BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > A45 lookaround, passenger seat test drive and pricing
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      06-26-2013, 07:20 AM   #1
Mr Buck
Private First Class
 
Drives: BMW M135i (soon)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North East, UK

Posts: 104
iTrader: (0)

A45 lookaround, passenger seat test drive and pricing

Made the most of a gf and child free day by paying Merc a visit this morning. Mainly to pick up brochures for the A45 AMG to see exactly how much I'd have to pay for one if I opted for it. I was initially disapointed when I was told by the salesman that there would be a 2-3 week wait for them.

The tables then turned as he then told me that they have one outside the showroom and he also asked if I'd like a look around it. moments later he pulled up in it, and directed me to an open space on the forecourt, stopped at got out, whilst discretely popping off a bit of an exhaust note in the process.

First opinions on seeing the car in the flesh is that I still hold firm on the fact thats its more visually pleasing than the BMW. My first reaction was to climb into the driver side and start touching bits and bobs (as you do) and I was impressed by the quality of the cabin. Even the visually tacky looking carbon look dash felt very much a solid bit of kit. The seats in it really are something else tbh, talk about contour hugging. The test car was also equipped with the optional Alcantara wheel, which felt great in the hands and was lovely and chunky.

After a further look round the more boring aspects of the car he then asked if I'd like to go for a quick ride in it. I instantly met him with the response I felt may hinder that proposition by saying I didnt have my license to hand and that I was also just 24. I think his overwhelming desire to have another little drive in it himself ruled out any chance of him not taking me shotgun in the little AMG.

Anyway we ended up pulling out of the forecourt for a quick 10 minute salvo in the A45 with me passenger but still happy. I knew based on the location of the dealership in my area that we weren't in for anything particularly brilliant in terms of testing this car out but never the less I was interested to see how it goes. And my god it does that! Instantly out on to a 200m straight before the first round about and the young salesman puts the accelerator to the floor to avoid being caught in the wave of traffic that approached the junction we merged from. The first thing I noticed is how despite having the wheel slightly tilted to turn out of the junction how well it held the road when he mounted the pedal with his foot and how the car didnt end up in the barriers ahead. As we straightened up he gave the car a bit more as it upshifted, and where it didnt hurl me back as quick as the BMW once we passed 2000rpm I soon saw what a splendid job AMG have done with this 4 cylinder unit.

As I thought the route he took didn't involve any winding B roads and was over before I got a true feel for the car but in the series of straight 50 roads we bulleted down it was pretty clear to see how fast this little AMG is. In truth I think it felt quicker than the M135i I tested earlier this month, certainly in a straight line. Once its passed 2200 rpm it just goes and goes.

I left it with the salesman as we sat down back in the showroom that a test drive would definitely be in order within the next week or so. I couldnt obviously make any definite judgements of whether it was better to drive than the BMW given how short the run out was and also that I was shotgun to the salesman in the driving seat.

Despite not collecting any official Mercedes booklets for the car, the salesman did email me a list of optionals and the UK pricing for the car. Which I would be happy to email to anyone whose interested in seeing them, whether your interested in making the switch, or simply out to reassure yourself of how much money you saved sticking to BMW.

In conclusion to what I've seen this morning I would like to mention a few negatives which I noticed about the car, especially in comparison to the BMW which is still well in contention for me personally. The exhaust note on the Merc for me isnt as throaty or as cool as on the BMW. The ride of the Merc did feel like so many reviewers said it felt, in that it was very hard. Going down the straights on a road surface that was certainly less than perfect and I did feel a lot more feedback from the road than I did in the BMW. Finally, where I do absolutely love the AMG bucket seats and they do hug you better than the BMW sport seats, the actual seat isn't as comfortable as BMW.
Mr Buck is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
as7920
Lieutenant Colonel
 
as7920's Avatar
 
Drives: AW M135i 5dr auto
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: UK

Posts: 1,750
iTrader: (0)

Great feedback there.

Autocar's Sutcliffe review and your comments show just how much the A45 AMG is NOT a competitor for the M135i and is more competition for the 1M and M2. Both with pricing and driving. Mercedes said themselves during the development that the 1M was the target vehicle for how their car feels and performs and as the 1M was just a little too stiff on the road, so is the A45 by the looks of it.

BMW have pitched the M135i in just the right place, the right amount of oomph for the right amount of Wonga with the right amount of compromises.

Budget notwithstanding I am still happy with the choice of M135i as it fulfils everything I need it to.

Although the journo reviews of the A45 AMG are beginning to surprise me !
as7920 is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      06-26-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
Mr Buck
Private First Class
 
Drives: BMW M135i (soon)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North East, UK

Posts: 104
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by as7920 View Post
Great feedback there.

Autocar's Sutcliffe review and your comments show just how much the A45 AMG is NOT a competitor for the M135i and is more competition for the 1M and M2. Both with pricing and driving. Mercedes said themselves during the development that the 1M was the target vehicle for how their car feels and performs and as the 1M was just a little too stiff on the road, so is the A45 by the looks of it.

BMW have pitched the M135i in just the right place, the right amount of oomph for the right amount of Wonga with the right amount of compromises.

Budget notwithstanding I am still happy with the choice of M135i as it fulfils everything I need it to.

Although the journo reviews of the A45 AMG are beginning to surprise me !
It really is quick from the taster i got. I saw the Sutcliffe review and road test and I think although it doesnt offer the feedback of a RWD it goes round corners better than a Megane RS and has the straight line poke of the BMW and then some.

I wouldn't put it up against the BMW either tbh, not until the M2 comes out anyway. It's had AMG engineers slaving over it and it really does show.

Like I said I'm going to give it a final verdict once I'm the one driving, as its only fair and after totting up some prices including the options I'd go for it came up to a shade above 42k. thats about 8-9k more than I could get an M135i with 2-3k on the clock and all the optionals I'd want.

Prices asside I'm still unsure whether I'd be able to live with that road feel you seem to constantly get, with it likely to be my daily driver as well as my bit of weekend fun. There are an awful lot of badly surfaced roads and areas with speedbumbs where I live.
Mr Buck is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-27-2013, 04:16 AM   #4
mowflow
Colonel
 
mowflow's Avatar
 
Drives: F20 125d
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Glasgow

Posts: 2,375
iTrader: (2)

You mention having a child. Did you check out the rear seat space and the boot? I tested an A250 engineered by AMG before buying the F20 and that was one of the major down points for me with two young children. I would have thought the 4wd gubbins and slightly bigger seats would make this even worse in the AMG.
__________________
Daily F20 125d | Alpine white | coral red leather | visibility pack | driver comfort pack | Business pro | black panel display | heated seats | BMW P Black grill
Project Peugeot 205 1.6 GTi | Alpine white | No ABS | No traction control | No power steering... pretty much just a car
mowflow is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-27-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
Mr Buck
Private First Class
 
Drives: BMW M135i (soon)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North East, UK

Posts: 104
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
You mention having a child. Did you check out the rear seat space and the boot? I tested an A250 engineered by AMG before buying the F20 and that was one of the major down points for me with two young children. I would have thought the 4wd gubbins and slightly bigger seats would make this even worse in the AMG.
Yeah I sat in myself, where there wasnt tonnes of space in terms of legroom for myself at 6ft 3. My son is only 2 so leg room isnt really that much of an issue atm. I'm buying either the M135i or the A45 knowing that within 2 or 3 years i'll have to part ex it for a diesel anyway. So I'm just buying what I believe is the going to be the most fun for me over those couple of years and then changing to the more practical option later
Mr Buck is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #6
pangster
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: F20 116d M-Sport
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edinburgh

Posts: 32
iTrader: (0)

Thumbs up

not driven the AMG variant.. but did look at the A-Class before deciding on the F20..

it looks good, driving is a little dull (massive flat spot/dead spot) right in the middle of steering (this probably/hopefully doesn't exist on the AMG model though) - boot isn't as big as the 1er and the rear door shape/taper makes it awkward to get in and out.. didn't fancy having to try and get my son in and out/strapped in his seat..

above all else - what really turned me off was the fact they're still trying to get money for old rope.. the park distance control for example is the exact same as in our C-Class and almost every other Merc since 200 BC.. why on earth do they not incorporate it into their in dash display screen like most other manufacturers!.. and talking about the screen - it's completely wasted as it mainly just functions as a stereo interface (unless you either opt for the VERY expensive COMAND upgrade) or the 500 or so Becker nav option..

I did like the seats and the build comfort though - the driving position was good, but some of the controls felt a little cheap (and they're not cheap cars)...

OVerall for the money - you can get a much better specced 1er than A-Class and IMHO if you go down the MSport/M135 route they look better than their A-Class equivalent.. the 1er is a grower in the looks department, I think the A-Class will date very quickly.

Good luck with the decision!
pangster is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-28-2013, 01:06 AM   #7
Chins
Registered
 
Drives: M135i
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bucks, UK

Posts: 4
iTrader: (0)

My thoughts as a current owner of an M135i

Just back from a nice 90 minute test drive of the A45. A few boring pics from the camera phone first.






Looks

Think it looks a bit better in the flesh than the M135, but hard to tell the diference between it and the A Classs AMG Engineered. Guess we can say the same about the 1 series.

Interior

Starting from the back. The boot is SMALL. No way to put Golf clubs in without dropping a rear seat. Buggies might be an issue, but at my age it doesnt worry me Back seats felt as spacious at the M135. The front seat though are a big improvement on the 1. Lot more supportive and look the buisness. The dash however is a step behind. No mater how many times you look at the sat nav screen it seems to be an after thought and the dials look a bit Max Power. Seen better in a low level Clio.

Gearbox

Obvious a dual clutch which is different to the 1, but very familiar to me as former owner of PDK, Stronic and DSG. Changes felt just like in those, so a little bit more clunky (not sure thats the best word). On the positive side I found it much easier to drive it in manual mode. In the 1 with the extra ratio and smoothness of the change I sometimes get confused :shock: So a big thumbs up. On the negative side no ability to change gears on the gear selector.

Handling

The road tester that think it rides softer and smoother than the 1 need to see the doctor quickly. The ride is harder, but at the same time not annoying. It feels right for the type of car it is. Ride quality was about the same as my old 981S on big wheels.
What I loved was the feel through the steering wheel and confidence the car gave me as a driver to push it. Obviously would like more time in it, but for certain I would take corners quicker in this than my 1.

Exhaust Note

Car didnt have sports exhaust, but was noticably louder than the 1. Driving slowly in town and lifting off gave a lot more and louder pops and crackles. The upshift noise when close to the limit was also enjoyable and certainly you would notice it if the car passed you. Big thumbs up here as well.

Engine

A lot more like the old days. You can feel the lag and the engine is not as smooth as the 6 in the 1. It felt that it was just getting into its stride a couple of time as it reached the limiter. Is it quicker than the 1? It didnt feel it to me, certainly in the mid range. A lot of the power felt right at the top of the rev range. Between 30-70 I would guess there is nothing in it between the two cars, maybe the 1 feels a bit faster. In the 1 you still have the ability to tweak, where my guess is the AMG is close to its limits.

Conclusion

Guess I have come away thinking the AMG is an old school hot hatch thug and the M135i went to Eaton. If you want a car that rides smoothly, sounds nice without shouting, looks nice inside and has a more Rolex feel then the M135i is a great car. The AMG will always beg you to drive it, will let everyone know your in a go faster version as you drive past, will let you abuse it without putting you in a hedge, but inside looks more like a Timex watch, then the AMG is great.

Will I buy one? Not sure. Might depend on the deal, but if I want to go back to a drivers car and spend around 40k, then most likely it will be a Porsche again. It does deliver in the areas I feel the M135i is weak - handling (too soft), steering (no feel), exhaust note (none exisitent). Just getting on a bit so the M might be more for an old fogey like me in their 40's
Chins is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      06-28-2013, 03:17 AM   #8
MI35i
New Member
 
Drives: M135i
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: UK

Posts: 16
iTrader: (0)

how bling is the interior. im sure it better int he flesh etc, but the more i look at these i think they have been styled by halfords ripspeed or something.
MI35i is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-28-2013, 07:08 AM   #9
mowflow
Colonel
 
mowflow's Avatar
 
Drives: F20 125d
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Glasgow

Posts: 2,375
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Buck View Post
Yeah I sat in myself, where there wasnt tonnes of space in terms of legroom for myself at 6ft 3. My son is only 2 so leg room isnt really that much of an issue atm. I'm buying either the M135i or the A45 knowing that within 2 or 3 years i'll have to part ex it for a diesel anyway. So I'm just buying what I believe is the going to be the most fun for me over those couple of years and then changing to the more practical option later
On the contrary. My son is also 2 and the legroom is an issue. You see, their wee short legs stick straight out in car seat rather than going down into the space for adult passenger leg room behind the front seat. This means they constantly kick the shit out of the back of the seat. This gets very old, very quickly.
__________________
Daily F20 125d | Alpine white | coral red leather | visibility pack | driver comfort pack | Business pro | black panel display | heated seats | BMW P Black grill
Project Peugeot 205 1.6 GTi | Alpine white | No ABS | No traction control | No power steering... pretty much just a car
mowflow is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-28-2013, 11:46 AM   #10
Bob UK
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2012 120d Sport
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England

Posts: 318
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
On the contrary. My son is also 2 and the legroom is an issue. You see, their wee short legs stick straight out in car seat rather than going down into the space for adult passenger leg room behind the front seat. This means they constantly kick the shit out of the back of the seat. This gets very old, very quickly.


I can't get past the dash, looks like it came out of a Xmas cracker. The front seats do look better than the 1 series though.
Bob UK is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      06-28-2013, 03:35 PM   #11
Mr Buck
Private First Class
 
Drives: BMW M135i (soon)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North East, UK

Posts: 104
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowflow View Post
On the contrary. My son is also 2 and the legroom is an issue. You see, their wee short legs stick straight out in car seat rather than going down into the space for adult passenger leg room behind the front seat. This means they constantly kick the shit out of the back of the seat. This gets very old, very quickly.
Yeah you do have a point tbh. I didnt really take the fully extended infant leg issue into consideration tbh, so its probably worth a second look when I test drive it next week.
Mr Buck is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:32 AM.




1addicts
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST