2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class - Road Test Specs

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan

(2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 7-speed Automated Manual)
Vehicle
Year Make Model2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Vehicle TypeAWD 4dr 5-passenger Sedan
Base MSRP$48,375
Options on test vehicleMultimedia Package ($2,370 -- includes COMAND system, navigation with traffic and weather, rearview camera, 7-inch LCD screen with 3-D map views, enhanced voice control system, 10GB music server, six-disc DVD changer, Gracenote album information, SD card slot); Premium Package ($2,300 -- includes satellite radio, media interface, heated front seats, Harman Kardon surround-sound system, universal garage door opener, compass, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control); Black "Red Cut" Leather ($1,500); Polar Silver Paint ($720).
As-tested MSRP$55,265
Assembly locationKecskemet, Hungary
North American parts content (%)0
Drivetrain
ConfigurationTransverse, front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine typeTurbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, gasoline with auto stop-start
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,991/121
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing intake and exhaust
Compression ratio (x:1)8.6
Redline, indicated (rpm)6,250
Fuel cutoff/rev limiter (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)355 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)332 @ 2,250
Fuel typePremium unleaded (required)
Transmission typeSeven-speed auto double-clutch manual with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles with Sport/Competition modes
Transmission ratios (x:1)I: 3.86; II: 2.43; III: 1.54; IV: 1.05; V: 0.78; VI: 0.61; VII: 0.48; R: 3.37
Final-drive ratio (x:1)2.44
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional, rack-and-pinion steering
Steering ratio (x:1)14.5
Tire make and modelContinental Contisport Contact 5P MO
Tire typeAsymmetrical summer, performance, (31 psi cold front; 38 psi cold rear)
Tire size235/40ZR18 95Y
Wheel size18-by-8 inches front and rear
Wheel materialPainted alloy
Brakes, front13.8-inch one-piece ventilated, cross-drilled and slotted with four-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear13-inch one-piece ventilated, cross-drilled and slotted with single-piston sliding calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)2.0
0-45 mph (sec.)3.1
0-60 mph (sec.)4.7
0-75 mph (sec.)6.6
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)12.8 @ 108.0
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.3
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)2.3
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.5
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)5.1
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)7.1
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)13.2 @ 107.0
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.7
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)29
60-0 mph (ft.)111
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)68.9
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON67.1
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.95
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON0.91
Sound level @ idle (dB)45.9
@ Full throttle (dB)80.4
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)65.5
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)1,800
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsIn Comfort-transmission mode, the CLA45 leaves the line lazily as the clutch engages, but once under way, the acceleration is noticeably strong and remarkably linear. There's an obvious shove from the seat. At wide-open throttle, the upshifts occur at the same rpm in either Comf or Sport mode (which is several hundred rpm below redline) and are both smooth and quick-ish -- with Sport mode producing that now-trademark AMG upshift "burp" from the exhaust like the big boys do. Unlike in our long-term CLA250, selecting Manual shift mode doesn't result in default auto-upshifts; rather, the engine will rev up to the limiter and stay there until the next paddle-requested upshift occurs. I tried to extend the shifts to a higher rpm than it did in auto, but because manual-shift requests take time to process, I found it difficult to match the precision that Sport Drive provides -- which is what produced the best runs. Also, launch mode (which revs the engine to 3,000 rpm before the driver releases the brakes) produces very consistent times, over and over, as the shift speed and harshness also increased. There's still room for improvement in this regard, however. Perhaps it's to protect the driveline, but the clutch engagement is still rather slow and deliberate as the car still leaves the line rather gently. In the end, the results are still admirable and worthy of the AMG designation. This is a fast car.
Braking commentsIn everyday use, the CLA45's brake pedal feels perhaps too firm, jumpy and too sensitive, but in simulated panic stops it feels terrific. The pedal remains solid, consistent, and the stopping distances were all within 1 foot of one another across five stops -- and these aren't even the upgraded brakes that are available. Every stop was straight and with very little dive. Very good brakes.
Handling commentsSlalom: With the electronic stability system (ESC) in Sport Handling mode, the CLA is remarkably "free" and will allow the tires to slide (within prescribed limits) before reining the fun in. I found that if I allow the front tire to slide (understeer), ESC will punish with major brake application, causing the car to go straight (into a cone) despite the steering wheel being pointed in another direction. If, however, I cause the rear tires to slide (oversteer), it will allow a remarkable amount, especially if I am also hard on the gas pedal. I like how well the chassis responds to throttle input in such a predictable manner and I used this to come tantalizingly close to a 70-mph slalom pass. Steering is very direct and highly responsive, but I never felt like I could tell what the front tires were doing or about to do through the wheel. This was left for me to observe rather than feel. With ESC in default "ON" mode, the understeer punishment remains, but the allowance for oversteer is removed and it simply takes the throttle away to disallow it. Skid pad: A similar result here. With ESC in Sport Handling mode, the CLA45 allows the rear of the car to slide ever so slightly, producing a better result than in ESC "ON" mode. Steering, while precise, still doesn't offer what I'd categorize as "feel" but rather "resistance" as speed increases.
Testing Conditions
Test date1/14/2014
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)82.44
Relative humidity (%)7.62
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)29.03
Wind (mph, direction)9.6 head/cross
Odometer (mi.)3,642
Fuel used for test91-octane gasoline
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)31/38
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)26 combined/23 city/31 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)20.1
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)14.8
Driving range (mi.)458.8
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo descriptionHarman Kardon premium surround sound
iPod/digital media compatibilityStandard iPod via proprietary cable
Satellite radioOptional Sirius
Hard-drive music storage capacity (Gb)Optional 10GB music storage capacity
Rear seat video and entertainmentNot available
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard
Navigation systemOptional hard drive with traffic 7.0-inch display screen (measured diagonally)
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Standard
Smart entry/StartNot available
Parking aidsOptional parking sonar front and rear back-up camera, automated self-parking system
Blind-spot detectionOptional
Adaptive cruise controlOptional
Lane-departure monitoringOptional departure warning
Collision warning/avoidanceOptional
Night VisionNot available
Driver coaching displayStandard
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,494
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,510
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)61/39
Length (in.)184.7
Width (in.)70.0
Height (in.)55.7
Wheelbase (in.)106.3
Track, front (in.)61.3
Track, rear (in.)61.4
Turning circle (ft.)36.1
Legroom, front (in.)40.2
Legroom, rear (in.)27.1
Headroom, front (in.)38.2
Headroom, rear (in.)35.4
Shoulder room, front (in.)56.0
Shoulder room, rear (in.)53.2
Seating capacity5
Trunk volume (cu-ft)13.1
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion4 years/50,000 miles
Roadside assistanceUnlimited
Free scheduled maintenanceOptional

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