Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG review: 3, 2, 1 Boom she goes

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: Aug 2 2014, 18:52pm hrs
Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMGMercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG has the most powerful four-cylinder series-production engine in the world.
Buckle up, twist the ignition key, and the quiet motor comes to life. It is so quiet that you have to nudge the accelerator to really feel the engine running; so quiet that it seems like a lull before the storm. Check out the road in front of you, engage the drive (D) mode, press the accelerator pedal, and wait for half a second.

After that, its mayhem. In under a second, you will find yourself getting pushed back into the seat and find the car shooting ahead like a cat possessed. In fact, the acceleration is so intense that you feel everything around you is being fast-forwarded. As the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) struggles to keep the screeching tyres in check, the worlds most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes it from 0-100 kmph is just 4.6 seconds, before electronically limiting itself to a top speed of 250 kmph. Whoosh!

Thats the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG, which we recently drove at the Buddh International Circuit near Delhi. Launched last week, the CLA 45 is the most affordable AMG in India.

Exterior

Of late, Mercedes-Benz has upped the game as far as exterior design is concerned. The CLA 45 AMG looks fascinating from most angles. What especially attract attention are AMG alloy wheels in titanium grey finish; AMG sports exhaust system; AMG high-performance brakes with callipers lacquered in red, visually highlighting its performance; and a 4Matic badge at the rear. When looked at from the sides, the A-pillar rising to meet the roof and the C-pillar dropping to meet the boot is one of the smoothest curves you will ever see on a car.

Interior

As you open the door, you are greeted with sportiness all overenhanced by the red and black colour combination. There are all the creature comforts such as panoramic sliding sunroof; AMG floor mats and illuminated door sill panels; AMG performance seats that come with four-way lumbar support for the driver and front passenger; and AMG performance multifunction steering wheel that gets a dedicated grip area. This car is not for the rear passenger and, as expected, the rear seating area isnt spacious.

Some features

COMAND: It is Mercedes-Benzs infotainment system that is equipped with a navigation unit featuring a map display, DVD player, radio and 10 GB memory for compressed audio files. There is also a function called the Speed Limit Assist that displays speed limits on the instrument cluster.

Active parking assist: It makes life easy when you are searching for a parking space. The system automatically steers the CLA 45 AMG into the parking area, taking the steering and braking work off the driver.

Powered seats: The drivers and passengers seats are electrically adjustable with memory function. The memory function allows up to three positions to be stored for the seat and also for the exterior mirrors, for subsequent selection if required.

Tyre pressure monitoring system: It warns you if the air pressure is not correct in any of the tyres. This not only improves driving safety but also increases the operating life of the tyres.

4Matic: Derived from 4-wheel drive and automatic, Mercedes-Benzs all-wheel drive system is called the 4Matic. While the CLA 45 AMG primarily drives on front wheels, additional power is delivered to rear tyres as and when required. The 4Matic increases traction in slippery conditions.

Verdict

The CLA 45 AMG, for R68.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), is the most affordable AMG in India. For a compact sedan, this sounds like way too much. Moreover, the car has its downsides, such as rough ride on bad roads and low ground clearanceit certainly is not a car for that daily commute to office. But the exclusivity the CLA 45 AMG offers is immense; after all, it gets the most powerful four-cylinder series-production engine in the world. For the aficionado, it is a perfect stepping stone to the AMG club. Oh and did I mention, Merc has launched a new commercial for the carwhere AMG is expanded as Ah My God!