2020 Mercedes-benz Mercedes-amg A-class Expert Review

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35 is the high-performance version of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan. The A-Class debuted in the U.S. last year as the A 220 and now represents Mercedes’ least-expensive sedan. The Mercedes-AMG 35 is all-new and builds on the strong foundation of the standard A-Class. As with all things from Mercedes’ AMG performance division, the A 35 is injected with more horsepower, sport-tuned suspension and steering, lower ride height, and various other go-fast hardware and sporty aesthetics.

Like the Audi S3 and new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, this little Mercedes is a sleeper. Though it appears to be an innocent and handsome entry-level luxury sedan, the AMG A 35 packs over 300 horsepower and can do 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The new Mercedes-AMG 35 also comes with a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system.

Yet for its enhanced dynamics and handling, the AMG A 35 is also an enjoyable and competent subcompact luxury sedan. Starting around $45,000, the AMG A 35 is roughly $12,000 more than the base price of the standard A-Class, but it’s also the least-expensive Mercedes-AMG.

Driving the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class

We were already impressed with the Mercedes A 220 when it debuted last year. It felt more stable, more balanced, and less twitchy than the first rendition of Mercedes’ former entry-level effort, the CLA (which now also rides on this all-new platform as well). That foundation is only enhanced by the magic of Mercedes’ AMG performance division.

The results are significant. Whereas the standard A-Class feels peppy with its 188 horsepower, the A 35 has a lot more muscle, extracting 302 horsepower from the same 2.0 liters of engine. That grants very quick acceleration of the aforementioned 4.7-second 0-60 mph time.

Beyond its ability to beat most other vehicles up freeway onramps, the A 35 feels surprisingly composed given its smaller footprint. And with the standard AMG Dynamic Select, you can tailor the A 35 to your driving mood and needs. Modes include Comfort, Slippery, Sport, and Sport+ and tailor the engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for the purpose at hand. Even with its gratifying performance, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35 is quite efficient, earning up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Driving the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class

INTERIOR DESIGN AND TECH

The AMG A 35’s cabin is more luxurious and technology-rich than its price suggests. It feels more like a 6-figure S-Class with its standard twin 10.25-inch display screens, elegant vent housings, and high-quality finishes.

BURMESTER SOUND SYSTEM

If you enjoy high-quality audio, we think this optional Burmester surround-sound system is among the best sounding for the money. It boasts 590 watts of clean, crisp audio through 12 speakers, for just $850.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Interior

As you might expect, the AMG A 35 features the same interior layout as its lesser A 220 sibling, highlighted by upgraded bits to help it stand apart. MB-Tex upholstery, Mercedes’ faux leather, is standard, and leather is optional. The sport front seats are well-bolstered and supportive, while the rear seat is tight with just 33.9 inches of legroom. This is a subcompact sedan, after all.

As we highlighted in our Favorite Features, the rest of the AMG A 35 has a cabin that looks better than its price suggests. Standard fare includes a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a twin 10.25-inch display in the center that relays audio, phone, climate, and other infotainment functions.

One particularly cool feature that’s standard on this Mercedes-AMG sedan is 64-color LED ambient lighting. You get to choose a range of colors in lighting that surrounds the large air vents, door trim and console. It is selectable and presents you with a “light show” when you enter the Mercedes.

Trunk space is tight at just 8.6 cubic feet. The rear seats do fold in a 40/20/40 split to accommodate larger items in the trunk.

Favorite Features

As the high-performance A-Class, the Mercedes-AMG A 35 sits slightly lower than the standard A 220 on which it’s based, and has more aggressive elements. Up front, the AMG A 35 is distinguished with a unique fascia and prominent air intakes. In back, the AMG A-Class is set apart with large round exhaust outlets and a more aggressive rear valence with a black diffuser.

The standard wheels are larger, too, with the A 35 wearing 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels with black accents.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Standard Features

As the high-end version of the A-Class, the Mercedes-AMG A 35 comes well equipped.

In addition to its upgraded powertrain and performance hardware, you also get features such as dual-zone climate control, a panorama roof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and remote start. The standard infotainment system is quite robust, featuring two digital panels including a central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, five USB-C ports, and the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) that allows voice control.

Standard safety features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, crosswind assist, and a driver-drowsiness monitor. This latest Mercedes model also features over-the-air software updates.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Interior

Options and upgrades for this Mercedes performance subcompact sedan are plentiful and range from genuine leather upholstery and heated/ventilated seats to a hands-free power-open trunk.

One option we recommend is the Driver Assistance Package. This package bundles active safety features like lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Other goodies include a head-up display, a Burmester high-end audio system, navigation, and an adaptive-damping suspension.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Engine

The Mercedes-AMG A 35 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that has been tuned to make 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is a big increase over the standard A-Class model’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The AMG A 35 is all-wheel drive (called 4Matic by Mercedes) and uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Like many other modern vehicles, the Mercedes-AMG A 35 has an engine start/stop system to save fuel. It turns off the engine at idle, such as at stoplights. The system can be disabled by the driver if desired.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
302 horsepower @ 5,800-6,100 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg

2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Exterior

The new Mercedes-AMG A 35 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $44,950, plus a destination fee of $995. Options can quickly drive up this price. Well-equipped, the AMG A 35 can top $60,000. The Audi S3 starts slightly lower, at $43,000, and the BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe starts slightly higher at $45,500.

Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As it’s all-new, the Mercedes-AMG A 35’s resale value is still to be determined.

Which 2020 Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG A-Class Model is Right for Me?
2020 Mercedes-AMG A 35

  • 302-horsepower turbocharged engine
  • 4Matic all-wheel drive
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Power front seats with memory
  • Dual 10.25-inch screens
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

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