Mercedes-Benz CLA Tested

Mercedes-Benz CLA driving in the rain 1 photo
Photo: original image by autoevolution
Quite a lot of rain – this is what we experienced from about half the time we spent together with our Mercedes-Benz CLA tester. In fact, we even went though a thunderstorm, but the “baby Benz” didn’t bat an eye headlight because... the CLA is no junior.
We asked the car to take us through the storm at ridiculous speeds and it did precisely as instructed, inspiring confidence in the process. You see, in the past, the three-pointed star wasn’t exactly the badge to choose if you wanted a small car. However, Mercedes is now determined to rule this game.

The timing hasn’t been left to chance, since compacts have started gaining popularity after the global downturn has left us all in a more cautious mood. Mercedes engineers responded with the MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform. This is used for the A- and B-Class compacts, as well as for the GLA crossover.

And yet the CLA is the star of this show, and it’s all thanks to its styling. Downsizing the CLS’ visual appear has made wonders for our test car, especially with its details. By that, we are referring to the AMG exterior package, 18-inch wheels included and to the Northern Lights Violet hue of the thing.

While they were at it, Mercedes also honed the CLA into the most streamlined production car to date. That title goes to the CLA BlueEFFICIENCY version, which has a drag coefficient of 0.22. The standard CLA, with its 0.23 Cd trails closely.

That aim didn’t come without its downside, so the CLA’s design does hold a few angles that can make the whole story seem exaggerated, such as that massive front grille.

Returning to what’s underneath the car, the MFA’s front-wheel drive starting point got many worried about the understeer. This, however, is kept well in check, so we won’t complain. You can also have your all-wheel drive, but this is only offered as an option on the CLA 250 warm model, which comes with 208 hp (211 PS). 4Matic AWD is standard on the bonkers 355 hp (360 PS) CLA 45 AMG, albeit still with a front bias.

In fact, the CLA manages to deliver on many fronts, which sustains its premium car claims. Oh yes, the Mercedes-Benz feel-good state is certainly on the menu.

The four-door coupe isn’t without flaw though and we’ll also cover these negative bits in our Mercedes-Benz CLA review.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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