Eager…and economical! 

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of an AMG as being described as “economical”, but this is a “never-before” Mercedes Benz AMG…based upon their new 4-cylinder CLA series.

Let’s talk about those four cylinders.   355 HP…..332ft. lbs of torque…coming on at a low 2250 RPM.    It’s simply the highest horsepower 4-cylinder engine in production today.   Expect to go zero to 60 in just 4.4 seconds.    Not too many years ago that was Corvette and Ferrari territory.

Each AMG engine is hand-crafted….and the CLA’s 4-cylinder sports a twin-scroll turbo running through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic…and it puts this power down via Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

It’s quick.   It’s nimble.   It’s a true drivers’ car….seriously fun to drive.

Drive it easy (why, tho’ ?) and you’ll get typical econo-car economy….rated at 23 city and 31 hwy MPG.     Punch it, and you’ll pass pretty much anything you come up against….quickly.    Stuck in 60 MPH commuter-traffic most of the time, I averaged 30 MPG…and got as high as an indicated 34.5….even while hitting it hard those few times that I could.   Mileage is helped by the automatic engine cutoff when stopped.    Again, this is an unusual AMG…and that’s not a bad thing at all.

So, how’s it drive?   Even at idle, the engine has a nice, throaty burble to it.    Sweet.   You sit rather low in the four-door coupe…well-supported in typically-contoured AMG seats.   And it’s all covered in Mercedes Benz synthetic leather and suede.   The bright-red seatbelts in the otherwise black interior were a crowning touch.    And the soft leather-covered steering wheel with it’s meaty hand-grips right at the 10 and 2 position…. and quick-ratio steering…make you just want to go hunt a curvy two-lane.

The CLA45 AMG can seat up to five, but make sure those three in the back are under six feet and reasonably good friends….as the sloping roofline cuts into headroom as you’d imagine.   Just call it the price of looking good.

The new Mercedes Benz CLA starts just under 31K…and as such, put’s itself up against loaded Camry’s, Accords, Fusions, ‘Boos and others.   Interesting, indeed.    That’s a neighborhood in which Mercedes Benz has not played before.  It’s got a tamer 208 HP version of the same 2.0 liter four…and is rated at 26 – 38 MPG and will do zero to 60 in a still very respectable 6.9 seconds.

Jump up to the AMG and you’ll begin the bidding at $48,375 including transportation.   Ours had another nine thousand in options….pretty much all the things that make a Mercedes Benz a Mercedes Benz….and an AMG an AMG.

Things like special paint, carbon-fiber trim, heated seats, a truly outstanding harmon-kardon Premium sound system with Sirius XM, dual-zone climate control, rear-view cam, enhanced voice control, parking assist, a huge panoramic sunroof and more.  The final tab?   $57,165.    A  price not seen on a new AMG in perhaps the last 15-20 years!

The new CLA45 AMG is pretty much the best of both worlds…a high-performance 4-door that will drive right by gas stations with some of the best of ’em!

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