By Clive Funizwe
Entry level into the AMG-line up, is a bit of a mixed bag statement. This gets even more confusing when you know that a true AMG badged car, should come with a hand-made engine, to which the CLA AMG-35 doesn’t. So then what is it about the CLA-35, is “AMG” …? We explore that in a moment. For now, let’s discuss the beauty that is this car.
Looks and interior
The CLA-35 doesn’t possess the type of head turning aesthetics of a hot hatch back. What it possesses, is breathtaking beauty that grabs your attention and lets you admire all its lines, perfect proportions and angles in ore for minutes on end. The AMG-Styling package also adds to an already classy formula with hints of sportiness that is not overdone. This is easily the sexiest and best-looking car in its class.
Thankfully, it is not just beauty – there are plenty of brains too. The CLA-35 AMG boasts Mercedes’ cutting edge MBUX Infotainment. It is operable via a plethora of inputs from the many buttons on the steering wheel short cuts, touch screen and some functions via the voice command. The display is clear, responsive and can be configurable to suit many display styles. The rest of the interior is a lovely and modern place to be in. Admittedly, the dual (iPad style) screen will always look as an afterthought. This is something that only bothers us but seems to be a welcomed innovation and design by other people’s tastes.
Engine and drive
What we do agree on is the performance. The CLA-35 AMG has a 2.0l turbo charged petrol engine, that churns out 225 kW and 400 Nm that is mated to the dual-clutch 7-speed automatic. Claimed figures are a 0-100 time of 4.7 seconds and the pace feels like a sub 5 second car to 100kms. This is a strong engine that satisfies on all fronts – from power to sound and its frugal nature. We averaged a fair 8.2l/100kms despite being a bit heavy on the right pedal. The steering, chassis and majority of the rear suspension components are AMG tuned. In fact, some of the suspension parts are from the old CLA 45.
All this adds up to a surprisingly fun car. Throttle response along with the quick gearbox is very good and hardly hesitates when a gap needs to be exploited. Character from the engine and how the entire car is tuned up – is plentiful. Many people can have fun in this car and be kept safe by the brilliant all-wheel drive system.
Is there anything we didn’t like with the CLA-35 AMG? Yes, and it needs to be mentioned at this price point. The piano gloss finish of the centre console which extends to around the air-vents adds a modern touch to the interior – but hasn’t fared very well in many cars where it is being used. It also shows more reflections when the panoramic blind is open.
Either than that small caveat – the CLA-35 AMG offers the buyer a lot of fun, practicality and style at a price point where the current C-Class sits at. That price is R849,640. It does however offer very close practicality to the current C-Class but looks better and has modern tech. The CLA-35 AMG comes with a standard 6-Year 100,000km Maintenance Plan.
Leave a comment