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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2013 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG review and pictures

i really like that red color shown
car_photo_575050_25.jpg

What is it?

The Mercedes CLA45 is the new A45 AMG’s saloon sister, sharing the same powertrain and four-wheel drive system. That means – in a fairly radical departure for the AMG brand – a four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 355bhp.

Mercedes A45 AMG driven here

Mercedes claims identical kerbweights and 0-62mph times for both cars, with the CLA45 AMG capable of demolishing the acceleration benchmark in just 4.6sec, on its way to a top speed of 161mph. Pricing details haven’t been confirmed yet, but anticipate around £41,500 when the car goes on sale in the UK in October.

Technical highlights?

Definitely the engine. You sense that the decision to stick the AMG badge to a car powered by a four-cylinder turbo engine caused some sleepless nights to the engineers responsible for delivering on the promise implicit in the brand, but the new powerplant is a little cracker. It pulls strongly from the basement upwards, enjoys being revved through the 6000rpm point where most of its ilk give up, and even produces a crisp little exhaust pop on upchanges.

Despite being fed by a single, relatively large turbocharger, it feels lag-free – with lungs deep enough to deliver those mega performance figures. To do all this with an engine that’s also capable of meeting Euro 6 emissions figures, and to deliver 40.9mpg on the official economy test, has been a remarkable engineering achievement. The engine has a forged crank and pistons and a special cylinder wall coating to reduce frictional losses.

The transverse seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox uses the same software that controls the double-clutcher in the mighty SLS, with the four-wheel drive system using a clutch on the rear axle to divert up to 50 per cent of torque backwards when the need arises.

How does it drive?

Pretty much like the A45 AMG (Mercedes A45 AMG driven here), unsurprisingly. Like its hatchback sister the CLA feels relentlessly quick – with the massive mid-range torque, rapid-reacting gearbox and seemingly unbreachable grip limits giving instantaneous urge at almost any speed. In terms of outright backroad pace, little would come close – and we suspect it would probably be able to show most of AMG’s larger, rear-driven models a clean pair of heels.

Not that it can provide the sort of V8 soundtrack that we’ve come to associate with AMG over the last few years. The CLA’s four-cylinder soundtrack borders on the thrummy at constant revs, and although it sounds nicer when the engine gets extended – and especially when popping on the over-run – it’s closer to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo than a C63 AMG.

The gearbox has two automatic modes, but it feels like it needs another. ‘Comfort’ is a bit too dull-witted, upchanging at the earliest possible point to boost fuel economy, while ‘Sport’ borders on being too aggressive for everyday use; feeling closer to the ‘Sport Plus’ setting on the more expensive models. Manual over-ride works well on upchanges, but as with the SLS the transmission can get confused with requests for multiple downchanges in short order.

Grip levels are enormous. On road, and on dry tarmac, you very rarely get near them – rendering the half-off ‘ESP Sport’ setting pretty pointless. Ultimately the front end will run wide, although the line tightens nicely on a lifted throttle. But you’ll search in vain for the sort of throttle steerability that defines AMG’s rear-drive offerings; the CLA can be persuaded into mild oversteer on the brakes, but its natural inclination is always to pull itself straight under power.

The steering is good – very accurate and with decent feel getting through its electric assistance. And the brakes are epic: unfazed by even an extreme workout on track. Ride quality is firm – possibly more so than the A45 AMG – and although we only drove the car in Germany it feels as if it might struggle in the UK.

How does it compare?

That depends on what you think of the CLA’s styling, and how much you think the extra exclusivity it brings over the A45 AMG is worth. The CLA’s nose-heavy proportions and relatively dinky wheelbase make it look ungainly from some angles; the taller and shorter A-Class is a more harmonious piece of design. Although prices aren’t confirmed yet, we’re told the CLA45 will cost around £3700 more than the A45 AMG, putting it over £10,000 more expensive than the BMW M135i.

Anything else I should know?

Carbonfibre trim for the cabin and a leather dashboard come as standard and look great – although the red stitching on the dash top can reflect in the windscreen.
 

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Nice find!

The picture looks like Patagonia Red (rather than Jupiter Red) if the CLA Order Guide is any help. And, I agree, it looks great in that picture! From other pictures I've seen the Patagonia Red looked more like a color stolen off of the Ford Taurus color palette. Just goes to show you how little we can tell from any of these pictures without seeing it in person! I can't wait! :)

-Eric
 

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That is indeed Patagonia Red.. I am not a fan of some of these pictures.
Especially directly from the side.

Thanks for the article, great to see other colors for the CLA45.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
this looks so bad. i hate these frameless doors.
car_photo_575038_25.jpg

this shot on the other hand, i think makes this car look amazing. i really really love the side profile from this distance.
car_photo_575041_25.jpg

i also like those silver wheels with millions of spokes. much better than the all black version.
 

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What's "cool" about frameless doors? That top image looks awful...almost like a personal injury lawyer's dream. I can already see them drafting a letter to MB...

"Mercedes Benz USA, LLC
3 Mercedes Drive
Montvale, NJ 07645

Re: Window Design

Dear Mercedes-Benz,

On behalf of my firm and fellow products liability and personal injury attorneys, I would like to extend to you our greatest gratitude regarding the design of the 2014 CLA and, in particular, the obvious cost cutting measures behind the vehicle’s frameless doors. Without question, we find the true pièce de résistance of your design to be the sharply angled glass appendage visible on the rear door when the window is lowered. It is, for lack of a better phrase, to die for. We look forward to representing any clients (with deepest condolences to them and their families), who may suffer impalement, severance of limbs and/or other bodily injuries as a foreseeable result of these budget cuts.

Very truly yours,
Dewey. Cheatem and Howe"

And any parking spot tight enough that would require me to lower my window just to gain an extra inch of clearance so that I can get out is a spot that I am sure to avoid. :crazy:

-Eric
 

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Lol, Ok ok the rear one isn't but the front one is practical. I live in the Netherlands and it's always difficult to get a right spot. And on my last car the VW Scirocco I used it a lot :big smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
they should have just made it one piece of glass that goes all the way down without that small separation.

i'd have no issue with that despite it being frameless.
 

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They couldn't have done that. The door would have to be shaped differently in order to accommodate a single piece of glass like you are suggesting. There's no room for that piece of glass to descend deeply enough into the door. It's a design concession. Even if the windows were framed they still would have needed to use a fixed corner window. By not framing them they are left with what you see.

-Eric
 

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Did anyone see this article? It's actually pretty rubbish. I'm a bit worried as I was so excited for my cla45 then this came out. Probably just jurnos. I have a BMW 335i now and it's a big shift. First drive: Mercedes CLA 45 AMG - BBC Top Gear
Yes there's a few articles out at the moment - seems to be a mixed bag of opinions, both in terms of the CLA's looks and as a drive.

I've got a deposit on a CLA45 AMG and was hoping the response would be more clearly positive. Guess I'll just have to drive it before completing my order, and form my own opinion. Currently in a 2003 BMW M3 E46.

Here's another article:
Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG 2013: First Drive - motoring.com.au

And a test track video review of the A45 AMG:
 

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Reply 2
I just watched the Autocar test. Who is the driver? I didn't see him hit an apex for the first 2:30. And then later, he put a wheel off. I think he should hire a better video editor. But what we care about is the car, and it looked pretty good.
 

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Yes there's a few articles out at the moment - seems to be a mixed bag of opinions, both in terms of the CLA's looks and as a drive.

I've got a deposit on a CLA45 AMG and was hoping the response would be more clearly positive. Guess I'll just have to drive it before completing my order, and form my own opinion. Currently in a 2003 BMW M3 E46.

I'm the same too, also have a deposit and was expecting so much more from this car. Disappointing in fact. But like you've said, would be nice to see it in the flesh first, however, I have a feeling that once it hit's the UK, there won't be many around at first.... 435d perhaps :p
 
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