Sport Suspension Changed My Tune on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

We often test-drive cars at drive events on unfamiliar roads. This can paint a different picture of how that same model may perform when driven in and around Cars.com's Chicago headquarters, where the majority of our testing occurs.

When I tested the new Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG last year in our nation's capital, I was sure that the area's pockmarked roads were so similar to Chicago's brutal terrain that the overtly firm ride I was experiencing was a no-go — even in a trim level meant for extreme performance.

Related: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe Photo Gallery (39 Photos)

Here's what I said in my original review: "The AMG's ride is extremely rough, with jolts coming through sharply over every road imperfection. It's so severe that it reminded me of more aggressive alterations like Audi's RS5 coupe."

Recently, another 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG arrived in our Chicago fleet. When I picked up the keys I was expecting to relive that brutal ride. I was pleasantly flabbergasted that this CLA45 AMG didn't ride anything like I remembered.

By David Thomas | August 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

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By Matt Schmitz | August 9, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays notes that the addition of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class' high-performance AMG version got here fast, following the entry-level luxury car's introduction last year. Does the AMG's amped-up engine translate to driving fun worthy of its new initials? Watch the video.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

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By Matt Schmitz | August 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

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When I was 10, my dad set me and a go-kart loose in an abandoned parking lot, free to zip around the blacktop. At that age, you don't give a thought to how much gas costs; it's all about the fun. At this age, however, fuel economy is a big consideration when it comes to buying a car, but it doesn't have to trump the fun-to-drive factor.

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There are plenty of cars that offer both fun and fuel savings, from affordable subcompacts and gas-electric hybrids to pricier luxury cars and diesel-powered vehicles. To qualify for this list, a car has to have an EPA combined rating of 30 mpg, while bringing out the inner go-kart-loving kid in all of us:

By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (9)

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Review

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"The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG has fast moves, slick styling and luxury in spades, but its hefty price tag and disappointing transmission keep it from being truly outstanding," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman. Read the review for more.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

By Jennifer Geiger | May 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Is a No-Go for Families

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The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan, which starts at $30,825 including a $925 destination fee, piqued my interest as a budget-conscious parent. The automaker isn't marketing this compact sedan to families, but I couldn't help but think about how it could be a great fit for my family of three. We don't lug around a double-stroller; we're past the rear-facing child-safety-seat stage, and come on, it couldn't be that much of a stretch if it has four doors, right?

I had such high hopes for the 2014 CLA250, but after a weeklong test drive, I was forced to concede that it just doesn't work for families with small children.

By Carrie Kim | December 12, 2013 | Comments (8)

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Video

The new-for-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class may be a small crossover, but it packs a lot of luxury, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. We got a closer look at the smallest crossover in Mercedes' lineup during the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. 

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Outside, Mays says the compact blends the curves of Mercedes' sedans with the blocky silhouette of its GLK compact crossover. Inside, there's plenty of eye candy to keep the cabin interesting. Check out the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class: Car Seat Check

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Mercedes-Benz's all-new 2014 CLA250 is an entry-level compact sedan that the automaker hopes appeals to younger buyers. Judging by its sales, it's definitely appealing to lots of car shoppers; in October the CLA250 averaged just eight days on dealership lots. If any of those buyers have children in child-safety seats, however, they're in for some problems. Our Britax Roundabout convertible's tether hook didn't fit in the CLA's tether anchor. This earned the CLA an F in forward-facing convertible fit.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

By Jennifer Newman | November 14, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class: Explaining the Trim Levels

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The CLA is the Budget Benz, a compact sedan with a base price less than $31,000 (including destination) and — "Holy Gottlieb Daimler, Batman!" — front-wheel drive.

Initially, this new sedan is available as the front-drive CLA250. An all-wheel-drive performance model, the CLA45 AMG 4Matic, should arrive in November. A 4Matic version of the CLA250 is due in early 2014.

Despite its position at the bottom of the Mercedes-Benz ladder, the CLA is slightly longer than the C-Class, but its snub-nosed front and more curvaceous styling (patterned after the CLS) make it look smaller.

Read the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review

There is only one trim level for both the CLA250 and CLA45 AMG. The company doesn't routinely use that approach for its cars. Instead, most equipment changes occur as options or option packages. Prices listed here include a $925 destination charge.

By Rick Popely | November 8, 2013 | Comments (1)

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