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 B4100 and B4455 are fast, straight roads, the latter tracing the route of the 2,000-year-old Fosse Way. Traffic then blights the B4086 into Stratford-upon-Avon and the B439 out the far side and despite the best efforts of these cars, after 270 miles we’re getting tired. To be fair, I can’t think of another type of car that might have coped better with the stresses imparted by the thousands of corners and millions of bumps we must have dealt with today. Both do the daily grind stuff with aplomb, although the Golf’s seat is firm and could do with a few more planes of adjustment and the Merc’s lazier manners did give us a few nerve-racking moments pulling out of junctions. Highlights so far? The A45’s thumping engine (plus its associated noises) and the Golf’s security and handling balance. VW is winning the efficiency war so far, with 24.6mpg playing 22.9mpg.
Spirits are high the next day. There are precisely three towns of noteworthy size in over 100 miles of B-road between here and Aberystwyth: Tenbury Wells, Presteigne and Rhayader. Fewer towns mean less traffic means more fun. The B4204 is wide enough in places to pass for an A-road, but beyond Martley reverts to type, as it rises and falls with the knotted countryside. We stage a diversion to Shelsley Walsh hill climb because, well, because we want to. It’s a crisp bright morning, and diversions such as this are automotive pilgrimages – later, we’ll do the same to the Phil Price Rally School.