Now that the BMW M135i is here, the Bavarians have their first front-wheel drive-based hot-hatch. It’s a controversial car, though, as its front-drive nature and design have both caused some enthusiasts to write it off before even driving it. While we won’t know how it drives for some time, we can judge its looks against some of its main competition. We already looked at it against the Audi S3 Sportback and now I’ve been tasked with seeing how it stacks up against another main competitor — the Mercedes-AMG A35.

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Up front, both cars are actually quite similar. Both have slanted headlights and wide grilles, though the Bimmer’s twin Kidney Grilles looks a bit more bulbous. Both have pretty poor looking hood shut lines but the AMG’s are a bit more egregious. The AMG looks a bit sportier, thanks to its more aggressive front air intakes. This can go either way, so I wouldn’t hold it against anyone to choose either, but if I’m choosing, I’m taking the AMG for its sharper lines and sportier look.

In profile, both cars have shockingly similar proportions, though the AMG’s lines are much smoother and the BMW’s are a more pronounced. However, the AMG is the more aggressive looking car in profile, without question. Its fixed rear wing, which is also painted gloss black to contrast the body color, along with its black canards (as useless as they are) make it look much sportier. Some might not like that flashy hot-hatch nature and that’s understandable. For me, personally, I like the AMG’s visual madness because it makes the car look and feel a bit more exciting, a bit more special. So it takes the win here.

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Out back, there are aspects of both cars I like and aspects I don’t. For instance, the Bimmer’s taillights are better looking than the AMG’s to these eyes. But the AMG’s rear spoiler looks awesome from the rear. However, neither has a particularly handsome rump. Still, that spoiler gives the AMG the edge for me, personally.

Inside, it’s about a wash. The BMW’s cabin is more sensibly laid out, looks a bit more premium and has tech that looks a bit easier to use. Though, the AMG’s cabin is a bit flashier, a bit more stylish. Both are really good, though, and we’d happily drive in either everyday.

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Overall, they’re both decent looking cars, not without their faults. However, the AMG is the more aggressive, more exciting looking car thanks to its funky aero. So that gives it a slight edge in this comparison because it just seems a bit more special. Though, neither are necessarily great looking, the AMG just seems a bit more fun and charismatic.

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