RE: VW Golf GTI vs BMW M135i vs Mercedes A45 AMG

RE: VW Golf GTI vs BMW M135i vs Mercedes A45 AMG

Monday 28th October 2013

VW Golf GTI vs BMW M135i vs Mercedes A45 AMG

Three very different ways of going fast for less than 40 grand



What, and you thought because BMW has taken its M135i back we'd stop talking about it?

Planned as a culmination to our series of M135i versus the world articles, what follows is perhaps a wider ranging story about the state of the modern 'everyday' performance car. By everyday we mean the kind of car you might possibly buy on a company ticket, or one that'll cover all household bases from the school run to the early morning hoon and occasional track day. So at least the option of five doors, vaguely realistic running costs, a boot big enough to carry the shopping and comforts (actual and creature) to keep you sane on the daily grind.

Fast cars for, whisper it, the real world
Fast cars for, whisper it, the real world
Not so long ago when the car buying hierarchy was more straightforward and more clearly defined your choice would have been progressively faster and fancier European front-driven hatches leading to, probably, something rear-driven and Bavarian. The alternative to that probably Japanese, turbocharged Imprezas and the like requiring (financial) commitment to run but giant-killing on the right road and in their day.

But the goalposts have moved, and how. Taking our M135i comparisons as a core, 30-ish grand will today buy you a Ford, VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Renaultsport or similar with enough power (200-odd horsepower to 300-plus) to blow supposed performance models of just a decade ago into the weeds. You can have front-driven, rear-driven or four-wheel driven, four-cylinders, six-cylinders, manual gearboxes, autos, dual-clutches and in pretty much any combination you fancy. Active differentials, 'e-diffs' and good-old fashioned mechanical locking diffs, adaptive dampers and specific outputs in the supercar scaring league - all are now available for relatively 'sensible money'.

To specifics though.

Take your pick of tech and fill your boots
Take your pick of tech and fill your boots
For this test we've got a 230hp front-wheel drive Golf GTI with the optional active locking differential and a six-speed manual gearbox. At £27K it's the cheapest here. Option two costs, on paper, nearly £10K more but experience suggests BMW dealers are amenable to haggling and in reality the price difference between the Golf and M135i is narrower than it appears. Unless you're talking performance. Comprehensively hammering the final nail into the Japanese rally rep coffin, meanwhile, is new arrival to this party, AMG. 180hp per litre from a 2.0-litre four would have been for the committed just a few years back but now comes with a Mercedes badge on the front, four driven wheels, a hatchback body and more youthful swagger than we've ever seen before.

Consider this as your homepage; from here you can click to more in-depth assessments of the cars and some conclusions. And for reference here are links to our comparisons between the BMW and other cars we picked out in this vaguely defined up to c. £30-£40K/c. 200hp-300hp bracket.

Enjoy!


Introduction and comments
Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance
BMW M135i
Mercedes A45 AMG
Verdict



VW GOLF GTI*
Engine: 
1,984cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 
6-speed manual**, FWD
Power (hp): 
230@4,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 
258@1,500-4,400rpm
0-62mph: 
6.4sec
Top speed: 
155mph
Weight: 
1,351kg
MPG: 
47.1mpg
CO2: 
139g/km 
Price: 
£27,480

*GTI Performance model tested
**6-speed dual-clutch optional


BMW M135i
Engine:
 
2,979cc 6-cyl turbo
Transmission: 
6-speed manual*, RWD
Power (hp): 
320@5,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 
332@1,300-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 
5.1 sec (auto 4.9 sec)
Top speed: 
155mph
Weight: 
1,500kg
MPG: 
35.3 (37.7 auto)
CO2: 
188g/km (175g/km auto) 
Price: 
£30,525

*8-speed auto optional


MERCEDES A45 AMG
Engine:
 
1,991cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 
7-speed dual clutch, 4WD
Power (hp): 
360@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 
332@2,250-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 
4.6 seconds
Top speed: 
155mph (limited)
Weight:
1,555kg
MPG: 
40.9
CO2: 
161g/km
Price: 
£37,845

 

 

All mpg figures NEDC combined, all prices before options


Further reading...
BMW M135i vs ... the world!
BMW M135i vs Toyota GT86
BMW M135i vs Porsche Cayman 2.7
BMW M135i vs Renaultsport Megane 265
BMW M135i vs Audi S3
BMW M135i vs used Porsche 911 Carrera

Photos: PrimeExposures

Author
Discussion

LordFlathead

Original Poster:

8,878 posts

200 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
I feel sorry for the Golf, it's woefully inadequate when compared to the other two eek

lmsrocket

4 posts

87 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
I smoked an A45 the other day on the m6, 2 or 3 times the a45 was in my mirror, RS3 has more puff higher up the mph.

simoid

17,783 posts

100 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
Woefully inadequate title? smile

SonicShadow

2,374 posts

96 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
"I feel sorry for the Golf, it's woefully inadequate A45 AMG"

I think you accidentally a word or two there.

Also, are they *really* that different? All I see are 3 German fast hatchbacks.

Benbay001

4,941 posts

99 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
lmsrocket said:
I smoked an A45 the other day on the m6, 2 or 3 times the a45 was in my mirror, RS3 has more puff higher up the mph.
Id suggest he wasnt as keen on speeding as you were.
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KFC

3,687 posts

72 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
Comparing a £27k car to a £37k one is completely pointless. Who'd have thought it, the car thats 40% more expensive, is better.


LordFlathead

Original Poster:

8,878 posts

200 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
simoid said:
Woefully inadequate title? smile
I don't know what happened there, perhaps a mod could correct it? I copied and pasted from Word and half of what I posted has disappeared.

Rawwr

22,046 posts

176 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
lmsrocket said:
I smoked an A45 the other day
How on earth did you get it in the Rizla in the first place?

roboxm3

2,100 posts

137 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
The Merc and Beemer may be better cars but the golf pisses all over them under the heading of 'Going fast for under £30k' wink

simoid

17,783 posts

100 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
SonicShadow said:
"I feel sorry for the Golf, it's woefully inadequate A45 AMG"

I think you accidentally a word or two there.

Also, are they *really* that different? All I see are 3 German fast hatchbacks.
I believe there are variations in driven wheels for a start smile

richwig83

7,500 posts

80 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
Comparing a M spec and an AMG to a GTI is daft... Golf R would have been a better comparison.

V8A*ndy

3,587 posts

133 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
roboxm3 said:
The Merc and Beemer may be better cars but the golf pisses all over them under the heading of 'Going fast for under £30k' wink
Problem there is you can get a very hefty discount on the beemer.

73mark

774 posts

69 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
KFC said:
Comparing a £27k car to a £37k one is completely pointless. Who'd have thought it, the car thats 40% more expensive, is better.
rofl Shocking you right

tonker

55,878 posts

190 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
V8A*ndy said:
Problem there is you can get a very hefty discount on the beemer.
And on the Golf - making it a £24K car or less, even with the 230 pack.

V8A*ndy

3,587 posts

133 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
tonker said:
V8A*ndy said:
Problem there is you can get a very hefty discount on the beemer.
And on the Golf - making it a £24K car or less, even with the 230 pack.
So we need to change the title to "going fast for under £25k" then laugh

Just shows you how overpriced a GT86 is.

schaeffs

216 posts

84 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
OK - so who went and looked at the Verdict first?

Phil Dicky

5,599 posts

205 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
Benbay001 said:
lmsrocket said:
I smoked an A45 the other day on the m6, 2 or 3 times the a45 was in my mirror, RS3 has more puff higher up the mph.
Id suggest he wasnt as keen on speeding as you were.
What he said ^^^^^

kambites

56,700 posts

163 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
V8A*ndy said:
Just shows you how overpriced a GT86 is.
It's not really a competitor, but I'd take a GT86 over any of the above (admitted I haven't driven the Merc), even if it was the same price as them unless I needed the extra practicality. Not everyone equates value with performance.

green-blood

147 posts

181 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
Seriously lads this is like coming home from football match and watching match of the day thinking the result will be different.

loudlashadjuster

3,239 posts

126 months

Monday 28th October 2013
quotequote all
lmsrocket said:
I smoked an A45 the other day on the m6, 2 or 3 times the a45 was in my mirror, RS3 has more puff higher up the mph.