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Racing Teatray

CLA45 AMG SB (driven)

So on Saturday morning, I took out the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake for a test. It was a bit limited as all central London test drives tend to be but enough to give a flavour.

Well, first things first. As previously mentioned I think that in the metal this car look really rather good. Even in kitchen appliance white with dubious contrasting black wheels. It has much better proportions overall than the A45 or CLA45 saloon, and looks much more balanced. For me it pretty much nails the compact sports estate thing. Itís also a very appealing size, being bigger than a regular A-class but smaller than a C-class.

The interior on second acquaintance remains a nice place to be with plenty to remind you that it is a machine of sporting bent. Even the odd tablet-style nav screen is ok, even if the actual graphics it displays look a bit cheap and clunky next to the ones I am used to in my BMW. It has comfortably more space in the back than the 1-series and a more usefully sized boot that is, praise be, lined with proper carpeting rather than the nasty felt rubbish BMW persists with.

Enough I hear you cry. What of the drive? Well, subject to the limitations imposed by whizzing down Chelsea Embankment, over to Vauxhall and back again, interesting. It has a firm ride but at least around town it didnít seem unbearably so, and it grips and turns it keenly as you would expect. Itís also a pretty wieldy car that is easy to thread through traffic. Plus it most certainly goes when you provoke it.

However, it has a curiously soft initial throttle response, even in the most whizz-bang mode, that I didnít quite care for.  I also wasnít prepared for it to squat at the back so much when you did ask it to lunge for the horizon, given that the suspension is otherwise pretty firm. And then thereís the noise. This one had the standard exhaust system but I query whether it makes much odds because the issue the CLA45 has is that it sounds quite nice, almost woofly, when you are driving along normally, but if you provoke it you just get a loud industrial din punctuated with farty upchanges that isnít especially enthralling.

The biggest problem is, however, probably the price. Specced with a few choice essentials, itís £48k which is A LOT for something so closely related to an £18k A-class.

So, whilst, I really like the overall styling, interior, packaging, performance etc, and the service from the dealership was impeccable, at this rate the combination of the oddly uncharismatic engine and the price, oh and Mrs Racingís continued objection to the styling, means it probably isnít our next car.

Iíll stick a photo or two up tomorrow.
Bob Sacamano

I have to say I agree with your wife, both the CLA and CLA Shooting Brake are dog ugly cars. Even sticking an AMG engine in one wouldn't persuade me to drive round in such an abortion.
Twelfth Monkey

Not like you to pull those punches, Bob!  Not that I disagree, and whilst it's an AMG engine, it's not an 'AMG' engine, to my way of thinking.
Alf McQueef

An AMG has a V8. End of.

That said I really, really like the interior and exterior looks of these, in hatch and especially shooting brake form.

But an AMG has a V8...

The throttle thing sounds odd. My car weighs rather more than this one and has a (fairly old now) slusher auto but the response to the first few cm of throttle is scintillating - probably a tad more than it should be in the "normal" mode. That may be a benefit of supercharging but a lot of it must be programmable.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Re: CLA45 AMG SB (driven)

Racing Teatray wrote:
So on Saturday morning, I took out the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake for a test. It was a bit limited as all central London test drives tend to be but enough to give a flavour.

Well, first things first. As previously mentioned I think that in the metal this car look really rather good. Even in kitchen appliance white with dubious contrasting black wheels. It has much better proportions overall than the A45 or CLA45 saloon, and looks much more balanced. For me it pretty much nails the compact sports estate thing. Itís also a very appealing size, being bigger than a regular A-class but smaller than a C-class.

The interior on second acquaintance remains a nice place to be with plenty to remind you that it is a machine of sporting bent. Even the odd tablet-style nav screen is ok, even if the actual graphics it displays look a bit cheap and clunky next to the ones I am used to in my BMW. It has comfortably more space in the back than the 1-series and a more usefully sized boot that is, praise be, lined with proper carpeting rather than the nasty felt rubbish BMW persists with.

Enough!
Racing Teatray



Bob Sacamano

Must have been a hot day - it seems to have melted..
Andy C

Who have you just signed for? Fulham ? Millwall ?

A lot of cov players have similar - (although probably not the amg engine, but definitely the bodykit)

Keep the m135i !
PG

And we used to joke about fast Fords and Vauxhalls having crashed into Halfrauds on the way to the showroom. I'm sorry but the exterior in white with black wheels and privacy glass takes crassness and chaviness to a whole new level.

Re the slack take off, isn't the box on the "AMG's" a Merc dual clutch-a-like rather than a proper auto box?
Twelfth Monkey

I know that one of the magazines said that if you wanted to get the hatch version anywhere near its claimed 0-60, you needed to be in launch mode or you could kiss a second or so goodbye.  I would expect the other variants to be the same.
TreVoR

That looks massive compared to the M135i.
PhilD

TreVoR wrote:
That looks massive compared to the M135i.


Right, it's coming out AGAIN  

https://youtu.be/dS12p0Zqlt0
TreVoR



It is larger because it overhangs the space at both ends and the M135i fits in the space from the look of things.

We need a tongue out emoticon!  
Frank Bullitt

Alf McQueef wrote:
An AMG has a V8. End of.


Apart from all the 6-cylinder models such as the E36 and C36!

I'm in a minority but I really like the look of the CLA estate but the AMG version just turns the pikie level to 11, even worse is the Orange Edition.

A nice Sport with so well chosen options, job done.
PhilD

This would be a much better thread if Racing ended his write up with "so anyway, I bought the G-Wagon"  
Martin

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
An AMG has a V8. End of.


Apart from all the 6-cylinder models such as the E36 and C36!


Or at the top end of the range, the V12 models such as the S65.
Alf McQueef

OK - at least a V8! Few people would turn down a V10 or V12 instead... and yes I like the old 6 pot ones a lot.

But they are not 4-pot turbos. An A45 passed me the other night when I was on foot. It was disappointing to say the least.

Then again it probably returns more than the 6.7 MPG for the round trip that our Telematics reckons the XFR did for a cold start, half mile to Tesco, then return on Saturday morning! Or the 15 it managed for a 4 miles each way trip to Winchester and back that night for a curry...

Tomorrow I get to drive across from Slough to Euston, then down from there to south of the river near Canary Wharf - right through the centre of town - then on Weds morning the very stop-start trip from there through the Rotherhithe tunnel to the Excel, then back home from the Excel in rush hour right across London. The score is gong to be properly tragic! Good job I'm still in the 45p a mile half of the year...
Racing Teatray

PhilD wrote:
This would be a much better thread if Racing ended his write up with "so anyway, I bought the G-Wagon" †


They had a bright metallic yellow new AMG G-Wagon in the showroom (along with a slightly more sedate silver version). Guess it was a G63 but confess I didn't see the badge - I just managed to clock the side exit exhausts before I was blinded by the paintwork. Apparently it was a £15k custom paint job.

Apparently the Chelsea dealership can't sell G-Wagons fast enough. Madness if you ask me. There was a batsqueak of time about perhaps 10 years ago when an AMG G-Wagon was rare and left-field enough to be cool. Then every single Russian gangster bought a fleet of black ones and before you knew it they were the favoured transport of anyone, male or female, whose chest measurement features a larger number than their IQ but has somehow availed themselves of "loadsamoney"...
PG

Racing Teatray wrote:
[.....and before you knew it they were the favoured transport of anyone, male or female, whose chest measurement features a larger number than their IQ but has somehow availed themselves of "loadsamoney"...


   

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