Mercedes A Class AMG Sport review
AMG Sport trim adds styling upgrades over lesser models, while retaining familiar A Class engines and handling traits
The A Class AMG Sport is a stylish alternative to the likes of the Audi A3 S Line and BMW 1 Series M Sport, with an attractive exterior and well-specced interior. There's a wide choice of engines and the A Class handles well enough, but you really have to want the AMG Sport's looks and sharpness to forgive the overly harsh ride on its sports suspension.
A host of styling upgrades are the most notable additions over the rest of the line-up but there’s no extra power, you’ll need a fully-fledged A45 AMG super hatch for that.
The AMG Sport, as the name suggests, receives influences from the AMG division, so a sporty bodykit is present with more aggressive bumpers, side skirts and larger 18-inch AMG alloy wheels.
It’s already undoubtedly one of the better-looking hatches on the market, but the AMG Sport treatment really sharpens up the A Class visually. The AMG Sport features Mercedes’ Dynamic Handling Package as standard, which consists of suspension lowered by 15mm, Direct Steering and cruise control.
There’s also an optional Night Package available, which enhances the look of the AMG Sport even further with gloss black window surrounds, mirror caps, different alloy wheel design and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.
Car group tests
- Audi S3 vs Mercedes-AMG A 35
- Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class
- BMW 1 Series vs Mercedes A-Class vs Volkswagen Golf
There should be an engine for everyone in the A Class AMG Sport, with three diesels and two petrol powerplants available. First up, the diesels. Kicking off the range is the A180 CDI that puts out 108bhp from its 1.5-litre unit. The A200 CDI and A220 CDI units are both 2.1-litre engines, with 134bhp and 168bhp respectively. The higher-powered A220 CDI is only available with Mercedes’ 7-speed DCT tiptronic automatic gearbox, which is also available across the range as an optional extra.
On the petrol front, there’s an A200 and A250 available. The A200 is a 154bhp 1.6-litre while the A250 is a 2.0-litre putting out 208bhp and is driven through either the front wheels or Mercedes’ 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. The petrols are much more refined than the gruff diesels, but cannot match the economy figures of the oil-burners.
On the inside, the A Class AMG Sport gets a few extras over SE and Sport trims. There’s a multi-function sports steering wheel, supportive front sports seats and carbon fibre-look trim covering the lower half of the dash.
On the road, the AMG Sport has sharp handling and limited body roll thanks to its lowered sports suspension, and the extra rubber on the larger wheels provide plenty of grip. The diesels are torquey which bodes well for overtaking pace and flexibility, however roar from the low-profile tyres can become intrusive.
The ride in the A Class has always been a cause for concern, and this is accentuated in the AMG Sport. Buyers should make sure they could live with its bone-shaking ride before buying, as even small lumps and ridges cause vibrations through the cabin. The steering wheel doesn’t fight back too much, but the harsh ride is particularly notable and harsh on UK roads.