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.
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.
"The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is a refined Sunday driver that's priced competitively against more purpose-built roadsters, and it's well-executed to boot," said Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. Check out Mays' review for more.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
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.
Want a taste of the good life without eviscerating the kids' college fund? Buy an entry-luxury sedan like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a car that's anchored the bottom of Mercedes' U.S. lineup for more than two decades.
Or not. The outgoing C-Class sedan sputtered into last place in 2013's $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge. That was for a turbocharged four-cylinder C250 Sport, but we drove a V-6 C350 soon after, and it didn't redeem much. If this is the baby Benz, a lot of bathwater needed draining.
Drain it, Mercedes did. With the CLA-Class now anchoring the bottom of the lineup, Mercedes moved the redesigned C-Class upmarket in terms of both quality and price. The redesign hits dealers late this month in all-wheel-drive C300/C400 form and early 2015 in rear-drive C300 form, and it's eminently more desirable than the car it replaces.
Mercedes-Benz announced pricing for its all-new, larger 2015 C-Class, with a rear-wheel drive C300 costing $39,325, including a $925 destination fee. The 2015 C-Class hits the road on Aug. 25, though you won't be seeing any on dealerships lots with the entry-level price until the first quarter of 2015.
Going on sale first are all-wheel-drive versions (4Matic) of the 241-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder C300 and 329-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6 C400, priced at $41,325 and $49,515, respectively. The 2015 C-Class brings big changes to the sedan with new powertrains, a new interior that wooed our editors on the auto-show floor and a longer wheelbase for additional backseat passenger room. Mercedes' transformation of the C-Class is much needed against competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
Do you like the style of the Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door coupe but need a little more headroom and a hatchback? The GLA-Class might just be for you. Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for the subcompact, front- and all-wheel-drive car-based luxury SUV, and it's just $1,400 more than the starting price for the smaller CLA.
The new 2015 GLA250 will start at $32,225 (including destination charge) for a front-wheel drive, four-cylinder-powered model, rising to $34,225 for the 4Matic all-wheel-drive model. If the normal turbocharged four-cylinder isn't quite powerful enough for you, you can upgrade to the fire-breathing GLA45 AMG for $49,225 — quite a premium over a regular GLA250, but given the amount of additional go-fast equipment the AMG treatment brings, it could very well be worth it.
The GLA250 4Matic and GLA45 AMG both go on sale in September 2014, with the base GLA250 front-wheel-drive model going on sale the following year, sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
Tons of things go into seats, like passengers, child-safety seats and less convenient items like quarters, cellphones and keys that disappear into the black hole between the cushions. Few things, however, come out of a seat unless it's a coil spring poking you in the rear or the extravagant feature Mercedes-Benz incorporates on its E-Class convertible.
The Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet's mysterious button hints that it expels something from the front seats, but it's not the scented breeze of pine trees when your passenger can't catch a hint.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet, the redesigned E-Class luxury vehicle which Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays recently tested, boasts new interior and exterior styling, a turbocharged V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive to go with that droptop. Is it as fun as all that sounds? Watch the video and find out.
The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that an airbag assembly error could prevent the front passenger airbag from properly deploying.
The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the front passenger airbag for free.
What Owners Should Do: Parts for the fix aren't yet available, but Mercedes-Benz says they should be by the end of this month and the automaker will send a second notice when they're ready. NHTSA advises owners not to place a passenger or other items in the passenger seat until the airbag is fixed. Owners can call Mercedes-Benz at 800-367-6372 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.
Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.
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