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 B4204 has been a belter, staying high on the crest of the hills with wonderful open views, a flowing third- and fourth-gear road that’s helped both cars shine. It’s been smooth enough not to upset the Golf and has allowed the A45’s punchiness to come to the fore. It does make the best set of noises of any four-cylinder: downshifts come with a flurry of soft backfires, and full throttle upshifts a hard crackle. OK, so it all happens at the exhaust end, but at least the sound is more genuine than the heavily synthesised Golf’s, which seems unable to decide whether it’s pretending to be a flat-four or a V6.
But that’s not enough to put us off the car. We’re having such a good time as we cross into Wales that we actually tab on an extra loop, sampling the B4355 as well as the B4356. We spend some time on the wonderful bit between Felindre and Dolfor, driving both cars back and forth, starting to finalise opinions. The Golf is the sharper, more responsive car. It seems to bring the rear axle into play sooner, has delightfully even-handed, well-managed traction and faster engine response, allowing it to pull out the hard yards from tight corners before the Merc’s hefty turbo spools up. It’s deft and neat, has sharper, more wristy steering and a pointy front end. You can really hustle it, and it’ll stay poised and eager.