By on March 15, 2016

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

Mercedes-Benz has released details about the refreshed 2017 CLA bound for next week’s New York International Auto Show.

Changes to the sedan (or “four-door coupe,” if you must) are mainly limited to minor upgrades all around — an exterior facelift both front and rear, increased trim and wheel options, as well as technological improvements.

Outside, the CLA sports redesigned front and rear bumpers, optional trim strips and tailpipe panels that integrate flush with the bumper. High-performance LED headlamps that emit a more natural-colored light are optional.

New light alloy designs bump the number of wheel options up to six for the CLA250 and CLA250 4matic, while two new wheels offerings join the AMG CLA45.

Inside, new seat cover and trim options abound, and chrome-plated controls provide a boost in brightwork. The media center has been redesigned to look slimmer, while new dials and an easier to read instrument cluster round out the more notable changes.

On the tech front, hands-free access is now an option, allowing grocery-laden owners to open the trunk or liftgate by moving their foot underneath the rear bumper. A rear-view camera is now standard equipment on U.S.-bound models.

Another safety feature — Active Brake Assist — has become standard, providing autonomous emergency braking when it’s needed.

Engine choices for the CLA line are a carryover from last year. A direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four makes 208 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque in the CLA250, while the AMG CLA45’s hand-built mill, also displacing 2.0-liters, is rated at 375 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines are mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic, though the AMG’s version now comes with shorter gear ratios for improved performance.

A “Dynamic Select” driving mode is now standard on both drivetrains, modifying the engine, transmission and steering feel to meet the driver’s preference.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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36 Comments on “2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA: Evolution Trumps Revolution...”


  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    Someone should tell Mazda that MB stole their “Tablet planted firmly to the dashboard” ICE design.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I may be wrong, but I believe MB had that design first. Mazda certainly wasn’t the first automaker with the tablet stuck to the dashboard look though.

      • 0 avatar
        cbrworm

        Yeah, Audi was doing that a few years ago as well. Infiniti had a strange design in ’05 that had the nav screen sticking up out of the dashboard, but I think you could retract it.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    That center dash looks very low-budget, like MB glued a cheap tablet to a stalk above the vents.

  • avatar

    Most important of all…is that front grille emblem still backlit ?

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Trump Revolution?
    ISWYDT

  • avatar

    Proof that:

    No matter how poorly the car turns…

    No matter how poorly the car handles…

    No matter how weak the engines are…

    No matter how unrefined the “cabin” is…

    No matter how slowly it gets around the Nurbergringringgring…

    MY CAR SAYS “MERCEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDEEEEEEZ” on the back…

    -Badgewh0ring 101.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    The only thing this car has going for it is the dinner plate sized plastic Mercedes Benz emblem embedded in the front Grille.

    Deadweight may not like the Cadillac ATS, but I would consider an ATS a significant upgrade on this thing.

    IMHO, the much maligned Chrysler 200C has a nicer interior than the CLA, and despite FCA’s uneven reputation for quality, I suspect a Pentastar powered 200 would be a safer bet for long term ownership than a CLA with its boosted 4.

    It goes to show the power of a brand though, the ATS and 200 are flops, and the CLA flies off the lots. I’m sure this car will be extremely profitable for Daimler – at least in the short term.

    They should have called it “Cimarron, by Mercedes Benz”…

    • 0 avatar

      The CLA and GLA will be volume sellers no matter what possible criticism the “professional car reviewers” level at it.

      I’d love to ask the buyers of said cars how many “professional reviews” they even read – or watched – before buying one.

      This may be looked upon as cheapening the brand but if you want to SELL SELL SELL, you ain’t got a choice.

      Lamborghini could easily be the greatest sports car seller EVER by making a Lambo for less than $200,000.

      Extra points if they make it SPACIOUS enough for me to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Every Mercedes CLA is a grossly overpriced POS that should be set on fire and driven into a reinforced concrete wall at 90 mph.

      A Honda Accord is 2x the car in terms of quality and refinement (and 5x the car in terms of reliability) for 2/3rds to 1/2 the price.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d put down twice as much money on a CLA before an Accord.

        It’s like trying to convince people that diamonds are worthless.

        No matter how much evidence you bring forward from a geologist’s perspective, ADVERTISERS and NAME BADGES speak LOUDER than anything a “professional reviewer” has to say.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Why do you care what sheeple think?

          A Honda Accord is a better vehicle inside & out than the POS CLA.

          There are many people convinced that a CLA is a superior car to a Hyundai Genesis (2015+) even though the new Genesis is WAY better than the last gen and WAY better than a CLA, and even though a CLA can easily be optioned up to the price point of a well-trimmed Genesis.

          ..just because of the badge, as you wrote.

          He!!, a Sonata is as good as or better than the horrid CLA.

          Yet, you drive a Hyundai?

          • 0 avatar

            I have made the argument that the Sonata 2.0t is a completely better car than the CLA.

            In fact, when my 2013 Azera goes back in June, I may end up taking a loaded Sonata over a Genesis.

            Problem is, I live in Manhattan/NYC. Image is everything.

            try convincing someone here that the Sonata is better than a CLA or one of those PIECE OF TRASH ACURAS.

            I’d take a loaded Sonata over an RLX.

            swear to God.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            Not to bash your decision, but isnt the 2.0T Sonata/Optima (newest) remarkably underachieving in the performance department? If memory serves, the lower trim 1.6T was just as fast, despite seemingly being down 50+ hp on paper.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            DW,

            Compare a 5 year old Merc to a 5 year old Hyundai. You may not like Mercedes, but you have to admit that they hold together quite well.

            As for the “sheeple” comment (always a sign of desperation, btw), the CLA has maybe 1% of the mid-size sedan market share, way behind Camry/Accord/Fusion/Altima/Sonata. By any logic, the “sheeple” are buying those 5 cars. Buying anything else means that you are either an individualist, or a credit risk.

          • 0 avatar

            blppt

            We test drove the Genesis and the Sonata (base engine). Obviously the Genesis V6 AWD feels far more substantial than the Sonata due to the smaller mass and the lack of the V6 early torque. But I already have two performance cars (707HP and 470HP) getting less than 12mpg. This will be the “Sensible car”.

            As far as quality goes. I had no trouble on the Azera lease. 25,000 miles no issues AT ALL.

  • avatar

    Advertisement means a LOT.

    In the movie “Supersize me” they called it Brand Imprinting for Later Actualization”

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    People really get apoplectic about this car. I’m going to have to try one out just to see if it’s that bad – as in, maybe it’s crap compared to a C class, but is it crap compared to a high trim Fusion or a Sonata or an Optima? I know, different sizes – but still. It stands to reason that it’s not a terribly good car, but there’s so much emotion behind the disdain for it that now I feel like I can’t really trust the conclusions!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The only positive attribute of the CLA is its motor, on a RELATIVE basis.

      It’s a cheap interior, cheaply built, creaking, rattling, dimwitted shifting, noisy, uncomfortable, unrefined, harsh riding (in a bad way), small rear seat, grossly overpriced, cynical vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        One question: How extensive was your test drive of the CLA?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Two rentals on two separate occasions.

          I had a CLA for 3 days, once, and another for 2 days on a diffeent occasion (where I actually drove 4x the # of miles as I did the first time – over 3 days).

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        I’ve got to try a CLA. If Hyundai can make the Sonata as solid as it is for 20k, I fail to see how Mercedes can’t manage the same trick for 30 – unless they just haven’t got people who know how to make solid stuff for very little money. But hell, even if you’re in the business of making 50k cars, spending only 20 making them solid vs spending 40 is kind of a no-brainer. I can’t see any situation in which it makes sense for Mercedes to not be able to build a similar car at a similar price to Ford/Hyundai/Honda/Toyota.

        That doesn’t mean it’s not true though.

        The real problem with the CLA, from my perspective, is that even if it *was* as solid as my current Sonata, optioning it to a similar point jacks the price up past Genesis levels. At 35k with the same option load as a loaded Optima I’d consider taking the size hit because of the potentially-better powertrain and the looks (shoot me; I rather like the CLA).

        But by the time you option a CLA to match a $35k Optima / Sonata it’s freaking $47,000, and down 50hp! If you’re gonna spend 47 grand there are an awful lot of options, including nearly-new CPO cars that will take the CLA out back and put four rounds in its head.

        So even if it’s not actual *crap*, it’s difficult to come up with a way to justify it unless you don’t care about options, you really don’t want to go CPO, and you really want the badge.

        Or maybe MB is going to offer absurd lease terms on these things so you can lease the 47k car for the same price as a 36k Optima? That might get me in the door, at least. But it seems like a bad way to do business.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I really wanted to dislike the CLA because I don’t even think a C-Class is a real Benz (although that’s starting to change as Mercedes shares platforms between models).

        I’ve had one as a service loaner twice. The main thing that was true on that list was that the rear seat was small. Was it as refined or as quiet as an E-Class? No. But it wasn’t that bad.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    More four door fail for tri star poseurs.

    Oh but we put it on a track so its soooo cooool.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I can’t take the CLA seriously. It looks like a toy CLS. It should be powered by pedals and driven by five year olds.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Look stylish in a Benz for $3600 down, $329 a month, 36 months.

    Bet 80% of “sales” are actually leases.

    I bet you will be able to buy an off-lease version for $12,500.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I have always said that this thing was designed to be leased at $299 per month, zero down. They haven’t had to go that cheap yet, and that’s the consumer’s problem. Mercedes would be stupid to not sell them for every last cent they can get. The high MSRP is to try and have some residual value left. These wouldn’t be bad competing against Civics and Mazda 3s, but the price is too high to have just a badge.

      The 45 on the other hand is an obnoxious turd. It makes an STI or evolution seem comfortable, quit, and refined. Back when I was still working at the dealership in had two previous delivery inspections parked next to each other. A CLA 45 at over $65,000 and an E350 for about $60,000. The concept of someone spending more for the CLASSIC is absurd.

  • avatar
    fozone

    I have never driven a CLA, I am curious — with all the invective hurled at the thing, how is it different or worse than the C-class sedan?

    What makes it so loathsome vs. that model? Is it really that much worse?

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      The CLA is based on an FWD economy platform that is shared with Nissan. Despite the badge and a few leather trim pieces its humble roots are very evident when you drive the car. Many folks question if that is in line with Mercedes brand values.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        @carguy:
        That’s my objection in a nutshell. I’ve ridden in the very similar current generation A Class Hatchback which was being used as a Taxicab in Spain, and didn’t find it objectionable as an alternative to something like a Seat Leon in that application.

        When they add a swoopy styled sedan body, and put on airs and start positioning it as a premium car, they loose all credibility in my books.

        In much the same way, an ’80s Cavalier wasn’t really a horrible entry level FWD econobox by the standards of the day. There really wasn’t anything wrong with offering a highly optioned, better trimmed version – but marketing the Cimarron as a Cadillac was a bit of a joke, as it wasn’t really consistent with Cadillac brand values.

        I have a hard time understanding why someone in the market for an entry level Mercedes wouldn’t pay a bit extra to step up the the C-Class, and if all they could afford was the CLA the only reason I could see for choosing it over a similarly priced mainstream brand sedan would be the badge on the grille…

  • avatar
    Nigel

    German car virtues on a budget? Go to your suffering VW dealer and buy a Passat with extended service plan for security. Done.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Mercedes is Caddilacking out its reputation.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Except Cadillac doesn’t really offer a direct competitor to this car, and they haven’t done so since 1988.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Cimarron

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I think the keyword for the Hungarian built CLA is simply “fancy looking” and nothing more. A very young doc that joined us last year bought one and is crying with guilt. It rattles, it shakes and it breaks consistently. We warned him like a group of fathers warning their own son (I suddenly feel old) but to no sign of obedience. At least he gets to drive an upgrade when he gets to the service department, via a flat bed or on half an engine, with a C-class or an Infiniti from next door when all MB loaners are out. MB was once great. I think they can do better again, someday.


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