Auto Sport Secondhand Test: BMW M135i vs Mercedes-AMG A45

1-series, News | January 3rd, 2017 by 13
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One of our absolute favorite hot hatches on the market is the BMW M135i. It isn’t because we’re BMWBLOG, but because it’s the only hot …

One of our absolute favorite hot hatches on the market is the BMW M135i. It isn’t because we’re BMWBLOG, but because it’s the only hot hatch on the market to have rear-wheel drive. That buys the M135i a lot of equity in the eyes of car enthusiasts, because even if it isn’t the best performer or most special feeling hatch on the market, it’s the only one that can willingly wag its tail around. However, if tail-wagging isn’t your forte, there are a ton of excellent hot hatches on the market, one of them being the Mercedes-AMG A45.

However, if you want a BMW M135i or Mercedes-AMG A45, you’re going to pay a pretty penny. Both cars are extremely expensive for small hot hatches, which sort of defeats the purpose of hot hatches. So Auto Motor und Sport decided to test out secondhand versions of each of these two cars. This way, you can get premium hot hatch performance, for significantly less money. So, which of these fantastic cars is better secondhand?

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It really depends on what you want. The Mercedes-AMG A45 seems to be the more hardcore, more exciting car. Its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 376 hp, which gives it the best hp/liter ratio of any four-cylinder engine on the market. That allows for a 0-60 mph time of around 4.2 seconds, which is impressive for a hatchback. It also makes a raucous noise, as all AMG products do.  All of that coupled with a tenacious all-wheel drive system and sharp steering and you get a very exciting hot hatch.

However, its interior started to show some significant wear in its life, as this is a secondhand model. Plus, the cabin showed some areas of cheapness and cost-cutting, which is pretty frustrating in a car that costs so much money. Even at its high price, its entry-level Mercedes A-Class roots shine through a bit.

The BMW M135i is a bit of a different animal. While still packing impressive specs and performance, it acts very differently from the AMG. Its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine makes 326 hp and, when paired with an eight-speed automatic, can get from 0-60 mph in about 4.6 seconds. So, while a bit slower than the AMG, the M135i is still an impressive performer. But its engine is smoother, quieter and more silky than the manic AMG’s. Making it fast, but a bit calmer than the AMG. Its eight-speed auto is also a bit smoother and less frantic with its shifts than the dual-clutch unit in the AMG. It doesn’t bang home shifts as fast, but the Bimmer’s gearbox is a bit more refined feeling.

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The flip-side of that is that it feels a bit more luxurious. It also holds up better over the long run on the inside. Inside the BMW, the interior has a bit more quality materials and doesn’t feel as cheap as in the AMG.

In terms of reliability, both of these cars had minor issues after previously being owned. On the AMG A45, the turbocharger had failed but was replaced under warranty. It also had some clutch issues with its dual-clutch gearbox but was recalled and fixed. For the BMW M135i, it only really had some issues with one of the water drains below the front window and some rain sensor problems. Stuff like that. So both cars have held up relatively well, other than the AMG’s issues that were fixed by Mercedes at no expense.

So, with both cars being relatively reliable for a couple of hot hatches. The AMG is typically the more expensive car but it’s also the more exciting car. So if you’re looking for a sportier hot hatch experience, the Mercedes-AMG A45 is probably the better bet. If you want a more well-rounded experience that will probably be a bit more reliable, the BMW M135i would likely be the car for you.

[Source: Auto Sport]
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