RE: Mercedes-AMG A35 vs VW Golf R | PH Video

RE: Mercedes-AMG A35 vs VW Golf R | PH Video

Saturday 6th July 2019

Mercedes-AMG A35 vs VW Golf R | PH Video

The wise old stager of hot hatches meets the swaggering upstart - which wins?



If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, the Mercedes-AMG A35 must border on the sycophantic where the VW Golf R is concerned. Both have 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engines, both have about 300hp, both have exactly 295lb ft of torque, both are all-wheel drive, both have seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions and both cost in the region of Β£35,000. Spooky. It's almost as if Mercedes-AMG has seen the success of the Golf R since 2014 and aimed to muscle in on its patch with a very similar rival...

Which is exactly why we have them together on video. Given VW and AMG are so evenly matched on the spec sheet, can there really be any differences on the road? Is one actually a better hot hatch than the other? That's what Dan P will answer in this video.

Handily enough for the all-weather, all-season hot hatch case, Wales was sopping wet when this was filmed last month. Yes, last month being June. Dan nearly got his hair spoilt and everything.

Still, professional that he is, Prosser persevered, the end result being the video that can be seen below. We really hope you enjoy it; if there are any suggestions for drives, tests and features you'd like to see on the PH YouTube channel, please let us know. And don't forget to subscribe!

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Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

1,678 posts

52 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Some folks might find a review putting these against each other gedooid, but I well enjoyed Dan’s take on them and think he raised touched upon exactly the right points of both. The A35 to me is more (pleasingly) dramatic in terms of design (on all fronts) and it sounds better so wins. I’d happily drive around in either of them though.

Cups Renault

51 posts

156 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Fart, fart four pot
Why the four exhausts?


gregalfa

19 posts

92 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Review would have been far more relevant if both cars had adaptive dampers. Leaving aside this issue do the “differences” not boil down to personal taste?

DoubleD

12,695 posts

63 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Cups Renault said:
Fart, fart four pot
Why the four exhausts?
Why not?

ducnick

1,016 posts

198 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Cups Renault said:
Fart, fart four pot
Why the four exhausts?
A visual cue it’s not the 1.5l diesel version? Does seem like overkill to break the single pipe into 4 small tail pipes. Inline 4 require 1 pipe and 1 pipe only. Only place for this sort of weight adding bling is on the MV Augusta f4

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

1,678 posts

52 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
DoubleD said:
Cups Renault said:
Fart, fart four pot
Why the four exhausts?
Why not?
The point of this post to me is not the opinion but its poetic quality.

Baldchap

2,944 posts

47 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Cue everyone telling us how boring and dull and rubbish the R is.

Also additional points for fart comments, four cylinder comments or PCP/lease comments

Niffty951

1,953 posts

183 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Perhaps it's the weight but in contrast to Dan's comments about bumpy road behaviour I was surprised in a horribly underpowered RX8 I was able to pressure a Golf R that was leaping about over a bumpy road and eventually triggered the spin control with brake lights flashing away while the RX8 felt very comfortable in the bends over the same surface.

I had a 368hp S3 of the 2.0t generation so I know how the car feels very capable at 8/10ths but when push comes to shove I'm not sure they're as capable as they feel behind the wheel.

C.A.R.

3,639 posts

143 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Golf for me- just prefer the understated look.

I actually prefer the bumpers on the GTI / GTD model than those on the R, which almost look more restrained!

Burwood

15,309 posts

201 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Golf R a better steer as standard and a generation old.

Court_S

2,577 posts

132 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
It’d have to be the A35 for me, the R looks so dull and staid especially in that particular spec. I looked at one, on paper it looked like he perfect do it all, all rounder but it left me totally cold. The GTi looks loads better visually but even that lacked a little something for me.

At least the A35 with the aero kit has some visual impact. I think the interior is better, but I’d bed to spend more time with it (a chap at work drives his wife’s A250 occasionally and he says he finds the screens and all the info provided quite distracting, although it does have some visual impact when you first get in it).

Mike1990

788 posts

86 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Not watched the video yet, but on looks alone i’d have the A35 with the Aero Pack.

I do appreciate the Golf R’s, but i’d prefer the GTi over one. spin

the_stoat

435 posts

166 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Cue everyone telling us how boring and dull and rubbish the R is.
Having had one this is my view. I have no idea why everyone gets so frothy about the Golf R. It is competent like any modern household appliance, did I ever drive it for the sake of driving, no I did not. I will admit launch control was impressive, everything else was not memorable. It is the only car i have not been sad to sell. My lesson from this was not to buy into the hype and test drive before buying.........

I would agree with the review that active dampers are a must on the Golf, I did not have them and the ride was very very figity.

Tim bo

1,676 posts

95 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Cue everyone telling us how boring and dull and rubbish the R is.

Also additional points for fart comments, four cylinder comments or PCP/lease comments
It's boring and dull and rubbish.

It's only got four cylinders, it's farty, and it's only ever on PCP/lease.

There you go.

ghost83

3,867 posts

145 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Niffty951 said:
Perhaps it's the weight but in contrast to Dan's comments about bumpy road behaviour I was surprised in a horribly underpowered RX8 I was able to pressure a Golf R that was leaping about over a bumpy road and eventually triggered the spin control with brake lights flashing away while the RX8 felt very comfortable in the bends over the same surface.

I had a 368hp S3 of the 2.0t generation so I know how the car feels very capable at 8/10ths but when push comes to shove I'm not sure they're as capable as they feel behind the wheel.
Golf driver couldn’t drive then! My gti pp is seriously composed and that’s why in 99% of tests even golf r vs s3 and rs3 the golf wins on its handling

anonymous-user

9 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
The A35 I tried didn’t have the adaptive dampers. It made a 90’s Honda with JDM aftermarket suspension feel plush!

Kenny Powers

2,618 posts

82 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Tim bo said:
It's boring and dull and rubbish.

It's only got four cylinders, it's farty, and it's only ever on PCP/lease.

There you go.
You forget to add that they’re too heavy, too big for the road and are just status symbols for those who can’t drive wink

I think they’re both very nice but personally I would choose the Mercedes, probably just for the interior alone. Yes, I like the new A-Class dash, which reminds me...stuck on iPads grumble grumble grumble etc. etc. etc.

Cups Renault

51 posts

156 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
The point of this post to me is not the opinion but its poetic quality.
Well played sir, in one.

Have noticed that the more ageing golf Rs now show wear and use in only 50% of the four exhausts. Trinkets a bit like the exuberant farty pop noise echoing up and down town retail parks of a weekend.

eftiem64

48 posts

34 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Cups Renault said:
Fart, fart four pot
Why the four exhausts?
Exactly.


Cups Renault

51 posts

156 months

Saturday 6th July 2019
quotequote all
Tim bo said:
Baldchap said:
Cue everyone telling us how boring and dull and rubbish the R is.

Also additional points for fart comments, four cylinder comments or PCP/lease comments
It's boring and dull and rubbish.

It's only got four cylinders, it's farty, and it's only ever on PCP/lease.

There you go.
I've just claimed my additional points too. If it sounds like a fart it needs calling out as a fart.

Do we also get bonus points for one exhaust per cylinder mockery?...

....never know how the Integrale managed with just the one exhaust....