Mercedes-AMG's CLA45 portable car may just work the door at Affalterbach's internal-combustion madhouse. Yet with a transverse inline-four engine creating a crazy 188 horsepower per liter, it makes for one helluva greeter. A host of recent updates have made the CLA45 4Matic-- already a serious entertainer when it debuted for 2014-- even stouter for 2017, albeit without much dealing with of its underlying issues.
With its scrappy attitude as well as raucous four-cylinder blat, the all-wheel-drive CLA45-- and also its GLA45 hatchback crossover twin-- has actually constantly traded some polish for increase stress. A twin-scroll turbocharger still pumps a significant 26.1 psi right into AMG's hand-assembled 2.0-liter M133 mill. But the addition of a brand-new exhaust camshaft and also a returned computer for 2016 have upped its output by 20 horsepower as well as 18 lb-ft of torque for spirituous totals of 375 as well as 350. Magnified by our example's $650 AMG Performance exhaust system, the CLA45 hums via its rev range like a power saw-- at up to 88 decibels under full discomfort-- and also discharges a sharp brrapp on upshifts at anything majority throttle.
A stylish, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic harnesses the engine's outcome with nimble control, easily serving up rev-matched downshifts in its much more hostile settings and also using precise actuation via change paddles on the CLA's steering wheel. The AMG-tuned transmission still can be a little bit clunky at slower rates-- witness our test auto's instead pokey 5.3-second pull from 5 to 60 miles per hour-- yet its quickness on the move does aid counter the lag from the huge turbo. Although the 45 usually runs as a front-driver, its basic 4Matic all-wheel-drive system could course approximately 50 percent of the powertrain's torque to the back axle when required.
With its peak torque plateauing from 2250 to 5000 rpm and all 375 horses present at 6000 revs, the CLA45 hits quick and also tough as it increases to an online regulated 155-mph top speed (or 167 mph if furnished like our examination automobile). AMG's launch-control system can be participated in the sportier owning modes by standing on the brake pedal, toggling the paddle shifters, and also flooring the throttle, all of which holds the revs at regarding 3000 rpm as it produces the sound of firecrackers taking off from the 45's exhaust pipes. Release the brake and also the 3563-pound car blasts to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds as well as covers the quarter-mile in 12.3 at 113 miles per hour-- a solid 0.4 and also 0.5 second (and 3 mph) quicker compared to in the past and also stone's throw behind the last 503-hp Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan we evaluated. That rate likewise places the CLA45 somewhat ahead of AMG's tamer C43 car with its factory-built twin-turbo V-6, an auto that needs 4.1 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour and can do the quarter in 12.7 at 110 mph. We have yet to see how the CLA45's main opponent, the 400-hp Audi RS3, prices at the test track, but we'll be strapping our instruments to that cars and truck soon.
The latest CLA45 manages a lot more dramatically when fitted with its optional mechanical limited-slip front differential that was added for 2016. Our instance rode on $850 19-inch aluminum wheels in place of the stock 18s as well as was shod with 235/35ZR -19 Dunlop SP Sports Maxx RT efficiency tires. Compared with the 2014 model we examined on similar Continental ContiSportContact 5P rubber, the brand-new configuration glued the CLA45 to the skidpad with a complete 1.00 g of grip (up from 0.94 g), topping any type of AMG-fettled C-class and also matching the 10Best Cars-- winning BMW M2. The sticky Dunlops additionally aided the 13.8-inch front and 13.0-inch rear brakes bring this AMG to a halt from 70 miles per hour in an impressive 150 feet with no discolor.
While CLA45 will always default to reset its times in the restrictions handling, thanks in part to the 60.2 percent weight that depends on the front axle. The body stays practically tabletop level in bends, and the electrically assisted power steering twirls with accuracy and also a modicum of feeling. Our car likewise included beautiful Recaro efficiency seats ($ 2250) with red piping that bearhugged front-seat occupants with helpful side bolsters.
The big compromise for the 45's sports-car-like performance is that you can not switch off its rambunctiousness. The whole vehicle thrums to the tough four-banger's pulse, and the AMG suspension is rigid and also brief in traveling, really feeling weak even in the softer of its 2 damper settings. Although our high-strung test car bettered its 30-mpg EPA highway number by 1 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy examination, it averaged only 20 mpg throughout its two weeks with us-- 3 mpg less than its city price quote.
The CLA's swoopy, portable percentages do not lend it Mercedes-Benz's most handsome four-door coupe design, but a light renovation for 2017 does straighten it much better with more recent products from the carmaker. Refined tweaks to the front and also rear bumpers-- consisting of tacky carbon-fiber aero canards-- let it slip with the air extra effectively, and there now are typical LED fronts lights. In addition to $300 red brake calipers, our examination cars and truck's Designo Polar Silver Magno matte paint increased its curbside existence as well as added $2500 to the rate, but the rip-snorting exhaust note stays this AMG's best inform.
Small changes to the interior consist of modified trim surfaces and an updated 8.0-inch main display managed via a console-mounted rotary knob, yet a fast check still discloses some price reducing on products. This auto's rear seat continues to be particularly tight, with the car's sloping roofline drastically restricting headroom. And several fundamental comforts set you back extra, such as warmed seats, closeness entrance as well as push-button start, and Apple CarPlay and also Android Auto connectivity. The CLA45's basic black decoration is plainly spiced with red accents, consisting of the seatbelts (black belts are a no-cost alternative), contrast stitching, the bezels for the HVAC vents, and also red-and-silver AMG Design graphics on the control panel. Our instance went a step further with the $1650 AMG Red Cut Exclusive plan, which adds black natural leather upholstery with more comparison sewing, ambient interior illumination, and top-stitched MB-Tex cut on the upper dashboard as well as door panels. However, the total effect continues to be that of a juvenile delinquent clothed for a court day.
Such modification highlights the CLA45's best disorder: It's not-insignificant $50,945 beginning price is but $2050 below that of Mercedes-AMG's classier and also comfier C43 car. Factor in every one of the abovementioned extras as well as $6650 worth of additional infotainment, driver-assistance, and also convenience facilities, and our $69,095 examination cars and truck expense almost $3K greater than a big-dog C63 sedan with a twin-turbo AMG V-8 creating 469 horsepower. Also in the AMG asylum, where Formula 1-- engined road cars now roam the halls, that is crazy.
SpecificationsVEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED: $69,095 (base price: $50,945)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
DISPLACEMENT: 122 cu in, 1991 cc
POWER: 375 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE: 350 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in
LENGTH: 183.8 in
WIDTH: 70.0 in HEIGHT: 55.7 in
PASSENGER VOLUME: 80 cu ft
TRUNK VOLUME: 13 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT: 3563 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 3.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 9.4 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 16.5 sec
Zero to 150 mph: 25.9 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.3 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.3 sec @ 113 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr's est): 167 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 150 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.00 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY:
Observed: 20 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 31 mpg
Highway range: 450 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY:
Combined/city/highway: 26/23/30 mpg