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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA
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The four-door coupe features CLS-inspired styling and technology from the S-Class

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA was unveiled at 2019 Consumer Electronics Show.The revised four-door coupe replaces the highly successful first-generation CLA, introduced all the way back in 2013. Just like its predecessor, the 2020 CLA competes in a very tight niche that only includes the Audi A3 Sedan. However, the 2020 CLA may have what it takes to compete against the slightly larger 2019 BMW 3 Series. Based on the same platform that underpins the latest A-Class hatchback and sedan models, the CLA boasts a notable design inside and out. It combines features seen on the A-Class and CLS on the outside, while the interior comes from the smaller of the two. Like most recently unveiled Mercs, the CLA features all the cool technology found in the bigger E-Class and S-Class models, including the semi-autonomous driving system. This places the CLA at the top of its class tech-wise. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

 

Latest Mercedes CLA news and reviews:

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA PHEV

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA PHEV

After the A 250 e, get ready for a plug-in hybrid CLA to hit the market

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is en route to receiving a plug-in-hybrid variant that would go under the 250 e badging. Info is scarce, but Stuttgart’s compact four-door coupé could be in line for the same powertrain used by the A-Class and B-Class PHEV.

On the design front, changes are to be of minimal impact both inside and out and will be resumed to new badging and the addition of plug-in sockets that would allow users to recharge their cars when not in use. Although there’s no word on a debut date, the 2020 Geneva Motor Show looks like a plausible launch platform for the CLA PHEV. Here’s everything we know so far.

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 AMG Line - Driven

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 AMG Line - Driven

Second-gen CLA ups the comfort and style, but is it still fun to drive?

Mercedes has really improved the CLA sedan in its second generation. It looks better, it’s considerably more comfortable and it packs even more tech than before too. It’s not quite perfect, but given how sleek and fancy it looks, you won’t have troubles forgiving the few flaws that it does have.

You’ll definitely notice the all-new interior, which is basically the same as in all current compact Mercedes models. It’s such a big improvement over the so-so interior of its predecessor and higher-spec examples now feel properly posh inside - this was never the case with the first generation CLA, whose interior was lackluster by Mercedes standards, whichever way you specced it.

However, while the exterior and interior pack quite a visual punch, what’s happened under the CLA’s skin is equally significant - whereas the previous model had a jarring ride and may have felt overly-sharp to some drivers, this new CLA has a softer, slightly more relaxed edge to it. It still feels sporty, but it doesn’t punish you for it like the old car did.

My tester was a 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 with the AMG Line pack and it felt really special to be in. Sure, maybe the €15,000 worth of extras it had on it helped seal the deal, but I was able to channel them out and focus on the core experience - and it was still good, still compelling and overall a solid car, even while ignoring the bells and whistles.

Photography by Andrei Nedelea

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Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC Shooting Brake

Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC Shooting Brake

Performance wagon fans from the U.S. have missed yet another enticing, fun new model, in the form of the new (second generation) Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. More specifically, one of the AMG-tuned performance versions, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The sleek new CLA load lugger is quite a pretty car, with a striking interior, and this AMG version also adds proper poke and cornering ability into the mix.

Power comes from a 302 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that sends its power to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Naturally, since it is an AMG mode, it features styling tweaks and upgrades to set it apart from CLA Shooting Brake examples and the same goes for the interior. It’s a car that packs a proper punch, but it’s also practical, very stylish and very modern-feeling inside too. None of the modifications are over the top, though, because, as you might know, this is the lesser of the two AMG versions of the CLA wagon and the design needs to reflect this.

For most people, the more powerful Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Shooting Brake will be too much, not necessarily in terms of looks, because that model doesn’t look significantly more extreme than the CLA 35, but in terms of mixing sporty looks and performance. The CLA 35 will undeniably be more popular primarily because it looks pretty much the same as the CLA 45 and most buyers won’t feel the need for the extra 100 horsepower that the more powerful version offers and the inherent extra performance.

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AMG Is Rewriting Rules Of Compact Cars With the Unbelievably Powerful 2020 AMG CLA 45 & A45

AMG Is Rewriting Rules Of Compact Cars With the Unbelievably Powerful 2020 AMG CLA 45 & A45

Mercedes-AMG Revealed The Most Insane Compact cars In History - the 2020 AMG CLA 45 and 2020 AMG A 45

Created in the Affalterbach pleasure house of AMG, the new 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 have become the most potent automobiles powered by four-cylinder engines. With a "one man - one engine" philosophy, each Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and A45 come with a hand-made “M139” 2.0-liter engine capable of delivering 382 horsepower or 416 horsepower (in its S version). Furthermore, both cars feature an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and a clever 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system.

As far as performance goes, I can tell you that the two cars that stormed up the Goodwood Hill yesterday can achieve 62 mph in 3.9 seconds (A 45 S), 4.0 seconds (CLA 45 S and A 45), and 4.1 seconds (CLA 45). Furthermore, if you pay for the AMG Driver’s Package, you can unlock the maximum speed of 168 mph (instead of a standard 155 mph).

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Ranked: The Most Powerful Four-Cylinder Production Cars (and One From 1911)

Ranked: The Most Powerful Four-Cylinder Production Cars (and One From 1911)

Right now, the car world is swamped with turbocharged engines. This means high specific output per liter of capacity, lots of torque, massive horsepower numbers and incredible specs for the cars equipped with such tech. While trying to figure out how to present the most powerful four-cylinder production cars, I thought of listing them by the highest specific output of the engine. Yet, listing five with 350+ horsepower feels more fun. It is quite incredible to see to what lengths the producers are willing to go in order to convince us that turbocharging and four-cylinder engines are just enough for basically anything, including high-end performance. These five cars with four-cylinder engines have so much power they will make you forget about a V-8.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Easy access to the AMG life

Mercedes-Benz first offered the compact A-Class back in the late ’90s, launching the latest fourth-generation vehicle in 2018. Per tradition, Merc infused the A-Class lineup with a hearty dose of AMG-branded speed over the years, the latest iteration of which is dubbed the CLA 35. Following hot on the heels of the AMG A 35 sedan, the CLA 35 takes the same approach with regard to the powertrain spec, all while adding the sloping roofline of a four-door coupe. Standout characteristics include small dimensions, quick performance, and refined luxury inside the cabin. With fresh exterior styling bits, track-bred electronic aides, new interior gear, and all the underhood-trimmings of the A 35, the CLA 35 certainly makes a solid proposal, but is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is upon us and here are the first reviews

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is upon us and here are the first reviews

All-new Mercedes CLA launch event video review roundup within

Mercedes not only invented the four-door coupe with the original CLS, but it also eventually launched a smaller version of that car, dubbed the CLA. Now in its second generation, the all-new CLA holds a lot of promise that stems from its exterior styling, bold and upmarket interior, and the news that it drives considerably better than the model it replaces.

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AMG Boss Confirmed 420 Horsepower for the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45, GLA 45, and CLA 45

AMG Boss Confirmed 420 Horsepower for the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45, GLA 45, and CLA 45

Merc is blazing it up with its new compacts

The AMG 45 series is an impressive lot, offering high-strung four-cylinder performance and oodles of Mercedes-branded gloss for just over $50,000. Now, word has it the next batch will come with even more heat under the hood.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Unveiled with 300 HP and Four-Door Coupe Luxury

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Unveiled with 300 HP and Four-Door Coupe Luxury

A rounder roof mated with familiar turbo AWD power

Mercedes-AMG just dropped details on the 2020 CLA 35, padding the latest CLA four-door coupe lineup with a fresh go-faster variant. The powertrain spec pulls from the latest A 35 sedan, and includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Rounding up all those ponies is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and variable all-wheel drive system, which put ‘em to the ground for a 4.6-second 0-to-60 mph time.

Keeping it all in check is an AMG Ride Control suspension setup, with MacPherson struts in front and a four-link for the rear. Adaptive dampeners are optional. Speed-sensitive steering helps it turn, while four-pot calipers and 13.8-inch discs in front throw the anchor. What’s more, if you intend on spending some time clipping apexes, the AMG Track pace data log feature is an available option.

Outside, the CLA 35 looks quite sleek, and comes with AMG-specific styling upgrades like new bumpers, a new rear diffuser, a trunk-lid spoiler, silver chrome trim bits, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Larger 19-inch alloys are an available option.

Inside is the latest MBUX infotainment and 64-color ambient lighting. Black upholstery with red contrast stitching keeps it comfy, while a set of Widescreen Cockpit digital displays and advanced voice control take your inputs.

Pricing is so far unannounced, but look for full details when the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 drops at the New York Auto Show next week. Availability opens up later this year.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

Merc’s entry-level performance sedan is getting some good camera time

A fresh batch of spy photos of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 has come to light. As expected, the new photos show very little of the model’s prototype. The sedan’s entire surface area is covered in wraps, though, so expect plenty of aesthetic changes to happen to the updated model. Mercedes-AMG has yet to pinpoint a specific debut for the for the upcoming CLA model, but all signs seem to indicate a 2019 launch timetable. As for the AMG CLA 45, that should happen a little later in the same year. Either way, the fact that the test mule has already made a few appearances indicates that development of the model is now in full swing.

Update 3/28/2019: It’s only been a week since we last saw it, but we’ve received new spy shots of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and boy did it change since the last time we saw it. There’s a lot of changes to see, so check out the latest in our “Spy Shots” section below!

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2019 Mercedes A-Class vs 2019 Mercedes CLA

2019 Mercedes A-Class vs 2019 Mercedes CLA

Why is Mercedes selling both the nearly identical A-Class sedan and CLA at the same time?

Mercedes’ line of front-wheel drive-biased models used to be pretty simple: you had the A-Class, a practical yet rakish compact hatchback, the B-Class, a more MPV-like (or people carrier-like version of the A-Class,) and then the sleek CLA that successfully impersonated a smaller version of the sexy CLS.

However, you can now order a sedan version of the A-Class and the new CLA. Sure, the latter is certainly more dramatic to look at but not to a huge degree. If you look at both cars from the front side by side, you will notice that only the headlights are really different. From the side, you can definitely see the CLA’s coupe-like roof and C-pillar - it’s the C-pillar of the A-Class sedan that really makes it look different.

When it comes to the rear, the A-Class sedan has a unique design not shared with other Mercedes, whereas the CLA has almost identical clusters to the larger CLS. Step inside, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell which is which - spotting the interior differences is far trickier than doing so on the outside.

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Mercedes Seriously Added A Kart Racing Game to the Infotainment System of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes Seriously Added A Kart Racing Game to the Infotainment System of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

No word on adding Blue Shell Protection to the options list, though

I don’t know about you guys, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood perched in front of the television honing my racing skills in arcade games like the Nintendo classic Mario Kart. A good chunk of my adult life too, for that matter. The point is I’m super stoked Mercedes decided to include an arcade racing game in the new 2020 CLA Coupé compact.

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake mixes style and space in Geneva

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake mixes style and space in Geneva

New load-lugging CLA shown to the public for the first time

Mercedes calls its new CLA Shooting Brake a “sports car with load space,” and while that may purely be marketing babble it does put you in the mindset to understand what they were trying to do with it. Now in its second generation, the CLA wagon builds on the strengths of its not very popular predecessor in order to gain more market traction - whether or not this new one will be more successful than the car it replaces remains to be seen.

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2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2019 Jaguar XE

2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2019 Jaguar XE

’British finesse’ versus ’German quality’ and other cliches going head to head

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA aims to hit above its weight on a regular basis, eyeing compact sedans that are usually the prey of the bigger C-Class. It only makes sense, then, to compare it with Jaguar’s own luxury compact sedan that wants a piece of the C-Class’ and 3-Series’ market, namely the XE. Can Jaguar hold its own against the latest coupe sedan with the three-pointed star on the nose?

Right off the bat, we have to point out that Jaguar will introduce a facelift to the XE at some point this year that will not only include a more aggressive look but also address some of the issues inside the cabin like the lesser materials used on the current version. However, as the revamped XE isn’t here yet, we’ll only talk about the one that’s on the market today that looks and feels about the same as it did back in 2016 when it was introduced. Let’s see if the four-year gap between these two cars is visible.

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2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2019 BMW 3 Series

2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2019 BMW 3 Series

Is Mercedes’ new subcompact good enough for this iconic Bimmer?

Highly popular in its first years on the U.S. market, the Mercedes-Benz CLA returns in 2019 with a brand-new design. Drawing inspiration from both the sleek CLS and the latest A-Class, the CLA remains the sporty four-door coupe that made waves when it first arrived in 2013. But it now features a fresh interior, also taken from the A-Class, segment-leading technology, and an upgraded engine. How does it compare to its rivals? Well, the CLA doesn’t have that many rivals, as no other automaker produces a four-door coupe in this niche. But, we’re comparing it to the BMW 3 Series, one of the sportier compact sedans, and one of the best-selling models in this class. Find out more below.

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The four-door coupe features CLS-inspired styling and technology from the S-Class

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA was unveiled at 2019 Consumer Electronics Show.The revised four-door coupe replaces the highly successful first-generation CLA, introduced all the way back in 2013. Just like its predecessor, the 2020 CLA competes in a very tight niche that only includes the Audi A3 Sedan. However, the 2020 CLA may have what it takes to compete against the slightly larger 2019 BMW 3 Series. Based on the same platform that underpins the latest A-Class hatchback and sedan models, the CLA boasts a notable design inside and out. It combines features seen on the A-Class and CLS on the outside, while the interior comes from the smaller of the two. Like most recently unveiled Mercs, the CLA features all the cool technology found in the bigger E-Class and S-Class models, including the semi-autonomous driving system. This places the CLA at the top of its class tech-wise. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

A more styling, yet still practical alternative to the C-Class Estate

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake is a coupe-style, station wagon version of the regular 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA. It’s based on the second-generation 2020 CLA, which was unveiled in January 2019. The 2020 CLA Shooting Brake broke cover at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show with identical specifications and drivetrains. But the Shooting Brake benefits from the longer roof, which translates into enhanced luggage room. The engine lineup includes a variety of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. Unlike the 2020 CLA, the 2020 CLA Shooting Brake isn’t offered in the United States. Find out more about Merc’s latest sporty station wagon in the review below.

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2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2020 Audi A3

2020 Mercedes CLA vs 2020 Audi A3

You won’t find a lot of models that can compete with these two compact luxury sedans. Oh, and they’re both German, too.

Mercedes-Benz finally pulled the covers off of the 2020 CLA-Class at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. A lot’s been made about the importance of the CLA, particularly in terms of sales where more than 750,000 units of the model have been sold since its launch in 2013. Competition in the compact luxury sedan segment is at an all-time high, so Mercedes has a lot riding on the new CLA to continue its sales momentum as it enters a new chapter in its life. If the new CLA-Class is to be successful, it’s going to have to compete against models like the Audi A3, which, itself, is due for a next-generation model to replace the existing model that’s been around since 2012. The next-generation A3 is scheduled to debut later this year in hatchback form, so for now, the current-generation A3 sedan, which was updated in 2017, will soldier on and compete against an all-new CLA-Class that’s packing a lot of all-new features. How do the two compact luxury sedans line up against each other? We’re about to find out.

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The 2020 Mercedes CLA Will Become More Practical in the Future as it Morphs into a New Shape

The 2020 Mercedes CLA Will Become More Practical in the Future as it Morphs into a New Shape

CLA shooting brake on its way but Mercedes is keeping it under wraps for now

Mercedes-Benz is already parading camouflaged prototypes of its upcoming CLA wagon, the second generation of the load-lugging four-door coupe that is based on the A-Class. This time the model is all the more unique since there is no bigger CLS shooting brake anymore, so buyers looking for this type of sporty looking wagon within the Mercedes range will have to settle for the new CLA.

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7 Impressive Facts About the 2020 Mercedes CLA

7 Impressive Facts About the 2020 Mercedes CLA

New Mercedes CLA Has The Same Drag Coefficient As A Biker On A Racing Bike

After a rather cheesy debut of the new 2020 Mercedes CLA at the CES in Las Vegas that included a cringy discussion between a talking EQ C and a talking CLA, we finally got an opportunity to see the complete car. It is a big deal for Mercedes-Benz who managed to sell 750,000 units of the CLA since its introduction in 2013. With its debut at the 2019 CES, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA displayed the latest electric technology and a very convincing voice interface.

Regardless of the fact that we haven’t seen any major drivetrain changes or any other dramatic improvements over the first generation car, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA did bring a few cool tech leaps you have to know about.

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Mercedes-Benz Debuts the 2020 CLA Class At CES With Fresh Tech

Mercedes-Benz Debuts the 2020 CLA Class At CES With Fresh Tech

Say hello to Merc’s latest four-door coupe

Rather than pulling the sheets at a traditional car show like Detroit, Merc decided to drop its new CLA Class in Vegas at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, debuting the new fun-loving compact alongside a host of fresh interior tech that’s sure to grab some eyeballs at the gadget-laden event.

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Here's Your First Look at the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Before You're Supposed to See It

Here’s Your First Look at the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Before You’re Supposed to See It

The New 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Is Bigger, Looks Better, And Goes Upscale

Mercedes-Benz plans to reveal the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA today at the CES in Las Vegas. However, I got my hands on a few fantastic photos before Mercedes-Benz officially revealed them, and I can tell you right away - the 2020 CLA looks the business. While all the 2020 Mercedes-Benz specs are still hidden somewhere in the Daimler hard drive intestines, I did find out that the new car is longer, wider, and lower. Plus, thanks to a few teasers, I can see that the inside of the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a far nicer place than ever before.

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The 2020 Mercedes CLA Coupe Debuts Tomorrow at CES, Here's a Sexy Teaser

The 2020 Mercedes CLA Coupe Debuts Tomorrow at CES, Here’s a Sexy Teaser

Could this be Mercedes’ latest tech tour de force?

The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner, and with it arrives a series of new debuts from the major automakers. The latest comes from Mercedes, which just dropped a short teaser video for its new second-generation CLA Class. The official details are light as of this writing, but there’s a good chance this updated four-door coupe will be rocking some serious technological firepower.

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The 2020 Mercedes CLA Coupe Is Headlining What Should Be An Exciting 2019 Consumer Electronics Show

The 2020 Mercedes CLA Coupe Is Headlining What Should Be An Exciting 2019 Consumer Electronics Show

Welcome 2019 with loads of tech debuts and showcases!

2019 is rolling around with the calendar’s first major auto show. That used to be the North American International Auto Show, which traditionally takes place in the middle of January. In recent years, though, the Consumer Electronics Show has taken the mantle from Detroit as the first show where automakers showcase their latest products in front of a crowd still recovering from a holiday-induced hangover. But, CES waits for no one, and just as we’re getting back to the grind after our extended vacations, we’re thrust into a five-day hypnosis of tech news, debuts, and announcements, some of which come from some of the biggest automakers in the world. This year’s CES is no different. We already know at least one model that’s making its debut at the event. But just as car brands have taken a bigger cut of that show’s pie share, CES is still about the latest in technology. In a lot of ways, what we’ll see at CES will define the tech world for the next 12 months, and, in some cases, a lot longer than that.

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8 Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans of 2018 Under $35,000

8 Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans of 2018 Under $35,000

You’re going to have a difficult time picking one from the others

There are no clear favorites when choosing the best all-wheel-drive sedan under $35,000. The important thing to remember here is to know what your preferences are. The Ford Fusion SE ($23,500), for example, is regarded for having a good amount of interior space to go with one of the most spacious trunk spaces — 16 cubic feet — among all sedans in its class. It also has a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. If you’re not particularly into cavernous trunk spaces and instead prefer sedans that are known for their power and handling, the two Subarus could be in your future. The WRX ($26,995) has the most powerful base engine — a turbo-four unit that produces 268 horsepower — of its class, and while its fuel economy ratings aren’t anything to write about — 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway — it’s still regarded as one of the most dynamic cars in its class to drive.

The Subaru Legacy ($22,195), on the other hand, doesn’t have as powerful of an engine as the WRX. It’s 175-horsepower, four-cylinder unit is uninspiring compared to the WRX, but that’s likely a product of the Legacy sitting below its fellow Subie on the automaker’s totem pole. Still, the Legacy has a pretty spacious interior and returns one of the best fuel economy ratings among all models in its segment at 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Then there’s the Kia Stinger ($31,900), a car many people consider as one of the future stars of its segment. Maybe it’s a byproduct of the Stinger being a new model that still gives it a fresh odor among buyers, but a big part of the Stinger’s appeal rests on its all-around quality. This model really is a star-in-the-making. Even with just the base version, you’re already getting a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower at its disposal. Combine that with its own large cargo area — a whopping 23.3 cubic feet of space — and an engaging and athletic drive that’s pure fun for all of us, and it’s no wonder why the Stinger is one of the most sought-after all-wheel-drive models in the market today. All that despite the sedan only returning an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Four models in and the choices are about to get more difficult once you bring in Germany’s finest into the fold. The Audi A3 Premium and the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic may be visitors from the Old Continent, but you’re going to quickly realize how at-home they make you feel once you get either one of them. The A3 Premium ($31,950) is one of the cheapest compact luxury cars on the market. In fact, the difference in price between the Stinger and the A3 Premium is a measly $50. As promising as the Stinger is, there’s a big population of people who will prefer an established model over an upstart. The A3 Premium is the base unit of the family, but it doesn’t feel like one, thanks in large part to having its fair share of luxury amenities. From leather upholstery to a panoramic sunroof to a 10-speaker audio system, they’re all there as standard equipment. About the only downside of the Audi sedan is that the Quattro all-wheel-drive system doesn’t come standard across the whole lineup. You’ll need to upgrade to the Quattro to have the most fun in the sedan. Doing so comes at the expense of a lower fuel economy rating — 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway — but that’s ultimately a small price to pay for all the fun you’re going to have driving it.

If the A3 isn’t your cup of tea, the Mercedes CLA 250 4Matic ($32,700 plus $2,000 to get the 4Matic AWD system) is a solid, albeit slightly more expensive option. Nobody needs to remind you what kind of model you have when you’re driving a Mercedes. The CLA 250 4Matic is teeming with luxury like only Mercedes can provide. It doesn’t have the same power figures as the A3 Premium — a four-cylinder turbocharged engine produces only 208 horsepower — but it does get some of its appeal back by how engaging it is to drive and by having one of the highest fuel economy ratings — 24 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway — of any sedan in its class. The last two sedans we’ll mention are both American bred, but like all the models we’ve mentioned, these two are special for entirely different reasons. The Chrysler 300 Touring ($28,995 plus $2,500 for an AWD version), for example, packs a punch with its 292-horsepower V-6 engine. It’s also one of the bigger sedans in its class, and that size comes into play in the spacious interior. Its fuel economy rating is average — 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway — but if you look past that, you’ll come to realize that the 300, despite all the negativity surrounding it, is a pretty fun ride, as well. Unfortunately for the 300, it’s still not as fun to drive as the Dodge Charger ($28,995). The meaty sports sedan packs a similar V-6 unit with an identical 292-horsepower output as the 300 Touring, but make no mistake; the Charger is a completely different animal when it comes to driving dynamics. Some people may not like it because it’s a little too wild for their capabilities, but those who have seen the Charger in action can vouch for what it’s capable of. Ultimately, choosing one sedan among these intriguing options is an exercise in futility. But if I were to choose one, my money’s going to the Kia Stinger. It isn’t as established as some of the other models here, but when you combine everything it has to offer with its starting price, there’s no better value for money than Kia’s new performance-oriented sedan.

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The Best Cars Under $35,000

The Best Cars Under $35,000

These rides should be no-brainer purchases if you’re on a budget

For a lot of us, buying a car comes with a lot of anxiety, especially when it comes to models that are going to cost a lot of money. But there are some models in the market that provide us with what we want out of a vehicle at costs that aren’t going to burn holes in our pockets. These models can either be attractive, have posh interiors, provide ample amounts of power, or are just fun to drive. In some cases, some cars check off more than just one criteria, though all of them have one common factor among them. They all cost at or less than $35,000.

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2017 Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition

2017 Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition

May the 4th be with you, lucky customers in Japan

You know a film franchise has become completely larger than life when businesses from unrelated sectors are trying to attach their names on a fan-created celebratory day that itself has taken a life of its own. This is what Star Wars has become and the importance of today, May 4, among the franchise’s legion of fans has spurred companies to celebrate “May the 4th Be With You” on their own terms. Take Mercedes-Benz for example. The German automaker has been involved with the franchise in the past in some capacity, but now it’s taking its involvement to new heights with the introduction of a pair of special edition CLA180 models that celebrate Star Wars Day.

This is not a gimmick, people. These two special edition Mercedes CLA180 models are legitimate, and they’re set to be offered as exclusives in Japan. Yes, Japan’s getting another special edition car. Different issue for a different day though. What’s important is that Japanese customers who are interested in the new special edition CLA180 actually have a choice of getting a car that’s inspired by either Darth Vader or a Stormtrooper. More importantly, both versions come packed with plenty of Star Wars references so no matter what color of the CLA180 is chosen, buyers will get their fill of Star Wars-related features on both models. About the only downside to these SEs is the aforementioned lack of availability in other markets. I don’t know if Mercedes knows this, but Star Wars has one of the biggest fan bases in the world. It would’ve probably been a better idea to offer a Star Wars-inspired SE model in more markets than just Japan.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA180 Star Wars Edition.

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2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 By Schmidt Revolution

2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 By Schmidt Revolution

German tuner mixes subtle changes with nice power upgrade to level up the sedan’s credentials

A lot of people love the Mercedes-AMG CLA45. At the same time, a lot of other people don’t like it (hate’s a strong word, isn’t it?). Whichever side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying that the AMG CLA45 is a car that’s ripe for an aftermarket program. Schmidt Revolution isn’t the biggest tuning name in the business, but it has developed a few humdingers over the years. Safe to say, the tuner knows what it’s doing, and that’s all coming to play with its new program for the AMG CLA45 that’s highlighted by an engine upgrade that gives the sedan a stout 400 horsepower.

The program as a whole is simple yet refined. That’s a good mix for a car that suffers from its own identity crisis, albeit through no fault of its own. Schmidt smartly went against overdoing the modifications in lieu of a more purposeful upgrade that gave the AMG CLA45 a consistent look to go with improved performance credentials.

The kit isn’t going to set any speed records, but with the changes in place, it helps turn the AMG CLA45 become the kind of high-performance sedan that can live up to its AMG name.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA With AMG Accessories

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA With AMG Accessories

AMG announces a few body upgrades for the revised Mercedes CLA

The Mercedes CLA is only a few years old, having debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2013, but Mercedes found it only right to give the car a facelift for the 2017 model year. With that facelift came some updated styling that includes new front and rear fascias, new wheels, a new paint finish, and some new interior trim pieces. Of course, the car was updated to match Mercedes’ current design language, but we knew it would only be a matter of time before the German brand would start dropping new items into the accessories bin for the CLA. And, it has already started, with the new accessories being showcased on the car you see here – a Mercedes CLA with AMG Accessories.

The accessories are available for the CLA 250 Sport and any CLA model that sports the AMG logo. For now, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but the car can now be equipped with what some might refer to as a body kit, some side stripes, and a new set of wheel hub covers that are actually pretty darn cool. While none of these accessories will make the little car any faster, they do increase the curb appeal and give it a sportier appearance – even if the new kit isn’t what you would consider extreme.

So, let’s take a look at the new accessories and what they mean for the CLA. If you’re thinking about getting your hands on a refreshed model, you’ll certainly want to consider the accessories if you intend to stand out from the pack a little.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes CLA With AMG Accessories.

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2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake

2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake

The sleek-looking compact wagon received its mid-cycle facelift

In recent years, Mercedes-Benz made huge steps toward expanding its vehicle lineup. Its new products not only gave the Germans access to previously unexplored markets, but also helped create completely new segments. One such model was the CLA. Introduced in 2013 as a smaller and affordable proposition to the sleek CLS, the CLA was a huge success in both Europe and the U.S. in its first two years on the market. In 2014, Mercedes added a wagon to the CLA lineup, calling it the Shooting Brake.

Also a smaller version of the CLS Shooting Brake, the coupe-styled compact wagon received an AMG version in 2015, powered by the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the A45 AMG. For 2016, the CLA Shooting Brake received the more powerful engine from the facelifted hot-hatch. Only a year has passed since then, and Mercedes has prepared yet another upgrade for the Shooting Brake.

Unveiled alongside its standard sibling and sedan versions, the AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake receives its first mid-cycle facelift. Not surprisingly, modifications are mild and include revised bumper sections, new wheels, and new trim for the interior. Unfortunately, there is no word whether the Shooting Brake will finally come to the U.S. or not. Given that most automakers have quit selling wagons Stateside, chances are this sleek grocery getter won’t cross the pond to the U.S. for many years to come. Still, the CLA45 Shooting Brake is a unique vehicle worth checking out and that’s exactly what we’ll do in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake.

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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

With station wagons losing ground to the ever-growing crossover segment, shooting brakes aren’t doing very well either. Things are worse in the U.S., where very few automakers still offer wagon or shooting brake body styles. Mercedes-Benz is the only brand that can brag about offering two shooting brakes (based on the CLA and CLS), but neither of them are available in North America.

With the CLA sedan selling like hot cakes in the U.S., Mercedes’ decision to not offer the CLA Shooting Brake on these shores is difficult to explain. And while we’re trying to figure that out, Europe is welcoming an updated version of the sleek wagon.

That’s right, Mercedes-Benz isn’t letting its CLA-Class age ungracefully. No, the German automaker is already refreshing the car for the 2017 model year, only four years since its introduction in 2013.

We’ve been closely following the revamped CLA-Class through its development. But spy shots of camouflage-covered test mules and rumors winding through the industry have finally given way to official photographs and press releases. So what does this mid-cycle refresh mean for the shooting brake version of the CLA? Keep reading to find out.

Update 03/17/2016: Mercedes has unveiled the 2017 CLA Shooting Brake. This mid-cycle refresh follows the CLA sedan in offering an updated exterior and new interior trim work.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.

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2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45

2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45

Muscle-bound baby Benz gets a new look and more gear

Back in January of 2013, Mercedes-Benz pulled the sheets on the CLA Class at the North American International Auto Show. The car was a bit of a gamble for the German automaker, combining a compact, entry-level platform with four doors and a fastback coupe roofline. The formula ended up working and the CLA went on to be a smash hit, selling in record numbers across the globe. Alongside more pedestrian specifications was the hotrod AMG model, which packed in aggressive styling, driver-oriented interior amenities, sharper suspension, and a serious power boost. Last year, the AMG CLA45 got even more underhood performance, and now, Mercedes is giving it a refresh with new body components and new cabin equipment.

Overall, it’s a pretty mild update for the four-door coupe, but considering the car’s popularity, not to mention last year’s horsepower infusion, Mercedes didn’t need to do much to keep the buyers rolling in.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes gave the CLA a facelift, and it looks awesome

The Mercedes CLA made was first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show just three years ago, and it was an immediate success with more than 100,000 units sold globally in its first year of production. After just a couple years, we started seeing spy shots of an updated, camouflaged model doing some on-road testing, with the most recent being in December of 2015. Mercedes didn’t waste any time on the facelift and has finally released official information about the restyled compact luxury sedan.

This facelift brought a decent list of updated styling inside and out, including new front and rear bumpers, new wheels, new interior trim pieces, and there is even a new paint option to talk about. On the outside, the CLA takes on Mercedes’ newest design language, which gives this little luxury sedan one of the sportiest looks out there. We originally thought we would see the car in the metal at the Geneva Auto Show, but the debut was slightly delayed and is now scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show later this month.

The new CLA with hit U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of this year, so you should be able to get your hands on one sometime this summer or early fall at the soonest. While the official debut is still a little over a week away, Mercedes has released some official pictures of the updated CLA, so let’s take a good look at those pictures and see just what Merc did to make the CLA even better than it was.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Unveiled

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Unveiled

A few nips and tucks for the luxury compact

Mercedes just dropped details on the refreshed CLA a week before its big debut in New York. The changes are minimal, but do include a few tweaks to the styling, plus new amenities for the cabin.

Let’s start with the exterior, where both the sedan and shooting brake model receive new bumpers, a standard black diamond grille, and new wheels. Silver, chrome, or black trim can be found on the nose, while the rear can be optioned with a selection of trim between the bumper-integrated exhaust tips. There’s also a new exterior paint option (cavansite blue metallic), plus five different 18-inch wheel designs, including a new five-spoke roller from AMG. LED headlights are available.

Convenience features include a hands-free loading system, and AMG models even get an optional trailer hitch.

Inside, there are new upholstery options, such as a beige/black leather combo, while the interior trim gets finishes like a sail-look, black ash wood, black microfiber, and honeycomb aluminum. There are also chrome-plated controls, new dials and needles for the gauges, and enhanced smartphone connectivity. Infotainment is routed through a new, slimmer 8-inch display screen.

The CLA’s various drivetrains are unchanged in the refresh. Eco warriors will enjoy the CLA 180 d BlueEfficiency Edition, which has a 109-horsepower engine that emits just 89 g/km of CO2, while those looking for something sportier should check out the AMG model, which ups the aggressive styling outside and incorporates 381 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque under the hood.

The 2017 CLA Coupe will make its debut at the New York International Auto Show next week, while the Shooting Brake version will debut during the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin this April. Order books will open in April, with deliveries commencing in July.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG By Loewenstein

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG By Loewenstein

As one of the newest models in the Mercedes-AMG lineup, the CLA45 AMG has a lot to live up to. Fortunately for Mercedes-AMG, the performance-oriented sedan has been up-to-task with that, as it has established itself as a worthy competitor to more established rivals like the BMW M3 and the Audi S3. Owners of the CLA45 AMG have very little to worry about the car, and now, they have even more reasons to celebrate now that Loewenstein has introduced its first tuning kit for the sedan.

In line with its past works, the German tuner focused its attention on giving the CLA45 AMG improved performance capabilities. That’s the focus of the program, although a new wide body aero kit, a new set of wheels, and a carbon fiber-dressed interior are also part of the checklist. Overall, its a relatively comprehensive kit that touches on a lot of important aspects of the CLA45 AMG. There are no suspension modifications and that’s a little bit disappointing. But, given the variety of options it had on how best to approach the CLA45 AMG, I’d say that Loewenstein did a really good job at improving as much as it could on the car without disregarding its “AMG-ness”.

Loewenstein didn’t offer any pricing information about the program so prospective customers are advised to contact the tuner directly to get a quote on the tuning kit.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG By Loewenstein.

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2016 Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake

2016 Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake

With an affordable price tag and matching good looks, the 2014 to 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA became a popular item as soon as it hit showrooms. That success has inspired the Germans to expand the CLA lineup to include a beefed-up 2014 CLA45 AMG and a CLA Shooting Brake. With the former already on sale since the 2014 model year, Mercedes is finally rolling out wagon versions — Shooting Brakes, as the company likes to call them — for both four-door coupe models. The CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake breaks cover as we enter the 2015 model year, with its public debut set to take place at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

With the CLA45 AMG already available in U.S. dealerships, the Shooting Brake model is as familiar as it gets, with only the longer roofline and sloping tailgate setting it apart from its sedan sibling. The AMG-badged wagon is both powerful and fast, despite being a massive departure from AMG’s traditional V-8 and V-12 powerplant strategy with its 2.0-liter four-banger. You might as well call it the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake’s baby brother; no one will mind. Read on for the full details.

Updated 08/28/2015: For the 2016 model year, the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake receives the same output as the facelifted 2015 Mercedes-AMG A45 AMG, meaning that it gets to play with 381 horsepower instead of 360 horsepower, while the 0-62 mph acceleration takes place in 4.3 seconds.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake.

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2015 Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

2015 Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

The Mercedes CLA-Class is one of Mercedes’ baby models, having only been around since 2013. The compact four-door luxury sedan immediately became one of the company’s most popular models, selling over 100,000 units in just it first year. Mercedes even called it its “best launch in 20 years,” which is no small feat considering the multitude of successful models the company has released in that time. Not surprisingly, the success of the CLA gave Mercedes the idea of expanding the family to include the CLA Shooting Brake. So, here we are.

Launched at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the CLA Shooting Brake was presented as a solution for customers in the market for an entry-level luxury wagon. It currently sits just below 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake, but carries with it a lot of the design elements from the 2014-2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe.

On its face, the CLA Shooting Brake shows a lot of promise. It has the trademark Mercedes engineering on its side and more importantly, it’s priced reasonably enough to make it affordable even for those who would’ve been priced out by the CLS Shooting Brake.

But other than style and pricing, is the CLA Shooting Brake really good enough to warrant a purchase? Or is it simply a premature expansion of a new model that might have been better off sticking to what it was in the beginning?

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.

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Mercedes-Benz Plans AMG Sport Model Growth

Mercedes-Benz Plans AMG Sport Model Growth

With the Stuttgart carmaker recently adding the C450 AMG 4Matic and GLE450 AMG 4Matic Coupe to its "AMG Sport" stable, it seems that an avalanche of similar cars will be launched in the upcoming years, consisting of both smaller and larger Mercedes-Benz models. The information comes from the Aussies at Motoring, who recently had a chat with Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers.

Moers let it slip that a dramatic expansion of the model lineup doesn’t make him afraid of diminishing the AMG brand’s appeal, exclusivity or niche status. "I don’t care about the niche brand, I don’t even care about the exclusive brand," he told Motoring at the C63 and C450 AMG press event. "AMG is the performance and sports car brand of Mercedes-Benz cars and if you bring cars to the market which are representing the AMG approach and attitude - driving performance - in that segment, then you don’t have a problem with the brand." Moers continued.

Interestingly, the Mercedes-AMG boss also talked about the C450 AMG’s only direct rival, making it sound like there are no worries in the Affalterbach camp. "If you step into the sport model segment with the C 450 - if it comes to a competitive test with our competitors, a comparison with the Audi S5 or whatever - then our car must be in front." That said, more AMG Sport models with no direct predecessors are set to appear in both the compact range and the upcoming E-Class.

Continue reading to learn more about Mercedes’ "AMG Sport" lineup.

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Mercedes CLA Commercial Brings W196 Racecar Back Into Focus: Video

Mercedes CLA Commercial Brings W196 Racecar Back Into Focus: Video

With global sales on the rise in each and every market, including the U.S., Mercedes-Benz decided to capitalize on this and bring everyone’s attention to their least-expensive offering in the U.S., the CLA four-door coupe. But since December 2014, the CLA250 no longer starts at under $30,000, as its U.S. pricing has gone up, likely thanks to increased demand. But even a little "over" $30,000 still sounds great next to $30 million, right? I’ll buy two!

The new CLA commercial was shot at the Mercedes-Benz proving-ground test track in Untertürkheim, Germany, which is famous for its 90 degree bank. Every driver that has experienced the turn has said that it feels very much like riding the so-called "Wall of death," and after seeing footage from there I can believe it.

The commercial’s premise is not exactly groundbreaking, since it simply accentuates that the CLA250 is still pretty cheap for a Mercedes-Benz, especially when compared with the W196R that not long ago auctioned for just under $30 million. The humor is lacking a bit, sadly, but the point still stands – the CLA is the cheapest Mercedes-Benz that you can buy in the U.S. For many buyers, that’s probably all that matters.

Click past the jump to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Goes Into Production

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Goes Into Production

Not long after Mercedes-Benz introduced the world to the swoopy and affordable CLA, we began hearing whispers of a more practical Shooting Brake version that would soon make its way to dealers. The First CLA began rolling off assembly lines in January of 2013, and now just two years later, Mercedes has officially announced that the Shooting Brake variant of the new CLA is in production at the same Kecskemét plant.

With a full 27,000 units of the standard CLA sold in the U.S. last year, double from 2013, and record sales around the globe, Mercedes is poised for huge growth worldwide and they are hoping that the increased practicality of the Shooting Brake will help push those numbers. Sadly for those of us here in the States we still have no confirmation of the long-roof version will actually make it to our shores.

If you live in Europe, Asia or one Mercedes’ other large markets you can start ordering your CLA Shooting Brake in one of six models ranging from the CLA 180 up to the AMG tuned CLA 45 AMG version. Retail price in Germany is €29,809.50 for the base 180 and go up to €57,268.75 for the AMG model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.

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Holiday Gift Idea: Mercedes-AMG Limited Edition "White Series" Scale Models

Holiday Gift Idea: Mercedes-AMG Limited Edition "White Series" Scale Models

Mercedes-AMG models cost a lot of money, so not everybody can afford to get one this Holiday season. But Mercedes-Benz Accessories is giving buyers a less expensive alternative with the release of five exclusive Mercedes-AMG "White Series" scale models. These limited-edition 1:18 scale models were created by model car design specialist GT Spirit right down the model’s minutest of details. The first batch of releases cover the first five models of the series, featuring AMG vehicles like the A45 AMG Edition 1, the CLA 45 AMG Edition 1, the C63 AMG Black Series, the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, and the G65 AMG.

The details behind the creation of the scale models are pretty impressive. GT Spirit actually used 70 to 100 different parts to create these pint-sized mirror images of the actual AMG vehicles. All five models were also given designo diamond-bright white bodies, the same finish all of the real-life AMG models currently offer. A special polyurethane-resin was also used on the body of the models, creating intricate details specifically taken from their full-sized counterparts. Lastly, each of the scale models were given AMG metal plates that show the individual numbering of the specific piece. The numbers go from 0001 to 1000, driving home the point that these scale models come with a lot of exclusivity.

More AMG models are expected to follow suit until GT Spirit runs the entire gamut of Mercedes-AMG’s portfolio. For now, these five models are what’s available and each one of them costs €119 ($148 as of 12/11/2014) per piece. If you’re interested in any one of these models as holiday presents, you can check for their availability at any one of Mercedes-Benz’s sales partners.Unfortunately, although you can buy these scale models now, you’ll have to gift wrap a picture, as they do not ship until January 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG limited edition scale models.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake OrangeArt Edition

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake OrangeArt Edition

Mercedes has spoiled us with a handful of Edition 1 models in 2013 and 2014, but the German automaker is taking a different approach with the new 2016 CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake. Instead of slapping another “Edition 1” badge on the new sporty wagon, Mercedes has opted to coin this first edition series the OrangeArt Edition.

As its name implies, the OrangeArt Edition comes with a handful of upgrades, particularly the orange accents spread throughout the exterior and interior of the car. The orange accents may have been used more as a complementary color to the dark-grey body of the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake but the implications are pretty clear. These orange accents are largely responsible for breaking the ashen look of the wagon and bring some vibrancy to its appearance.

In the end, Mercedes’ objective to introduce a limited series for a new model remains the same. The approach is also pretty similar, too. It’s just a matter of getting used to calling this CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake by its proper name. So don’t get it twisted; it’s not an Edition 1 model. It’s the Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake OrangeArt Edition.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake OrangeArt Edition.

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Filling the Gaps: Mercedes New Naming System Analyzed

Filling the Gaps: Mercedes New Naming System Analyzed

Mercedes-Benz is planning some pretty major updates to the entirety of its product line. In a bid to fill every nook and cranny of the luxury auto market with some form of the three-pointed star, the company recently announced its intention to release eleven all-new models over the course of the next five years, which is in addition to ten new plug-in hybrids scheduled for release in the next three years.

To help sort through the glut of new cars, Mercedes has come up with a fresh nomenclature system that will be applied to all upcoming releases going into 2015. This system differentiates between vehicles via one to three upper case letters, which designate the car type (“GL” for SUVs/off-roaders, “CL” for four-door coupes, “SL” for roadsters, etc.) and core model series (A, E, S, etc.), plus lower case letters for the drive system (“d” for diesel, “h” for hybrid, etc.).

With this information in hand, we can breakdown the future model lineup with relative confidence, filling in the gaps as we go.

What new models will we see coming from Mercedes? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes new naming strategy.

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Spy Shots: Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake Reveals All its Secrets

Spy Shots: Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake Reveals All its Secrets

Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming CLA Shooting Brake has yet again been spotted by spy photographers, this time trotting down the German Autobahn. While this isn’t our first time seeing the car running about, these shots to reveal nearly every bodyline on the car’s rear flanks. Unfortunately, the Benz darted down an off-ramp before any more photos could be captured.

The CLA Shooting Brake, codenamed X117, has been in the works since the Mercedes pulled the covers off the CLA sedan for the 2014 model year. Rumor has it we can expect the upcoming CLA to debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show this coming January with sales starting a few months later in March. Sadly, the official word is still out on whether Mercedes will bring the CLA Shooting Brake to the States.

Customers around the world will enjoy the same powertrain options in the Shooting Brake as in the standard CLA, including the turbocharged four-cylinders and diesels. Speculation would also suggest Mercedes would transplant the CLA 45 AMG’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant into the Shooting Brake. With 355 horsepower and a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds, we can only hope.

The lack of camo on this test mule shows Mercedes is very close to having a production-ready version. And with the rumored Detroit launch only a few months away, that is likely the case.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake.

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Mercedes Boosts CLA-Class Stock in the U.S.

Mercedes Boosts CLA-Class Stock in the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz increased production capacity for the CLA four-door coupe back in May 2014 in an attempt to increase the dwindling supply that has affected U.S. sales recently. The increased production proved a huge hit, as sales peaked in July and August. Today, Daimler is taking is a step with CEO Dieter Zetsche confirming the U.S. will get additional CLA sedans, but he refrained from giving specific numbers, Automotive News reports.

Zetsche hopes the additional units will help increase CLA sales in the U.S., a market that has been affected by a tight supply since spring 2014, after the initial allocation sold out. "We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," he said at a press event.

CLA sales in the States peaked at 4,895 units in October 2013 and dropped below 2,000 examples starting February 2014. Deliveries picked up to more than 2,000 units a year in July and August after recording a 1,214-unit low in May, but the Germans are far from meeting U.S. demand.

The baby CLS is made at the Kecskemet factory in Hungary, which added a third shift in May 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA-Class.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport Package Plus

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport Package Plus

With a sleek, muscular appearance, and 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist at its disposal, the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is far from being unattractive. Sure, it’s not as powerful and mean-looking as the CLA45 AMG, but if you’re aiming for something a bit more special and can’t afford the range-topping model, than the company’s brand-new Sport Package Plus is an option you should consider.

Transferred from Europe where it was launched under the Sport moniker last year, the Sport Package Plus comes to enhance the visuals and some of the internal bits of the U.S.-spec Mercedes-Benz CLA250. A new front bumper, red contrasts inside and out, new wheels, new sports seats, and AMG-prepped front axle and suspension highlight this compelling package. It brings a bit of CLA45 AMG-like handling to the base CLA250 and adds a touch of sportiness to its body and cabin without overdoing it.

It’s available on both the front-wheel-drive and 4MATIC versions, and goes on sale later this year. In the meantime, let’s have a look at all the details surrounding this new bundle.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport Package Plus.

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Video: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Spied Testing on Nurburgring

Video: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Spied Testing on Nurburgring

Confirmed since April 2013, and spotted testing in Germany and Sweden several times since then, the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake has hit the Nurburgring track. Still wearing a camouflaged rear end, the shooting brake was caught while being pushed to the limit on the iconic German track. Mercedes engineers are looking to wrap things up before the assembly line fires up, and, as things stand, the sexy compact is quite the nimble machine.

Derived from the CLA — the most aerodynamic vehicle in its class — the CLA Shooting Brake not only inherits the sedan’s sleek appearance and low drag coefficient, but it looks like it’s getting all the driving dynamics that come with the Mercedes-Benz badge. It’s fast, cuts corners like a sports car and remains planted at high speeds. Granted, this is what customers expect to receive when buying an aerodynamic shooting brake, and the Germans are making sure no one will be disappointed.

Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

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Video: BMW M235i vs Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Video: BMW M235i vs Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

MotorTrend has gotten very good at head to head video reviews, and their latest one is no exception. This time, the new BMW M235i goes up against the Mercedes CLA45 AMG. Both cars represent the smaller, more nimble side of each automaker’s lineup, but still pack a punch under the hood. Check out the video above to see who Motor Trend crowns the victor. The winner just might surprise you.

Staffer Jonny Lieberman starts out carving canyon roads in both cars. Turns out, he’s quite fond of the BMW’s power output from the 3.0-liter, inline-six and its eight-speed automatic. As a whole, the car looks better than the old 1 Series, as Jonny heralds it as having the best looking BMW front end in a long time. The BMW seems to have only one major drawback: its brakes. Though the do stop a few feet shorter than the CLA45 AMG’s, they tend to fade and have inconsistent pedal feel. Otherwise, the M235i appears to be a hoot to drive with its drift-happy rear end.

Conversely, the CLA45 AMG produces more power from its 2.0-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder, coming in at 360 horses and 331 pound-feet. Adding to its bag of tricks are its superb brakes with good pedal feel and fade-free stopping power. The car’s biggest downfall — dynamics-wise — is its understeer. Though its minimal compared to a regular sedan, the Mercedes just doesn’t grip the road in the same manner as the BMW. On a more subjective side, Jonny shares his distaste for the CLA’s coupe-like sloping roofline and stubby rear end.

Which one is crowned the winner? Click past the jump to find out.

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Video: Drive Reviews The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Video: Drive Reviews The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

The new Mercedes CLA is having unimaginable success, and the company was forced to double production to meet the demand around the globe. We are talking about the standard version here, of course, but we’re pretty sure that the AMG version will enjoy the same success.

With a price of under $50k, the new CLA 45 AMG will be pretty much the only Mercedes that will allow the "average" customer to enter the world of high-performance sedans.

In the latest review made by Drive’s Mike Musto, he wants to see if the CLA 45 AMG is indeed the sports sedan Mercedes brags about. The test was performed at the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in California.

As a reminder, the CLA 45 AMG is powered by an AMG-built, 2.0-liter, turbo engine that delivers a total of 360 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.

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Video: Drive Has a Look at the Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Video: Drive Has a Look at the Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Everyone knows that the new Mercedes CLA has had great success since its release, and as a result, Mercedes is having difficulties fulfilling orders for its newest four-door coupe. We know that is looks good and has a great starting price for a Benz, but what else makes this car so special?

In the latest episode of Drive, Matt Farah tries to answer to this question. Of course, he does find out that the CLA suffers from the usual problems of a small car, including limited rear headroom, limited rear legroom and not the most spirited performance from its 208-horsepower four-pot, but the general impression is very good.

The new CLA250 is definitely the cheapest Mercedes you will find on the market, but notches a few other benefits, including being the most aerodynamic mass-production vehicle in the world, coming with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and featuring a highly equipped and quiet cabin.

Check out the above video to see what else Matt thinks of the CLA250.

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2014 Mercedes CLA250 by D2 Autosport

2014 Mercedes CLA250 by D2 Autosport

The Mercedes CLA250 hasn’t seen too many aftermarket upgrade since its launch in 2013, which is a clear indication that aftermarket companies are working hard to develop kits that accent this awesome sedan without taking away from its natural beauty. The few updates that we have seen were limited to just exterior upgrades, and this remains the same with the latest upgrade coming from the D2 Autosport.

The upgrades that D2 Autosport adds to the new entry-level Mercedes give this luxury sedan a more aggressive appearance without distracting you from its sexy lines. The upgrades include a piano black lower bumper insert, a new grille and surround, black headlight surrounds, and black mirror casings. Also added to the white example that D2 rolled out is a contrasting black roof, black badges, black tailpipes and a set of 18-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels in black.

D2 did not upgrade the drivetrain at all, so this CLA250 still produces the stock 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque from its 20.-liter engine.

The upgrade kit also includes new side stripes and a custom, three-piece rear spoiler that suits the new look just perfectly. The full upgrade cost $7,000.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Having Tons of Success, Resulting in Low Inventory

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Having Tons of Success, Resulting in Low Inventory

What is everyone wishing for Christmas? By the looks of the sales reports, the answer is a Mercedes CLA, as they are becoming rather difficult to get a hold of at dealerships.

Of course this does not come as a big surprise to us, because we were sure the CLA would be a huge hit right from the moment we first laid eyes upon it. It features an elegant look — the best of all the Mercedes sedans in our opinion — offers a highly equipped interior, and a carries a very competitive base price of $29,900.

In a letter addressed to its dealers, Mercedes officials announced that from February to June 2014, they should expect “tight inventories and low days supply” because the car’s "overwhelming success." The company’s plant is at full capacity, but even so, Mercedes has problems satisfying all the requests.

Mercedes itself called the new CLA the best launch they had in the past 20 months, as it enjoyed "phenomenal success right out of the gate." In fact the new CLA is one of the models that helped Mercedes to pass BMW for the first time in a very long time — in the first 10 months of 2013, Mercedes sold 245,145 cars in the U.S., which was 5,000 more than BMW sold.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA.

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