It's certainly more powerful, but is it better?

We’ve had some time to get accustomed to the new Mercedes-AMG A45, and there’s no denying it’s a terrifically capable hot hatchback. However, with a price tag north of £50,000 ($60,808), it’s not exactly cheap and that begs a question. Is the previous-generation A45 still competitive enough to make it a better buy? Unfortunately, we’re not getting the hatchback in America, but the carwow team across the pond sourced out a used A45 for a proper new-versus-old comparison. Sort of, anyway.

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first. This feature matches a previous-generation A45 against a new Mercedes-AMG A45 S, which admittedly isn’t a straight apples-to-apples comparison. Ideally, a standard A45 would be a better match, but the S-trimmed variant is apparently the only one available to UK buyers. Meanwhile, US shoppers will only get the sedan version of the compact runabout. Perhaps one day Mercedes will stop being selective and just open up its models to all markets, but that’s a subject to discuss another day.

Gallery: Mercedes-AMG A45 Old Vs New

For now, here’s what you need to know. The cars are relatively comparable by the numbers, with the third-gen A45 developing 376 horsepower (280 kilowatts) from its boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed DCT, and a big set of disc brakes bring all that power to rest. The new A45 S also has a 2.0-liter turbo and all-wheel drive, but the engine makes 416 hp (310 kW) and it also has more peak torque. There’s an extra cog in its eight-speed DCT, and while the brakes are the same size, the new A45 S has beefier six-piston calipers.

It’s comparable, but as you probably expect, it’s enough to give the new A45 S a clear performance advantage. According to carwow’s testing equipment, it’s nearly a full second quicker to 60 mph and it pulls up shorter as well. Numbers aside, the new car has a better powerband that isn’t quite as peaky, though we must say the old car had a more rousing soundtrack.

Is that enough to warrant ditching the old A45 for a new one? See what carwow thinks on that and spot other notable differences by catching carwow's video at the top of the page.

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