Auto Nsider Review: 2017 Mercedes Benz AMG CLA45

Could this possibly be the world’s fastest economy car?

 

We’ll explain that in a moment, but first let’s cover the “fast” part.

 

If you know Mercedes Benz, AMG is their high-performance line….competing with BMW’s “M”, Audi’s “S”, Cadillac’s “V” and others.

 

And if you know Mercedes, you know that the CLA is their “baby”….their smallest 4-door sedan.

 

Bur in AMG form, there’s nothing “baby” about this ride.

 

With 375 HP coming out of a handcrafted turbo four, Mercedes claims up to a 168 MPH top end and a 4.1 second run to 60.

 

Truth be known, the AMG CLA45 is a bit of a sleeper…..perhaps best described as the “rascal” of the AMG line.

 

This is a fun car.   A drivers’ car.    An absolute blast in the city due to its’ explosive acceleration and tidy size.   A U-turn on a two-lane is just a snap of the wrist….and it’s equally able to keep a smile on your face on the open road.

 

If you’re out to impress someone, think about getting a bigger Benz.   If you just wanna’ have fun, don’t overlook this ride.

 

And that’s not to say that your passengers won’t be impressed.  Our test AMG had $2,500 worth of Polar Silver Magno matte silver paint…..which it wore quite well.   And the black “Red Cut” leather interior…as the name implies….had red contrasting stitching….an attractive compliment to the red brake pads.

 

But back to the “fun”.   You’ll want to roll down the windows when you fire it up…..just to soak in the sound of that little exhaust “bark”.

 

And once underway, it just keeps getting better.   There’s a rotary dial that allows you to select “Individual”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport-Plus”, and “Race” settings….each giving you altered shift-points on the 7-speed dual-clutch auto…firmer suspension settings…and more of that exhaust “bark” as you go through those 7 gears.

 

Again, this is a drivers’ car…..handcrafted for fun.

 

And that fun starts at just $49,950…plus destination fees.   Pretty good deal when you consider what you get.   But like all European premium vehicles, it’s no problem to add a whole economy car’s worth of options to customize it to your specific taste.

 

In addition to our matte finish and red brake calipers and Red-Cut leather, our test AMG CLA45 added a performance exhaust system, a meaty naapa leather steering wheel that was hard to let go of, special 19’ black alloys, sport suspension, premium audio, Mercedes’ “Command” system with voice control and traffic and nav….and more…..bringing our total sticker to 69K.

 

Again, if you love to drive, find a way to borrow the money.

 

But back to that “economy car” comment earlier.    This vehicle is rated at 23 city and 30 highway.   I got boxed in on the freeway in 60-70 MPH traffic and got 31.

At other times I occasionally drove it as hard as common sense allowed and still got 24 – 25.    You won’t buy this car for its’ economy, but you’ll appreciate it, nonetheless.

 

If you drove a Civic SI or Mazda Speed in your younger years and have now done well, Mercedes’ AMG CLA45 might be just what you need to re-live those spirited days of youth!

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