- Spectacular base mannequin
- Enjoyable, high quality inside
- AMG engine
- Melty exterior design
- Some low cost bits
- Tough experience
The democratization of luxurious has confirmed tough for a lot of premium manufacturers, none extra so than Mercedes-Benz. Pilloried for its cynical first try on the entry-luxury CLA-Class subcompact sedan, the oldsters from Stuttgart might have packed it in. As an alternative, they doubled down, first with the A-Class (a 2020 COTY finalist) however then with the second-gen 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA, which is nothing in need of spectacular. So spectacular, actually, that additionally it is a Automotive of the 12 months finalist.
“The earlier model all the time felt constructed to a value and prefer it had been completed by Mercedes’ van division,” options editor Christian Seabaugh stated. “The brand new one is a correctly interesting luxurious subcompact.”
As a result of MotorTrend Car of the Year is supposed to guage the complete automobile line, we examined each a well-equipped “base” CLA 250 and the angry-as-a-swarm-of-murder-hornets AMG CLA 45. Usually, the bottom mannequin underwhelms after of us are wowed by the highest trim. However on this case the usual CLA 250 was the one which stunned us essentially the most.
“The CLA actually provides you a heat welcome into the Mercedes household,” MotorTrend en Español‘s Miguel Cortina stated. “It treats you want a Mercedes, drives like a Mercedes, and appears like a Mercedes. That is the way in which entry-level luxurious vehicles needs to be. The inside is plush and heat, and it has that Mercedes look that’s excellent.”
Intriguingly, the CLA shares underpinnings with the A-Class, in addition to the GLA-Class and GLB-Class crossovers. But our judges had been common in announcing the CLA clearly superior to the remainder of the quartet. Give the CLA engineers a elevate, Herr Källenius.
Granted there are some faults: The CLA 250’s dual-clutch transmission suffered jerky moments, particularly when chilly at startup, and never all dual-clutches do this. So some refinement is required there.
Subcompacts will all the time be challenged in delivering a refined experience as a consequence of their shorter wheelbases, however the CLA 250 (and clearly the stiffer-sprung CLA 45) induced clashing opinions as as to whether it was roughly harsh than its BMW M235i Gran Coupe direct competitors. Operative phrase: Harsh.
Inside, Mercedes did its finest to ship luxurious touches and premium supplies for a budget-minded value level. The buttons, dials, and stalks all really feel acceptable and convincing to the three-pointed star. The seats are sufficiently comfy, the full-digital show is spectacular, and also you get Ibiza-like ambient lighting throughout the complete spectrum of colours. Pantone can be jealous.
“Regardless of low cost supplies right here and there, I do know precisely what to anticipate once I get right into a Mercedes, with these beautiful air vents and the toggle switches that I can not probably function until I look all the way down to see what every one does,” Purchaser’s Information director Zach Gale stated.
The worth equation is hard: Our CLA 250 check mannequin got here throughout at a breathy $47,935. For that form of money, you will get a next-size-up Genesis G70 3.3 twin-turbo with way more energy, a greater experience, correct leather-based seats, extra intuitive infotainment, and a far bigger again seat. However it’s not a Mercedes.
Then we climbed into the CLA 45 and its outrageous almost 200-hp-per-liter engine. We’ll simply let Seabaugh riff right here: “I apologize to the rush-hour crowd—this automobile encourages me to drive like an ass. It simply does a lot so nicely. It is nicely balanced and composed. Its steering is weighty however pure and correct. Its engine is a nuclear bomb in a grenade kind issue. Its transmission is quick-shifting, by no means caught out of types, and fully livable in stop-and-go site visitors.”
Sure, the AMG we examined got here in nicely previous $70Okay, however you may rapidly scrape a slew of pointless choices from its plate, just like the $4,300 AMG Dynamic Plus bundle. In any other case, bonkers.
If there have been a “most improved participant” award, the CLA-Class would undoubtedly be in rivalry.
|POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS||2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic, -AMG CLA 45 4Matic+|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, Four valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||121.5 cu in/1,991 cc|
|COMPRESSION RATIO||10.5:1, 9.0:1|
|POWER (SAE NET)||221 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 382 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||258 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm|
|REDLINE||6,300, 7,000 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||15.8, 9.7 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto, 8-speed twin-clutch auto|
|AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO||4.13:1 (gears 1, 2, 4, 5, R), 2.39:1 (gears 3, 6, 7)/1.74:1; 3.93:1 (gears 1, 2, 5, 6, R), 2.68:1 (gears 3, 4, 7, 8)/1.81:1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|STEERING RATIO||14.4:1, 14.5:1|
|TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK||2.5; 2.4|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.0-in vented disc; 12.6-in disc, 13.8-in vented, drilled disc; 13.0-in vented, drilled disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||7.Zero x 18-in, 9.Zero x 19-in; forged aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||225/45R18 91H M+S Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP, 255/35ZR19 96Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S|
|TRACK, F/R||63.5/63.1, 63.6/62.9 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||184.6 x 72.Zero x 56.7, 184.Eight x 75.6 x 55.Four in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||36.1, 38.1 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,498, 3,724 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||60/40%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||38.5/35.7 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||41.8/33.9 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||55.1/54.Zero in|
|CARGO VOLUME||11.6 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|0-30||2.1, 1.4 sec|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||3.1, 1.8|
|QUARTER MILE||14.5 sec @ 95.Eight mph, 12.1 sec @ 113.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH||125, 109 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.86, 0.99 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.5 sec @ 0.67 g (avg), 24.1 sec @ 0.80 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,550, 1,450 rpm|
|BASE PRICE||$39,645, $55,795|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$47,935, $73,850|
|AIRBAGS||10: Twin entrance, fr/rr aspect, f/r curtain, entrance knee|
|BASIC WARRANTY||Four yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||Four yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||Four yrs/50,000 miles|
|FUEL/BATTERY CAPACITY||13.2, 13.5 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||23/33/27, 20/29/23 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||147/102, 169/116 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.73, 0.83 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|