Mercedes A45 AMG versus VW Golf R
There are great B-roads the breadth of Britain. So we’re using the new VW Golf R and Merc A45 AMG to investigate some of them...
Posted: 16 May 2014
The Golf’s coolness under pressure had it in a points lead until we hit the B660. By the time we turn off it at Kimbolton, the A45’s exhilaration has put it fully back into contention. So, lessons learnt: don’t leave the Merc’s gearbox in Comfort (it’s too sleepy), don’t meander around at low revs (the turbo takes an age to get going) and don’t guide it gently into corners (it’ll feel dull and nosey).
Unfortunately, we’ve learnt these lessons just as evening rush hour is looming on the most tedious leg of our journey: the Midlands. None of the B-roads seem to go in the right direction to start with, so we’re on minor roads picking a route south of Northampton and Daventry, before linking up with the B4100 near Gaydon. The Golf is better at this sort of stuff. Its more traditional hatchback packaging means it’s easier to see out of. It’s a taller, more upright car. You sit deep within the A-Class, hemmed in by pillars and narrow windscreen, and while the A45 has the more design-led cabin, it’s the Golf that feels better-built and, in places, from better materials. It also has a set of standard-fit xenons that reflect so vividly off distant signposts it’s almost blinding.