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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

Mercedes will inject some practicality into its all-new second-gen CLA with the load-lugging CLA shooting brake model. It’s not difficult to see that, with its tapered, swooping shape, it won’t be the most cavernous wagon on the market, but it will certainly offer more space inside than the sedan. It may also appeal to wagon and SUV fans that would otherwise have completely ignored the model.

However, this is not merely a rehash of the initial CLA estate’s formula, since this new one has quite a different shape to it. The front it inherited from the new CLA sedan, but the rear end looks quite different compared to that of the previous CLA wagon - it’s even sleeker and has a more steeply raked fastback-like rear screen.

Realistically few will buy the CLA wagon for its practicality, and most will just want one because it’s a cool, stylish wagon that drives well. Plus it carries the ultra-desirable Mercedes badge. It’s a head-turner too, as with any CLA (even the older one), it draws quite a lot of looks since it’s quite an unusual shape and quite nice to look at too.

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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.

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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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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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