powerful AMG Line styling, including the rear lip spoiler and 19-inch alloy rims for a sportier outlook befitting its AMG name.

Interior highlights include a redesigned MBUX infotainment system with voice-activation control, heads-up display, wireless charging and a 64-color option for interior lighting amongst other things. 

Brother against brother?

Interestingly, Mercedes has another similar model in its line-up, namely the CLA35 4-door coupe. Codenamed C118, it has the similar engine power & torque as the A35 Sedan 

The key difference of the external design between the two is in the rear look as well as the side profiles. The CLA35 adopts a fastback styling with a sloping rear roofline that gives lesser headroom for rear passengers. But on the upside, it has the more aggressive and sportier look as compared to the traditional sedan 3-box shape for the A35 Sedan .   The CLA35 is currently not available in Malaysia.

A35 Sedan against the world

The A35 direct rival if it were available in Malaysia would be the Audi S3 sedan with its 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine.  Competition is tougher for the A35 hatchback model. In the hot hatch category, there is a line of up the Audi S3 Sportback (not available in Malaysia), Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type-R, and Renault Megane RS. All are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines except for the Megane RS with the no less efficient 1.8-liter turbocharged engine.

Who should buy the A35?

Buyers who want to own a sporty Merc without having to dig deep in the pocket for full-blown AMG models. For those who enjoy adrenaline-filled driving without having to compromise the comfort of the 4 passengers it can ferry and with the capacity for a decent amount of cargo in the boot.