I think I saw this too late but I'm good with whatever you've got.
I was initially a little concerned about the shade of red. I want to love JR because I'm fighting the urge to buy another grey or silver car...and, while I love it in white, I think every other CLA is going to be white...or silver...or grey. If Milazzo or Outsider picks up a NLP one maybe every 100th will be purple.
P39 is described in detail on the Mercedes-AMG website. I've copied the description into a few threads. What I haven't seen (or, at least, I don't recall seeing) is a thorough description of P34 -- it's always a high level description of the 1-2 elements of the package (i.e.,880 IR) rather than the actual details that would allow someone to do a side-by-side comparison. I can't tell if they're basically the same save the red stitching...or something else.
I got to spend roughly two hours examining and sitting in this beautiful, beautiful car. I did NOT get to drive the car although I *may* get to sometime in the next week or two before it disappears and goes back to MB.
I will start uploading pics from my iPhone in a few minutes, but these are some observations.
1. OVERALL... this is a beautiful car. I think both Mercedes-Benz and AMG did an overall tremendous job of putting money in the right places. WIth a few (understandable and acceptable) exceptions, this does *not* look like a "cheap" Mercedes. Naturally I was a bit concerned because sometimes it seems like this car is too good to be true for the price. While this CLA45 was loaded, there are some things it didn't have because (I'm assuming) there are some options just not ready (standard steering wheel and seats).
That being said, there are some things to note:
2. The door lock pins in the door. I HIGHLY recommend the optional AMG ones. I thought it odd they offered these until I saw the plastic ones fitted in the car. Despite the attempt to hide mold lines with the shapes on the pins, they are evident and looks out of place cheap on the car.
3. As I'm sure many of you have seen in pictures, there are no hydraulic struts that hold open the hood. Very odd to me.
4. While the interior looks posh in general, there are some harder plastic surfaces like the center console and even the general door panels.
5. Anyone familiar with Mercedes power seat switches shaped in the shape of the seat cushions and located on the door, the one that represents the headrest switch (and is functional in other MB cars) is a dummy plastic piece here. The only parts of the seat switch that do anything are the power recline and the various power movements of the lower seat cushion.
6. Engine bay... as you can see in photos of the engine, and as much as I like to NOT have the engine completely covered in plastic shrouding, there are quite a few pieces of tin and aluminum being used for heat shielding that aren't attractive, and are located right up front. It's a very impressive but not attractive engine bay in my opinion. The down pipe from the turbo is immense.
7. The fuel filler door is pretty cool in it's opening.
8. All the switchgear felt expensive and nice... especially the air vents.
9. Climate Control... in Europe there is a button called "rest," which (I believe) keeps the interior warm for something like 30 minutes after you get out of the car and it's cold. This button is replaced by a Max AC button for the US car.
10. There is a fog lamp button (but only front fog lamps I believe), but I have no idea where the fog lamps are.
11. The gear shift lever is SOOOOOOOOOO beautiful to actuate.
12. Glove compartment is small.
13. Minor storage exists under armrest only accessible when the arm rest is NOT slid forward.
14. The hinges for the hood do not have the pedestrian safety feature like the European ones do. For those not familiar with what this is, if the car detects you've struck a pedestrian, the REAR of the hood springs up a couple inches and the spring acts like a cushion for the person landing on your hood. The driver can then press the hood back into proper position afterward. This car doesn't have that.
15. Seats. Actually I was really not impressed by the standard seats in the 45, which are the sport seats from the CLA250. My Jag X-Type and even the E-Class convertible next to the 45 here had better bolstering. Sadly this car didn't come with the Recaro optional seats, but I will be ordering the Recaros even if I never get a chance to sit in them first.
16. Back seat. Yea... it's tight. Sitting in it whilst the car sat there wasn't terribly bad, but my head was definitely tilted against the ceiling and, while I didn't feel uncomfortable, I began to think about what it must be like as the car drove down the road hitting bumps. I'm definitely not going to sit in the back of one while it drives around. Incidentally, between the rear seat room and the trunk room, I think a great case will be made about why the GLA45 may be the greatest car of this bunch. All the fun and front seat comfort of the CLA without the sloping roof limiting the back seat and the hatch giving you more storage.
17. This is one to take note of: The wheels. This car had the standard 18"ers and they were not what I expected. The wheels are NOT painted silver. For the flat surface of the spokes, they are beautifully machined with a protective coating, but the parts of the spokes that aren't machined (meaning the inner parts) are actually painted GRAY not silver. It really makes me wonder what they will look like on a silver car. Weird again.
18. The red seat belts are bad ass. Can one love a seatbelt??? I hope they are easily cleanable.
19. Because the doors are frameless around the windows, the windows automatically lower a fraction of an inch when you open the door and reclose themselves when you close the door.
20. This car had the dual, dual tipped exhaust, which supposedly means it has the AMG Performance Exhaust. I was happy to hear that under normal idling/driving it wasn't over the top.
21. They literally had to tell me to get out of the car so it could leave when we were all "done."
Feel free to ask questions... I looked at it a LOT and I'm happy to answer whatever I can.
Lauwersp, great review and photos, nice job! I didn't completely understand your point #5 about the power seat controls. Can you clarify? Any photos of the power seat controls on the driver door? Did the passenger side have power seat controls?
Both driver and passenger have power seat controls and 3 position memories. Anyone who's seen them (and I didn't take a picture ::hanging head in shame:: ) or the standard MB power seat controls knows or has seen a button that lives above the recline button that represents the headrest. In other MB cars, that button does something... like raising and lowering the power headrest. The CLA has fixed headrests but instead of removing the button, the button (or what looks like a button) is just that... a plastic piece that looks like a power headrest button that does nothing. I've been dying to know what it does so that always illicits disappointment when you find it does nothing.