Switch on the ignition, slot the car into drive mode and start cruising around and the first thing you notice is how docile this car is as compared to the other AMG’s out there. Its still loud when you slot it into Sport mode, but its not manic! Nonetheless, it’s eager enough to get going, the 7 speed DCT holding on to a lower gear, almost begging you to step on the throttle. And when you do, the car hurls itself forward to a hundred in around 4.5s, onwards to over 200kmph rather effortlessly. While it may not be as brash and aggressive as the other AMG’s, its got a decent soundtrack which has turbo written all over it. Speaking of the turbo, there is just a hint of turbo lag when you want to really get going. You can feel the turbo sucking in air before the jolt arrives, pushing you back into those beautiful seats and bringing a huge smile on your face. But I can’t help but wonder what a joy this car would have been if it was instead powered by a naturally aspirated engine.
Fortunately for us Indians, one area where the turbo comes out on top is fuel efficiency. This car easily averaged between 6-8kmpl in the city, which is about the best you can get from a performance car while driving through the hustle and bustle of Mumbai.
The CLA45 AMG is not an all-out sports car. But at a price INR 70 lakhs, it’s got no real competition as such. You could go in for an Audi S4, which is significantly cheaper but just not as mad as the CLA45 AMG. Alternatively, you could opt for the Audi RS5, which is significantly more expensive, but ups the game to a whole new level in the form of a naturally aspirated 4.2L V8. The fact of the matter is that Mercedes has leapfrogged it’s competition in bringing this car to Indian shores, handing it a clear advantage. In a lot of ways, the CLA45 AMG is a statement by Mercedes which shows their commitment to India. This is the very best and the very latest that Mercedes has to offer, and they’ve got it here to fend off competition from BMW and Audi, brands that were, for a very long time, grabbing a large part of Mercedes’ market share in India. The CLA sedan will launch in India in the coming months, and it’ll be interesting to see how buyers respond to the CLA45 after that. It doesn’t look all that different as compared to the sedan, you know!
But if you’re out on the market to buy a small luxury car that has what it takes to increase your blood pressure, heighten your senses and give you those #AahMyGod moments, there’s very little out there within that price bracket that’ll do a better job than the CLA45 AMG.