The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is the brand's first front-wheel-drive compact sedan, and it takes styling cues from the larger CLS. Mercedes calls both four-door coupes due to the swoopy styling. There is also a high-performance AMG version.
(Skip to details on the: CLA45 AMG)
Frameless windows accentuate the sloping roofline, making the car stand out against competitors like the upcoming Audi A3 sedan, Buick Verano, Acura ILX and BMW's 1 Series. The shape is not only distinctive but functional. Mercedes-Benz claims it's the most aerodynamic production car in the world with a coefficient of drag of 0.23. A Toyota Prius comes in at around 0.25.
Inside, the car is tailored for younger buyers with an emphasis on multimedia systems and smartphone connectivity. Mercedes' mbrace2 system will be standard in the CLA, allowing full integration of cloud-based apps between car and user electronics. A 5.8-inch display is standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity. A multimedia package is available featuring Mercedes-Benz' Comand navigation system and a 7-inch display as well as voice control, an SD card slot, 10-gigabyte music storage, backup camera and satellite radio. A Premium Package is also available, adding an iPod interface, Harman Kardon sound system, heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone climate control and more.
Under the hood
The car will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 208 horsepower that's mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is the only shifter. Power gets to the pavement through the front wheels or Mercedes' optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Seventeen-inch wheels will be standard and upgradable to 18-inch AMG wheels with the optional Sport Package. The Sport Package also includes more aggressive body styling and perforated front brake discs.
Mercedes' full raft of electronic safety minders is also optional, with a Driver Assistance Package that adds adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping warning system and a blind spot warning system. The company's autonomous parking function, Parktronic, is a standalone option.
Just because the CLA-Class is the entry-level Mercedes-Benz doesn't mean it's not entitled to an AMG high-performance variant. Under the CLA45 AMG's hood is the most powerful four-cylinder made for a production car, according to Mercedes-Benz. The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter produces 355 horsepower and is good for an estimated zero-to-60-mph run in 4.5 seconds.
Helping traction is standard all-wheel drive with bias toward the front wheels until torque is needed at the back. At a maximum, 50 percent of the power is sent to the rear wheels. The CLA-Class is front-wheel drive, so the CLA45's front bias helps fuel economy just as in the standard CLA.
Like other AMG models, there's no manual transmission offered in the CLA45 AMG, only a seven-speed dual-clutch automated-manual automatic transmission. The CLA45 AMG shares much of its sleek coupe-like sedan appearance with the CLS-Class, as well as some of its performance technology like a "Race Start" launch control feature for fast starts.
Inside, the CLA45 AMG has a standard 5.8-inch display screen, MB-Tex imitation leather, upholstery and Bluetooth. Numerous options are available including navigation, 7-inch display screen, carbon fiber interior and exterior enhancements, panoramic sunroof and more. Back to top
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