The Mercedes-Benz A35 4Matic Sedan goes on a test drive

The Mercedes-Benz A35 4Matic Sedan. (Daniel Fernandez pic)

This is probably the best starter Benz you could consider if you are looking to get into the world of Mercedes-Benz ownership. Well, more like the A250 Saloon which retails for RM259,255.33 and carries a 224hp engine.

It’s smart looking and it’s equipped to the hilt with all the necessary safety features and cabin appointments that will make you happy.

Now, DSF’s personal choice would be the rather limited and hard-to-find Denim Blue colour with the Artico Dinamica black interior.

Launched in March 2020, Mercedes-Benz decided that their A-Class sedan should not carry the name CLA anymore and instead use the name Saloon which really makes better sense for the global market to understand that this is an A-Class hot hatch with a boot, a Saloon.

Saloon explained

Now the last version of the Mercedes-Benz CLA range arrived in Malaysia in September 2016 and carried a price tag from RM236,888 for the CLA 200 to RM278,888 for the CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC to RM408,888 for the heart-stopping CLA 45 4MATIC.

There was no CLA35 at the time. The market response was good, but not great as the CLA had a small rear passenger space and compact boot space. Also, it was priced too close to the larger and better equipped C-Class.

Now comes a brand new range of compact Mercedes-Benz Saloons and this time there’s the AMG tuned A35 4MATIC launched in September 2019 for RM348,888.

It comes with a 2.0L turbocharged engine that delivers 306hp for a 0-100km/h run in just 4.9 seconds.

The new A35 4MATIC Saloon will appeal to young Malaysians looking for high performance and huge amounts of space for passengers and luggage.

The two-part tail lamps and the new diffuser insert underscore the rear end that emphasises width. (Daniel Fernandez pic)

Saloon looks

This four-door Saloon is based on a wheelbase of 2,729 millimetres and displays the powerful proportions of a dynamic and at the same time compact Saloon car with sporty short overhangs at the front and rear.

The radiator grille with twin louvers, the AMG Line front apron with flicks on the air intakes, a front splitter and silver chrome trim elements are distinguishing AMG design features.

In the side view, the aerodynamically optimised 457.2 mm light-alloy wheels and side sill panels of the AMG Line catch the eye.

The muscular vehicle shoulder with a precise character line running below it emphasises the perfectly contoured side volume. The side mirrors sit on the beltline as on a sports car.

The two-part tail lamps and the new diffuser insert underscore the rear end that emphasises width. Additionally, there is the spoiler lip on the boot lid and the two round tailpipe trims positioned on the extreme left and right.

Providing average shoulder, elbow and headroom with easy access to the rear makes this a young family car as well. (Daniel Fernandez pic)

Saloon interior

The A35 4MATIC Saloon boot holds 420 litres and has a boot opening with a width of 950 mm and a diagonal of 462 mm between lock and lower edge of the rear window. This allows comfortable loading and unloading, even of larger luggage.

This applies in particular to the optional keyless-go comfort package with hands-free access. the hands-free access convenience function enables hands-free and fully automatic opening of the boot lid with a kicking motion of the foot under the rear bumper.

Saloon MBUX Multimedia System

This A35 4MATIC Saloon comes with a new MBUX multimedia system that combines an intuitive operating structure with sporty design. MBUX creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.

Emotionally appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics.

Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

It’s voice control is activated with “Hey Mercedes”. Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognises and understands mostly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.

Saloon digital instrument cluster

The customer can choose between three AMG display styles for the instrument cluster.

The Supersport mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon.

Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data.

Superb saloon AMG engineering. (Daniel Fernandez pic)

Saloon AMG engineering

The crankcase made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminium reduces the vehicle weight where it matters most for driving dynamics.

A twin-scroll turbocharger is used for turbocharging. It combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a strong power increase at higher speeds.

The housing of the twin-scroll turbocharger is divided into two parallel ducts. Together with two separate exhaust ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to channel the exhaust gases separately on the turbine wheel.

This minimises the mutual negative influence of the individual cylinders in the charge change cycle. This reduces the exhaust back pressure and improves the charge change as well as the efficiency of the engine.

The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. Depending on the drive programme selected, the sound is modulated from balanced to powerful.

Saloon efficiency

The high technological standards of the new four-cylinder engine are underscored by numerous efficiency-enhancing measures.

These include CAMTRONIC variable valve control, intelligent thermal management for engine and oil, high-precision piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition.

In production, the patented CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing reduces internal engine friction and also increases efficiency.

Saloon driving dynamics

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine boasts a spontaneous response to accelerator pedal commands, high tractive power and a lively response with an engine note typical of AMG.

One of the best traits of this or any AMG tuned Benz is its drive attitude that comes from its high levels of grip and strong brakes that inspire the kind of confidence that lets you probe further than your drive instinct would normally allow.

This is a very well-balanced car with quite a tenacious grip and eager performance.

At speeds, turn-in is sharp and it points where it’s intended, however it is shaken off-line on pot-holed corners and uneven surfaces with its super firm suspension and tight chassis.

In “comfort” mode the ride takes a twist and returns a pliant and comfortable ride more akin to an executive sedan.

It can be precisely-placed when cornering quickly on well paved roads only and, even with some induced slide, feels controlled and very well-balanced. And the result? Pure driving enjoyment.

Side view of the Mercedes-Benz A35 4Matic Sedan. (Daniel Fernandez pic)

Specifications

  • Engine: 4-cylinder Turbocharged
  • Capacity: 1991cc
  • Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G Dual Clutch
  • Max Power: 306bhp at 5800rpm
  • Max Torque: 400Nm at 3000-4000rpm
  • 0-100km/h: 4.8seconds
  • Top speed: 250km/h Restricted
  • Price: RM348,888

This article is powered by DS&F. For more automotive updates, follow DS&F on Facebook and Instagram.