Not exactly the unqualified glowing recommendation I was hoping for in the August Car and Driver.
I guess a $60K AMG entails a lot of compromises when it is a reengineered $30K econocompact.
Oh well. Let's hope other reviewers see it differently. (Sigh!)
You mean like the 1M was a re-engineered 1 Series?
You know, I'm not really sure it was that bad of a review. I'd love to see something more glowing, too, but I've kind of disregarded some of their criticisms. The criticism that I've read about the car not being visceral enough is something I have to experience for myself.
It's not a Lotus Elise. It's not even an STI or Evo -- but I don't think we expected a Mercedes to be a rally car. It's also quieter than they (or I) would probably like but I don't see it as a real deterrent to entry. Journalists have recently criticized BMW and other manufacturers for this, too. In fact, the current M5 was so void of an exhaust note in the cabin that the M folks engineered a fake exhaust sound that's piped through the car's speakers mimicking the engine's performance. And, they don't like the fact that you can't smoke the rear tires (an AMG hallmark) because of its AWD system. Yeah, well, get over it (not you...them). I've read similar "complaints" about the new E63 as well. I love being able to dial in a little understeer as much as anyone but I'll take AWD prowess in the snow, rain and, well, whenever it helps on my daily driver. If I lived in a warmer climate, I might lament not having a RWD model available.
What I haven't really found, however, is any criticism of the way the car handles or accelerates. In fact, most of the reviews of the CLA45 I've seen have suggested that AMG worked wonders on the CLA's performance dynamics and transformed it into a true handling car. And, reviewers are saying the darn thing does 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. That's quick by any definition. Everyone has different wants and needs but, to me, their criticism are all excusable. I can deal with the exhaust note through an upgrade ($450 from AMG). I can deal with the 'compromises' of an AWD system and its 'nannies' because that's what I'm in the market for (AWD, not nannies). I can deal with a car that isn't as plebeian as an Evo or STI because if I wanted car without the AMG's luxuries I'd just buy one. My guess is that if the CLA45 felt too raw they would have probably criticized AMG for not dialing in enough luxury. Maybe I'm too much of a cynic but I'm not disenchanted by their comments. Only a test drive will tell.
I agree with Eric. I thought it was a very positive review, overall. The reviewer nitpicked small things like the "tacked on" infotainment screen and the buyer having to spend extra for the upgraded exhaust, which by the way is a piddly $450. All of that is sidebar stuff. The crux of the matter here is how the engine, chasis, brakes, etc. performed. I understood all of those components were very good to great, especially the engine, the numero uno most important aspect of CLA 45, in my opinion.
I'm waiting for the detailed instrumented testing C&D and MT perform. Those articles have more detailed info to devulge in and compare to the competition. After that, take it for a test drive. No article, no matter how well written or how much information it contains can compare to getting behind the (AMG) wheel and hammering it up Rt 202.
"hammering it up Rt 202." The new 'expressway' section, that could be fun. Further north or south, Sunday-driver-ville, drives me crazy. I was just on Lincoln Drive coming out of Philly, thinking how I wish I had my CLA45 on those bends.