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Still not the BALLS-OUT BRAVO I'm waiting for, but WAY more positive than Car and Driver.
Only 4 seconds - 3 mph - slower than AMG's SLS supercar around Bilster Berg.
Pretty cool.
 

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I'm not sure that a BRAVO from Autoweek would be worth very much. They're pretty lightweight and not really known for their deep and exhaustive testing.
 

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I'm not sure that a BRAVO from Autoweek would be worth very much. They're pretty lightweight and not really known for their deep and exhaustive testing.
Completely disagree. Subscribe Automobile, R & T, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Autoweek and Car (England.)
Of the five US publications, I personally like Autoweek, Motor Trend, Car & Driver, R & T and Automobile in that order.
From a weekly paper 20 years ago to a thin paper magazine to a high quality weekly, Autoweek is at least par with the above mentioned. For every page of auto writing, R & T has two pages of advertisement. This may be my first magazine to drop after 40 years of subscription.

JP Vettraino's four page spread is based on the same test drive everyone got at Bilster Berg. I thought it was fairly well done and objective. And he clearly likes the car - 'Acceleration is 911 Carrera grade,' 'most fling able and forgiving AMG car yet,' 'great thing does come in a small potent package.' My only complaint is that he is inaccurate in claiming the car has a standard back up camera which he thinks is 'almost a necessity.'
 

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Completely disagree. Subscribe Automobile, R & T, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Autoweek and Car (England.)
Of the five US publications, I personally like Autoweek, Motor Trend, Car & Driver, R & T and Automobile in that order.
From a weekly paper 20 years ago to a thin paper magazine to a high quality weekly, Autoweek is at least par with the above mentioned. For every page of auto writing, R & T has two pages of advertisement. This may be my first magazine to drop after 40 years of subscription.

JP Vettraino's four page spread is based on the same test drive everyone got at Bilster Berg. I thought it was fairly well done and objective. And he clearly likes the car - 'Acceleration is 911 Carrera grade,' 'most fling able and forgiving AMG car yet,' 'great thing does come in a small potent package.' My only complaint is that he is inaccurate in claiming the car has a standard back up camera which he thinks is 'almost a necessity.'
That's what makes the world go around. I, too, subscribe to a fair share of automotive print publications: Automobile, R&T, C and D, MT, Hemming's Sports and Exotics, as well as a few car club monthlies (Roundel, Panorama...). I dropped Motorweek sometime in 2009 or so, shortly after they went from actually being a weekly to a bi-monthly. I had already grown tired of Dutch Mandel's pompous authoring over the years but their decision to change to a bi-monthly "at no cost to existing subscribers" was the straw that broke this camel's back when it came to renewal. The current article was a benign regurgitation of fact with little personal flair...milquetoast reporting...not horrible but not exciting either...but that's just my take.

-Eric
 

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The article was probably originally published in an edition that reached subscribers back in June. After all, there has to be some benefit to being a subscriber. What would be the point of paying $11/yr for a digital or print publication, if the entire world could read the same material (for free) at the same time as a subscriber?

-Eric
 

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Outsider and Eric,
This is what makes this forum great! We can disagree on our opinions and present facts to backup our opinion without any need for flaming each other or engaging in a pissing contest. It's refreshing to be a member of a forum of mature adults. Well done!
 

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Hi Eric and DavidR,
The trouble is that we have read so many articles that pretty much tells the same. One is literally wishing for a different prospective. All these guys and gals drove the same loaded CLA45 the same day on the same track and set routes off the track. Guess we will have to wait for the actual arrival of the 45 for the real stories. That's what makes Harris' test of the A45 and M135i that much more interesting.
 

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I'm not looking for all the magazine authors and critics to be in love with the CLA. I gladly welcome differences in opinion, perspective and testing techniques. This helps expose problems and gives us a clearer and broader picture into what we're about to be driving. If they're reading, it also helps the manufacturer's to improve their product in a much more timely fashion than one or two of us could accomplish by writing a letter to the dealer or motor company.
Personally, I'm not getting a lot from the current crop of "me too" articles that have tight focus only on the race track and extreme handling testing. I can understand why they're doing it since the CLA45 is a high performance model, but that's certainly not how I drive any of my cars on the streets. I don't drive "boy racer" style nor "little old lady" style. If it exposes a problem that relates to normal street driving then great but otherwise I'm not so concerned. I'd like to see some testing that encompasses multiple driving styles and multiple road conditions. I'd also like to see more comparison testing against competing brands and also against other AMG models. Your mileage may vary.....
 

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David,

Unfortunately, outside of Minivans and SUVs perhaps, most of the initial reviews and comparison tests we read online and in magazines (especially when tied to a press junket) are based on track time. In my experience, it isn't until later when journalists have time to do longer term tests that we really get more nuts and bolts reports on the cars. Of course there are exceptions but they seem to gloss over the few minutes of street time they get with the car and focus on the hard core "stuff" that doesn't really matter if you're not tracking your car every weekend. Does any Toyota Yaris owner really care about skid pad numbers? :D Anyway, the CLA45 vs. M135i review that Outsider was referring to is a shining example of an early review that (from my perspective) actually delves into the CLA45's idiosyncrasies to identify what works well and what doesn't (at least from a performance and comfort perspective) when pitted against the car's true competition. Here's a link to the thread containing the discussion and a video of the review: http://www.mercedescla.org/forum/14-mercedes-benz-cla45-amg/1875-chris-harris-a45-m135i.html I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

-Eric
 

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I have to base my purchase decision on the CLA45 entirely on pictures ( there are lots ) and articles written ( there are lots as well.) Now that my order has reached the "yellow" stage, I am seeking everything I can get my hands on regarding little things non track related as DavidR has eluded to such as daily drivability, ride on 18" vs 19" rims on less than perfect roads, blind spot and rear view issues, exhaust noise ( ? too loud), seat comfort - standard vs optional, panoramic roof heat and rigidity etc to make tweaks on the order.
It is looking more and more like I may land one of the earliest CLA45s ( good and bad on that,) folks may get my first hand on whether the decision to get a 45 is a sound one.
 

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Yes, I have seen the Harris video and I think it's a great report and a great comparison. I found that report very informative. Unfortunately, that's the only one that I remember being of that style. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, the testers will get some longer term test cars and we will begin to see more of this style of testing and reporting. As Outsider mentioned, most of the magazine reporting to date seems to be based upon a bunch of reporters driving the same car around the same track on the same day - boring!
I may possibly be outside the mainstream on this next comment, but here goes anyway. I'd like to see some comparison testing versus other competing brands that may not be an exact apples to apples test, but in my opinion, does reflect normal consumer buying patterns for a USA shopper. For example: CLA 45 vs BMW M3 or CLA 45 vs 2014 Lexus ISF. I know, not exactly the same class of cars but they all are 4 door, small car, high performance models that are in the same price range.
 

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I don't think you're alone in that interest but I think it will be some time before we so those kinds of comparisons. While not segment competitors the CLA45 is certainly a price competitor to the S4 and 335i xDrive and since all three of the cars have clear sporting intentions it seems like a natural comparison. I'm not sure I'd naturally pit the CLA45 against the M3 or ISF (they're both priced $12-13K more than the CLA45) but maybe the CLA45's performance metrics alone warrant it! I'd certainly read the articles! :D

In my case, I was ready to purchase a 2014 S4 until I learned about the CLA45 this Winter. It isn't lost on me that the CLA has cross segment appeal.

-Eric
 

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A no holds barred shootout of the CLA45 versus all 4 competing models that we both mentioned, comparing track and street characteristics, features and creature comforts, would be a thing of beauty! I'm thinking it will be Winter time again, at best, before we'll see anything resembling that level of cross vendor, deep dive reporting.
 

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I have to base my purchase decision on the CLA45 entirely on pictures....
Been there, done that on the current body style SLK. I believe I was one of the first customer orders in the USA. For me, CLA45 seat comfort is one of the great unknowns and concerns. I don't recall any discussion about driver seating in any of the reviews that we've all seen. Other than rear seating limitations on tall people and poor rear visibility, we're not hearing many facts or trusted opinions that we can relate to daily driving characteristics. Approx $60K or more for a well equipped CLA45 is a tough decision when all we have are photos and a few "boy racer" style reviews.
 
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