2014 Mercedes Benz CLA 45 AMG | DRIVEN

Turn heads, quickly.

Story: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates

Your first objective when crawling inside the CLA 45 AMG is to attempt to completely wipe from your mind that this vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz and secondly, try and forget it costs almost 60 grand.  If you can successfully manage these two objectives, your experience will be that of pure enjoyment. The CLA platform is the entry level Mercedes with a base price just shy of $30,000, so even though the CLA 45 is the top tier it’s still a slave to the limitations set by its less expensive siblings. That being said, don’t expect to be immersed in the signature Mercedes-Benz opulence where everything you touch is premium material and every breath you take captures the waft of supple leather.  The plastic is cheap, the pleather seating material is rubbery and the awkwardly mounted media center display is almost comical. But that’s not why you buy this car.

The exterior is gorgeous from every angle. There’s not one curve on this beautiful Benz that doesn’t scream sexy. The only pitfall could be its size limitations because parked next to any mid-sized sedan, the CLA 45 goes from sexy to cute as rapidly as it gets from zero to sixty. Regardless, the front fascia is one of the most attractive in the business, even upstaging some of its own, more expensive Mercedes counterparts. That being said, the exterior is the second most important reason you buy the CLA 45 AMG, the first being the absolutely enthralling performance aspect. The ride is peppy, nimble and driving it  every day you feel as if you’re in a luxury go-kart zipping around town on some sort of top secret mission.  Mercedes has the 0-60 time measured at 4.4 seconds and that’s completely believable, as this bad little Benz will pin you to your seat in a heartbeat. The turbo lag can be a bit annoying at first but once you get used to it, you accept it as a fact of life and almost look forward to it. Because of the lag, it’s not as quick as you’d like it to be from light-to-light but above 45 mph it’s probably one of the most enjoyable cars on the market. The AMG Sport suspension is quite stiff, which is handy for the curves but brutal on speed bumps and that’s to be expected. If you’re searching for new-school Mercedes-Benz aesthetics and track-spec performance, the CLA 45 AMG was literally built for you – assuming you can afford the price tag. If you’re yearning for a cool mixture of luxury and gadgetry coupled with the signature AMG feel ou’re barking up the wrong tree.



Damage: $57, 165

Power:  355 hp, 332 lb.-ft.

0-60:  4.4 (est)

Gas Cash:  23 City, 31 Hwy

Miles Driven:  450


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