Drive Notes: 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA35 4Matic
Today I bring you a honey of a car that has very few flaws and an expensive yet reasonable price.
Let's get into the pros and cons of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 4Matic.
- The engine makes sweet sounds that are rarely heard these days -- roars that remind you of the power on tap. Yet the car is quiet and docile unless you summon the revs with your right foot.
- The power numbers seem pedestrian for performance cars with 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, but there's plenty of punch here. Make a pass and you'll be thrown back in your seat -- and the soundtrack will be nice and pleasing.
- You don't really feel the hybrid assist kick on, it does its job quietly. Same with the stop/start system.
- The handling is sharp, and the ride is stiff but acceptable -- at least on smooth pavement.
- Mercedes infotainment remains easy to use. It could be complicated, given the amount of info available and the presence of a voice assistant, but it works.
- The haptic-touch controls mostly work well.
- It's easy to flick into the Sport and Sport+ modes
- The interior materials are high class.
- This feels like it should cost at least $75K yet the base price was $54K and the as-tested about $62K.
- The rear seat is useless for tall adults, especially if the front passengers are tall.
- There's not much rear headroom, either.
- The ride gets stiff and the noise gets loud if the pavement is broken.
- There was no easy way to skip music tracks save for reaching for the touch screen -- at least that I could find.
- If you don't use a plastic extender, you may find a coffee mug flying if you corner a little too hard. Ask me how I know.
- The shifter occasionally lagged to find reverse/drive when parking.
That's all for today.
[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]
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Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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