Test drove the A35 AMG yesterday

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
After the X3 M40i, I thought I'd test drive the A35 AMG, with the option of buying the Saloon version. I test drove the hatch.

First impressions sat inside. Quite impressed with the tech, and liked the feel of the seats and steering wheel. I'd requested an extended drive, so was a bit miffed when the salesman said he's take me out on their route, so I could have a go. We were out for 15-20 minutes, which is no time to asses a car when you're looking at £40k+. But from that test drive it all felt ok.

Luckily back at the dealership after chatting for a bit, he asked if I still wanted that extended test drive. Yes please.

So .......... after driving on various types of roads, what was my verdict? No `that` impressed. In comfort mode, it rode very hard. Too hard to be considered `comfort`. Sports stiffened it up more, and made the gearbox more hyperactive. Sport+ was just not for me. Holding onto gears for dear life, just like Audi's DSG in sport mode. There were pops of the gearshift and overrun, which I'm not a great fan of, but it's the fashion these days.

There was a lot of tyre noise, which on a motorway cruise could become tiresome, and for an upgraded sound system, I wasn't impressed. But to be fair, I didn't play around with the settings.

The headup display was great at first, but got in the way as well. But you can turn it off. I just didn't know how to. The gearbox was frustrating at times. Too eager to kick down. Lots of noise but nothing much happened till the gearbox swapped cogs about, then BAM !!! off it would go. But as it selected a gear too low, it would immediately need to up-shift.

Where it did come good and impressed was over back roads. Select the chassis to `comfort` which while too stiff more normal driving, was better attacking back roads. Gearbox to manual only, and engine to sport +. As the paddles behind the steering wheel, were nice and big and just at your fingertips, they were a joy to use (Something I've never said about Audi's paddles) and driven this way, the car was really good fun. Engine responsive, paddles changing gears, and the head-up display playing it's part for revs and speed. As my S3 is a manual, this A35 AMG would cover ground way quicker from A to B. I wouldn't say it was more fun that using a manual on the same roads, but as it was, I `could` see the point of paddles.

The engine felt strong, but I think the S3 feels more Torquey. But don't get me wrong. The A35 AMG is one hell of a quick car. I don't see the point is buying the A45 S AMG. Yeah, it'll be quicker still. But more bragging rights than anything else.

So overall, what were my lasting impressions. More so after getting back into my S3. Well, the dashboard which was initially impressive, I still prefer the old school dash of the S3. But I could live with the mercs interior. But it did feel cheaper than the Audis. Seats were nice, but you can't option the bucket seats which look far better. The ride quality was the biggest problem though. In it's softest setting, it's just too damn stiff. I don't think the missus or the dog would like it. The dealer did say that Mercedes has changed the setting on the newer cars fitted with adjustable dampers, so comfort is more softer. But i'd need to drive one to asses.

Would I walk back into the Mercedes dealership and order a new A35 AMG saloon? On yesterdays test drive, I don't think I would. The drive back home in my S3 felt so much nicer to drive. Plus, the X3 M40i felt a better car to drive and sit in, than the A35 AMG did. But it is a more expensive car.
 

SaraS3

Registered User
Agree with you about the hard ride. My partner has the hatchback and I'm always glad to get out. I've never had the urge to drive it
 

cuke2u

Registered User
I've only driven the lesser powered versions but the difference between the hatchback and the saloon or CLA was like night and day with the latter two being far more refined when it came to the ride and experience...
 

Jcbmally

Started with nothing & still have most of it left.
After the X3 M40i, I thought I'd test drive the A35 AMG, with the option of buying the Saloon version. I test drove the hatch.

First impressions sat inside. Quite impressed with the tech, and liked the feel of the seats and steering wheel. I'd requested an extended drive, so was a bit miffed when the salesman said he's take me out on their route, so I could have a go. We were out for 15-20 minutes, which is no time to asses a car when you're looking at £40k+. But from that test drive it all felt ok.

Luckily back at the dealership after chatting for a bit, he asked if I still wanted that extended test drive. Yes please.

So .......... after driving on various types of roads, what was my verdict? No `that` impressed. In comfort mode, it rode very hard. Too hard to be considered `comfort`. Sports stiffened it up more, and made the gearbox more hyperactive. Sport+ was just not for me. Holding onto gears for dear life, just like Audi's DSG in sport mode. There were pops of the gearshift and overrun, which I'm not a great fan of, but it's the fashion these days.

There was a lot of tyre noise, which on a motorway cruise could become tiresome, and for an upgraded sound system, I wasn't impressed. But to be fair, I didn't play around with the settings.

The headup display was great at first, but got in the way as well. But you can turn it off. I just didn't know how to. The gearbox was frustrating at times. Too eager to kick down. Lots of noise but nothing much happened till the gearbox swapped cogs about, then BAM !!! off it would go. But as it selected a gear too low, it would immediately need to up-shift.

Where it did come good and impressed was over back roads. Select the chassis to `comfort` which while too stiff more normal driving, was better attacking back roads. Gearbox to manual only, and engine to sport +. As the paddles behind the steering wheel, were nice and big and just at your fingertips, they were a joy to use (Something I've never said about Audi's paddles) and driven this way, the car was really good fun. Engine responsive, paddles changing gears, and the head-up display playing it's part for revs and speed. As my S3 is a manual, this A35 AMG would cover ground way quicker from A to B. I wouldn't say it was more fun that using a manual on the same roads, but as it was, I `could` see the point of paddles.

The engine felt strong, but I think the S3 feels more Torquey. But don't get me wrong. The A35 AMG is one hell of a quick car. I don't see the point is buying the A45 S AMG. Yeah, it'll be quicker still. But more bragging rights than anything else.

So overall, what were my lasting impressions. More so after getting back into my S3. Well, the dashboard which was initially impressive, I still prefer the old school dash of the S3. But I could live with the mercs interior. But it did feel cheaper than the Audis. Seats were nice, but you can't option the bucket seats which look far better. The ride quality was the biggest problem though. In it's softest setting, it's just too damn stiff. I don't think the missus or the dog would like it. The dealer did say that Mercedes has changed the setting on the newer cars fitted with adjustable dampers, so comfort is more softer. But i'd need to drive one to asses.

Would I walk back into the Mercedes dealership and order a new A35 AMG saloon? On yesterdays test drive, I don't think I would. The drive back home in my S3 felt so much nicer to drive. Plus, the X3 M40i felt a better car to drive and sit in, than the A35 AMG did. But it is a more expensive car.
Good right up mate, I have been in a friends A35 as a passenger and I thought it felt a bit stiff. Like you say it was a quick car but I grew bored of it quickly. My mate loves it but each to their own.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
I wouldn't test drive any A35 AMG variant full stop
... X3 M40i to this Merc =full circle in choice
You've got a few bob ...go test drive a RS5 or a 340i Msport reading between the lines...these are the types of cars more suited to you.....and would save wasting time as well
 

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
I wouldn't test drive any A35 AMG variant full stop
... X3 M40i to this Merc =full circle in choice
You've got a few bob ...go test drive a RS5 or a 340i Msport reading between the lines...these are the types of cars more suited to you.....and would save wasting time as well

Have thought about an RS5. Look stunning in Red. But I really need 5 doors (thanks to the dog), which means the RS5 Sportback, which I just don't think looks anywhere near as good as the Coupe. But then there's the RS4!. Plus a new RS4/5 come in at £70,000 before discount. That's nudging nearly 911 Carerra T money.

Interestingly enough, I test drove a Fiesta ST-2 today. What a great little car that is. Not S3 quick in a straight line, but wow, it's really fun. Seats felt great. Driving position great. Ride firm, but pliant enough not to be too bothered with bumpy roads, and felt relaxing on the motorway. You can now buy (£1690) the spring kit that's fitted to the ST Performance edition, which will improve ride and handling even more. And you don't have to buy an Orange Fiesta.

It's on the other end of the scale to an RS5, or X3 M40i, but I bet it's a far more fun car to drive and hustle down a good road. Really really impressed with it. Hell of a lot cheaper too! But the size of it is a compromise, as to what is ideal.
 

S32B

Registered User
Have thought about an RS5. Look stunning in Red. But I really need 5 doors (thanks to the dog), which means the RS5 Sportback, which I just don't think looks anywhere near as good as the Coupe. But then there's the RS4!. Plus a new RS4/5 come in at £70,000 before discount. That's nudging nearly 911 Carerra T money.

Interestingly enough, I test drove a Fiesta ST-2 today. What a great little car that is. Not S3 quick in a straight line, but wow, it's really fun. Seats felt great. Driving position great. Ride firm, but pliant enough not to be too bothered with bumpy roads, and felt relaxing on the motorway. You can now buy (£1690) the spring kit that's fitted to the ST Performance edition, which will improve ride and handling even more. And you don't have to buy an Orange Fiesta.

It's on the other end of the scale to an RS5, or X3 M40i, but I bet it's a far more fun car to drive and hustle down a good road. Really really impressed with it. Hell of a lot cheaper too! But the size of it is a compromise, as to what is ideal.
Apparently in the new year the ST3 is going to come with the performance pack and B&O sounds as standard.....not sure what else.
 

terminator x

Registered User
*cough*

TX.
bb05da3038331c2f2f5ad6d6449b983d.jpg
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KenL

Registered User
Apparently in the new year the ST3 is going to come with the performance pack and B&O sounds as standard.....not sure what else.

That's true but the price has gone up by more than those options.
I absolutely love my ST2. Best handling car I've had by a mile.
 

Adam14

Registered User
Personal not a huge fan of the looks of the A35 AMG hatchback (I know you're considering the saloon if at all now) never test drove one but very interesting hearing your thoughts on it nonetheless.

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msdmjb

Registered User
Why not a Golf R estate if the requirement includes a dog?
I used to be so against DSGs but now having had one for a few weeks I get it, auto when can't be bothered and manual when i can............no auto changing up at the red line, no kickdown etc
I looked at lots of premium brands and came full circle back to Audi, despite all of the noise around new models etc I could never sit in a Merc for long and the new BMW interiors look like a stepping stone to VC (and still similar to my wife's old 118d in about 2008). Even the new Porsche 911 imo looks a bit poor as brands seem to think we need horizontal TV screens spread across the dashboard.

Feels to me like a fast SUV would fit very well, arguably 300bhp ish is all you would ever need on the road.
 

RS03_SEN

Registered User
I wouldn't test drive any A35 AMG variant full stop
... X3 M40i to this Merc =full circle in choice
You've got a few bob ...go test drive a RS5 or a 340i Msport reading between the lines...these are the types of cars more suited to you.....and would save wasting time as well
Bit like swapping a 4 bed semi for a 1 bed studio flat.

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Evil Derboy

Registered User
Have thought about an RS5. Look stunning in Red. But I really need 5 doors (thanks to the dog), which means the RS5 Sportback, which I just don't think looks anywhere near as good as the Coupe. But then there's the RS4!. Plus a new RS4/5 come in at £70,000 before discount. That's nudging nearly 911 Carerra T money.

Interestingly enough, I test drove a Fiesta ST-2 today. What a great little car that is. Not S3 quick in a straight line, but wow, it's really fun. Seats felt great. Driving position great. Ride firm, but pliant enough not to be too bothered with bumpy roads, and felt relaxing on the motorway. You can now buy (£1690) the spring kit that's fitted to the ST Performance edition, which will improve ride and handling even more. And you don't have to buy an Orange Fiesta.

It's on the other end of the scale to an RS5, or X3 M40i, but I bet it's a far more fun car to drive and hustle down a good road. Really really impressed with it. Hell of a lot cheaper too! But the size of it is a compromise, as to what is ideal.

By the time you look at discounts and PCP rates, unless youre buying cash, theres' a massive difference between what a 911 Carrera T will cost you on a monthly basis and the RS5. Plus the RS5 coupe has rear seats that you can actually use (I've got two child seats in the back of mine). Porsche is by far and away the more desirable car though.
 

Adam14

Registered User
By the time you look at discounts and PCP rates, unless youre buying cash, theres' a massive difference between what a 911 Carrera T will cost you on a monthly basis and the RS5. Plus the RS5 coupe has rear seats that you can actually use (I've got two child seats in the back of mine). Porsche is by far and away the more desirable car though.
Probably stupid question I assume seats in RS5 coupe rear are same as S5? As being tall makes the rear seats virtually useless for myself, and anyone over 5'10 or so isn't gonna be comfortable back there so I'd agree if you have a young family it's alright, but if you are carting around friends/family it's less practical.

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wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
Apparently in the new year the ST3 is going to come with the performance pack and B&O sounds as standard.....not sure what else.

Where did you hear that from?

I know Lookers (who I had the test drive with) are trying to offload their Fiesta ST stock, and they've offered some good deals. But Performance pack & B&O is approx £1500. So a good saving, just as long as the RRP doesn't rise.
 

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
Why not a Golf R estate if the requirement includes a dog?
I used to be so against DSGs but now having had one for a few weeks I get it, auto when can't be bothered and manual when i can............no auto changing up at the red line, no kickdown etc
I looked at lots of premium brands and came full circle back to Audi, despite all of the noise around new models etc I could never sit in a Merc for long and the new BMW interiors look like a stepping stone to VC (and still similar to my wife's old 118d in about 2008). Even the new Porsche 911 imo looks a bit poor as brands seem to think we need horizontal TV screens spread across the dashboard.

Feels to me like a fast SUV would fit very well, arguably 300bhp ish is all you would ever need on the road.

It's just a little dog, and her cage sits on the back seat. It's just easier (especially in car parks) to open the back door and get her out.

The Golf is just about to be replaced, so don't want an `old car`.
 

Chris4410

Registered User
The ride and build quality of my A35 AMG is ultimately why I only kept mine for 5 months, the X3 M models are very nice indeed and with the current contributions available from BMW they are great value on PCP deals.
 

S32B

Registered User
Where did you hear that from?

I know Lookers (who I had the test drive with) are trying to offload their Fiesta ST stock, and they've offered some good deals. But Performance pack & B&O is approx £1500. So a good saving, just as long as the RRP doesn't rise.
A ford sales person via carwow...in fact:
st3.jpg
 

NevMan

Well known member
After the X3 M40i, I thought I'd test drive the A35 AMG, with the option of buying the Saloon version. I test drove the hatch.

First impressions sat inside. Quite impressed with the tech, and liked the feel of the seats and steering wheel. I'd requested an extended drive, so was a bit miffed when the salesman said he's take me out on their route, so I could have a go. We were out for 15-20 minutes, which is no time to asses a car when you're looking at £40k+. But from that test drive it all felt ok.

Luckily back at the dealership after chatting for a bit, he asked if I still wanted that extended test drive. Yes please.

So .......... after driving on various types of roads, what was my verdict? No `that` impressed. In comfort mode, it rode very hard. Too hard to be considered `comfort`. Sports stiffened it up more, and made the gearbox more hyperactive. Sport+ was just not for me. Holding onto gears for dear life, just like Audi's DSG in sport mode. There were pops of the gearshift and overrun, which I'm not a great fan of, but it's the fashion these days.

There was a lot of tyre noise, which on a motorway cruise could become tiresome, and for an upgraded sound system, I wasn't impressed. But to be fair, I didn't play around with the settings.

The headup display was great at first, but got in the way as well. But you can turn it off. I just didn't know how to. The gearbox was frustrating at times. Too eager to kick down. Lots of noise but nothing much happened till the gearbox swapped cogs about, then BAM !!! off it would go. But as it selected a gear too low, it would immediately need to up-shift.

Where it did come good and impressed was over back roads. Select the chassis to `comfort` which while too stiff more normal driving, was better attacking back roads. Gearbox to manual only, and engine to sport +. As the paddles behind the steering wheel, were nice and big and just at your fingertips, they were a joy to use (Something I've never said about Audi's paddles) and driven this way, the car was really good fun. Engine responsive, paddles changing gears, and the head-up display playing it's part for revs and speed. As my S3 is a manual, this A35 AMG would cover ground way quicker from A to B. I wouldn't say it was more fun that using a manual on the same roads, but as it was, I `could` see the point of paddles.

The engine felt strong, but I think the S3 feels more Torquey. But don't get me wrong. The A35 AMG is one hell of a quick car. I don't see the point is buying the A45 S AMG. Yeah, it'll be quicker still. But more bragging rights than anything else.

So overall, what were my lasting impressions. More so after getting back into my S3. Well, the dashboard which was initially impressive, I still prefer the old school dash of the S3. But I could live with the mercs interior. But it did feel cheaper than the Audis. Seats were nice, but you can't option the bucket seats which look far better. The ride quality was the biggest problem though. In it's softest setting, it's just too damn stiff. I don't think the missus or the dog would like it. The dealer did say that Mercedes has changed the setting on the newer cars fitted with adjustable dampers, so comfort is more softer. But i'd need to drive one to asses.

Would I walk back into the Mercedes dealership and order a new A35 AMG saloon? On yesterdays test drive, I don't think I would. The drive back home in my S3 felt so much nicer to drive. Plus, the X3 M40i felt a better car to drive and sit in, than the A35 AMG did. But it is a more expensive car.

Nice write up Wayne All well made and balanced points. I contemplated testing the GLC43 alongside the M40i, bit for me just too “ plasticky” in too many places

So what is next? Any thoughts of the M340i ? Would be less than X3 and more in keeping with saloon (apologies if you have already)
 

NevMan

Well known member
Have thought about an RS5. Look stunning in Red. But I really need 5 doors (thanks to the dog), which means the RS5 Sportback, which I just don't think looks anywhere near as good as the Coupe. But then there's the RS4!. Plus a new RS4/5 come in at £70,000 before discount. That's nudging nearly 911 Carerra T money.

Interestingly enough, I test drove a Fiesta ST-2 today. What a great little car that is. Not S3 quick in a straight line, but wow, it's really fun. Seats felt great. Driving position great. Ride firm, but pliant enough not to be too bothered with bumpy roads, and felt relaxing on the motorway. You can now buy (£1690) the spring kit that's fitted to the ST Performance edition, which will improve ride and handling even more. And you don't have to buy an Orange Fiesta.

It's on the other end of the scale to an RS5, or X3 M40i, but I bet it's a far more fun car to drive and hustle down a good road. Really really impressed with it. Hell of a lot cheaper too! But the size of it is a compromise, as to what is ideal.

Not liking the 340i as James suggests?
 

NevMan

Well known member

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
A ford sales person via carwow...in fact:
View attachment 194922

I COULD NOT live with the interior of the new Fiesta for any given time...after having Audis for a few years....no matter how well it drives...which is excellent
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !

NevMan

Well known member
Good memory, it is ;)

TX.

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Haha, for a split second I thought you had got rid of the M5C, but then saw it wasn’t a C63S
 

NevMan

Well known member
I COULD NOT live with the interior of the new Fiesta for any given time...after having Audis for a few years....no matter how well it drives...which is excellent

Careful, @KenL will be on ur case
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !

KenL

Registered User
Where did you hear that from?

I know Lookers (who I had the test drive with) are trying to offload their Fiesta ST stock, and they've offered some good deals. But Performance pack & B&O is approx £1500. So a good saving, just as long as the RRP doesn't rise.

This is true. ST3 ordered now have PP and B&O included.

There is a sizeable rrp increase.
 

KenL

Registered User
I COULD NOT live with the interior of the new Fiesta for any given time...after having Audis for a few years....no matter how well it drives...which is excellent

Incoming....

The door cards are not a patch on Audi in the Fiesta. Seats and steering wheel are at least as good as Audi.

B&O is good and smartphone interface is way better than Audi.

Touch screen is not great but the voice interface is decent so you can avoid taking risks.
 

NevMan

Well known member
Why mate....only dowside l see is them 19"s shrink in them large wheel arches

When's he ever off it lol

I don’t have an issue with M340i mate, I was asking if he didn’t like it
 

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
I COULD NOT live with the interior of the new Fiesta for any given time...after having Audis for a few years....no matter how well it drives...which is excellent

I think that sounds a bit of badge snobbery. The seats are very comfortable, and hold you tight. The dash is a step up from the last Fiesta. The steering wheel is nicely placed, and feels good to hold.

Yes, OK, the plastics may not be quite as nice as our S3's. The interior design may not be quite as nice as our S3's, but you have to remember the car costs a lot less than the equivalent Audi.

And if you now look inside the new A1, & Q3, there are lots of cheap black shiny plastic everywhere. Audi have gone cheap with their new cars. The next A3 will follow suit.

I'd take the interior of the Fiesta over the A1 every day.

I'm really taken with the Fiesta ST. I'd like a well specced ST-2. But I'm also blown away by the X3 M40i, which TBH is the better suited car for what we need. If she had an office job and needed a car to get to work and back, I'd be pushing for us to get them both. Ideal solution. But she's a self employed Painter and decorator, so has her own van.
 

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
Nice write up Wayne All well made and balanced points. I contemplated testing the GLC43 alongside the M40i, bit for me just too “ plasticky” in too many places

So what is next? Any thoughts of the M340i ? Would be less than X3 and more in keeping with saloon (apologies if you have already)

Thanks.

I've looked at the new 3 Series, and think they look good. Better looking than the A4, which for me looks bland. But in a saloon, I'd want a manual gearbox, which sadly BMW don't offer. Driving that A35 AMG confirmed how much I'm not keen on Auto gearboxes. I kept going for the gearstick, which wasn't there. But that's maybe out of habit. I can get away with them on an SUV, as they somehow make sense on them.
 

NevMan

Well known member
Agree, nothing worse than a laggy auto
 

S32B

Registered User
I COULD NOT live with the interior of the new Fiesta for any given time...after having Audis for a few years....no matter how well it drives...which is excellent
I know what you're saying mate, Audi's do have the best interiors. I nipped into Merc this morning, I'd seen a pre reg A class aloon that was being advertised for £26k! and thought it looked nice so wanted to have a close look! https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201910022884671?

Looks very nice from all angles, but then I sat inside!!! I couldn't live with the silver plastic on the steering wheel, it just looked cheap and poorly fitted. The display did look nice though and you can switch the views from sport, traditional etc which was pretty cool, the guy said it was 10" display each side as it had the premium pack, lower than that and you only get a 7" display each side, but the actual housing stays the same!!!

They also had a silver AMG A 35 without all the flash alloys/spoilers in there, that looked very nice and understated, but I don't want to spend that kind of money again for the miles I now do....£25k tops. I'm going to have to compromise on the interior and other things!
 

NevMan

Well known member
I reckon your best bet is a used GTI PP or similar...
 

S32B

Registered User
I reckon your best bet is a used GTI PP or similar...
Yeah they tick the boxes apart from the new shape is out so it's an old model already. Still like the JCW and the RF :)
 

Chris4410

Registered User
Yeah they tick the boxes apart from the new shape is out so it's an old model already. Still like the JCW and the RF :)

Yeah, but you won't see GTI, R models of the new golf until at least the end of 2020.
 

KenL

Registered User
Yeah they tick the boxes apart from the new shape is out so it's an old model already. Still like the JCW and the RF :)

Unsure if I like the look, or the tech, of the new Golf.

AC controls on the screen are a big mistake if that's where they are???
 
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