Lifestyle

Road test: Mercedes-Benz CLA coupe is a category killer

The Mercedes-Benz CLA.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA. Daimler AG - Global Communicatio

PREMIUM eloquence calls it a "compact car offensive". But really Mercedes-Benz is going for the jugular.

The new CLA coupe has arrived priced from under $50 grand and has placed a silk-lined foot on the throat of Audi and BMW.

Only the CLA 200 and the raucous range-topping AMG derivative have arrived, but already there is a queue.

This svelte four-door shares underpinnings with its A-Class sibling and both are dragging new customers into three-pointed star showrooms in unprecedented numbers. Seventy-five per cent of A-Class buyers are new to the brand…and that will extend further with the CLA.

Another two derivatives will arrive next year, including a diesel version for $50,400 in February while the 250 Sport ($63,400) is scheduled to touch down in April.

Comfort

This is the slipperiest production car in the world. With a coefficient drag of 0.23 (anything under 0.3 is usually pretty good nowadays) it helps deliver a whisper quiet cabin.

There is no wind noise, which makes the tyre rumble more pronounced. However, despite the run-flats on the CLA200 and the performance-focused suspension on the AMG, it cruises smoothly for a serene ride.

Actually longer than a C-Class but with slightly less head room, the CLA has a sporty persona, yet it can still carry four adults.

Swooping lines at the rear impede space for those in the back seat though and those taller than 170cm will find their hair skimming the roofline. From the back vantage point the view is hindered by a small window and a large rear pillar.

One issue is the dash reflection on the windscreen, especially prominent with yellow stitching from the Edition One pack, while the colour screen looks a bit like a late add-on sticking out from the dash and it is unable to be folded.

On the road

This pairing are two vastly different beasts.

The CLA45 is literally an animal.

Using the same vicious 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as the hatch derivative, massaged by the magical fingers of an AMG engineer, it too is outstanding.

Rally-car-like tunes emanate from the pipes from start up and it bangs and crackles with downshifts and burbles under acceleration. You'd never get sick of blipping the throttle…although it doesn't sound quite as mean as its hatch brethren.

The CLA45 runs in front-wheel drive for the majority of the time and torque is only sent to the rear wheels when loss of traction is detected.

And you'll want to test its mettle - a lot.

It can cruise without much fanfare or noise, but put the hammer down and let the fun begin.

Tight twists and turns are embraced and it takes monumental effort to lose any grip.

Of course, the entry-level CLA200 is a more subdued performer.

Those getting into this derivative won't be disappointed though.

Smooth and powerful enough for most drivers, it answers the call around town and on the highway. In comfort mode acceleration response can be restrained, yet, press the drive mode button and select Sport and a more rapid retort is easily found.

What do you get?

Basic CLA200 kit incorporates nine airbags, 18-inch alloys, man-made leather trim, active park assist, automatic climate control, blind spot warning system, sat nav and a reversing camera.

The CLA45 gets the AMG makeover, complete with red cut leather (you can see the colouring within the perforations), performance exhaust and suspension, lane keep assist, 19-inch alloys with low-profile rubber, radar cruise control and a twin-blade radiator grille.

There are some packages worth considering on the 200, including the night pack for $490 which comes with black alloys and window tinting. Then there's the AMG line which gets the sporty body styling, lowered stance and the night pack gear for $1490.

Available up until December, there is also a special Edition One derivative which gains some funky sports seats with matching stitching on the dash and the full AMG external get-up.

Running costs

Fuel consumption won't break the budget, the CLA200 will achieve about six litres for every 100km while the AMG has an official average about one litre more - but with serious driving expect more than 10L/100km.

It's backed by a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is every 20,000km or 12 months.

Practicality

While it has coupe proportions, the CLA has a reasonable size boot and the rear seats have a 60-40 split fold functionality.

Having the gear shifter stalk on the steering column creates space in the console for two cup holders and some useful storage spots.

Funky factor

It looks every bit the Mercedes-Benz classy coupe…just smaller than traditional saloon proportions.

Beautiful lines and the big three-pointed star up front tick all the right boxes.

The lowdown

Mercedes-Benz has set the small car benchmark. It looks expensive, but the CLA200 is within reach of many Australian households.

Graceful and sexy, it's a coupe worthy of adoration.

The cacophony of noise which emanates from the CLA45 is intoxicating, and to have another AMG available for under $100 grand is astounding. It wasn't so long ago driving ability like this was limited to the likes of Ferrari and Porsche at quadruple the coin.

Getting your hands on one may take some patience but it will be worth the wait.

VITAL STATISTICS
Model:
Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG.
Details: Four-door all-wheel drive performance coupe.
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder generating maximum power of 265kW @ 6000rm and peak torque of 450Nm @ 2250-5000rpm.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
Consumption: 7.0 litres/100km.
CO2: 161g/km.
Performance: 0-100kmh in 4.6 seconds; top speed 270kmh (electronically limited).
Bottom line (plus on-roads): $86,900

VITAL STATISTICS
Model:
Mercedes-Benz CLA200.
Details: Four-door front-wheel drive luxury compact coupe.
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 115kW @ 5300rpm and peak torque of 250Nm @ 1250-4000rpm.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Consumption: 5.7L/10km.
CO2: 133g/km.
Performance: 0-100kmh 8.6 seconds; top speed 210kmh.
Bottom line (plus on-roads): $49,900.

Topics:  mercedes-benz motoring review road test



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

What would you do, go for a local company or cheaper quote?

Paulette and Owen Lindley with their crew in just one of the grounds they maintain on a volunteer basis.

Debate over going local or going cheaper

'Game on': Tensions rise over regional link road development

Agnes Water residents show their displeasure.

Bulge in Gladstone man's pants tips off police

Police attending incident at the Young Australian Hotel. 
Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer

He was caught multiple times with a suspicious bulge in his pants.

Local Partners

Better phone service for Gladstone's regional towns

Telstra: "This technology is delivering big benefits to these rural and regional communities”


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

New tool reveals which areas are most 'vulnerable' for renters

An aerial shot of Agnes Water main beach. According to new information, people renting in the region are more vulnerable than those in Gladstone suburbs.

Big differences between living in Gladstone and outer areas

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!