Mercedes CLA – The Art of design made in Stuttgart for A-class money


> 21 st April 2017

Actually there are not very many cars below 40.000 Euro which I would personally consider – beautiful. Of course, there are some really sporty fun cars and lots of „every-day“ cars for this price on the market – but real beauties? Not so many. Sometimes I think, design has a big price tag. But here and there I find one of these very special cars and than I think: Why spend more when all the good stuff is just right here. The CLA from Mercedes is one of these cars and today I am really happy that there is a good reason for me to take that car for a ride. And that reason is the all new coilover-kit from ap-Sportfahrwerke for the german beauty.

A little CLA story
After Mercedes had completely renewed it`s A-class from a grandpa`s family transporter to a hot GTI competition, they had one more trick in their sleeves. In 2012 they introduced us to their brand-new CLA and 2013 it was on the market where it became a good success for the company. The cw value of the car is just 0,23 and thats one of the best for production vehicles around the world. So it was just a matter of time when they decided to sell the car also as a station wagon. But today, I want to stick with the sedan because for me it has the perfect design for a 4-door car. It reminds me at the year 2004 when Mercedes introduced us to the CLS and to me, that was the beginning of a whole new Mercedes area. I immediately fell in love with the CLS but unfortunately it was to expensive and to big for me. So, here comes my second chance. The CLA is way cheaper, not that big and it has the same great looks. Of course, you can get it with many different engines, from a 109 hp diesel engine up to a 381 hp high performance engine and you can buy the car with front wheel drive or with all wheel drive.

My test-car
Today I got an 180 CLA with the AMG package. It`s a 2015 model with just 13.000 kilometers. In short words – it looks like brand-new. To me, the AMG package is really important and a must buy for a sporty driver. That means different skirts and spoilers as well as 18 inch AMG wheels and a lowering of the suspension. In addition it also offers some goodies for the interior like the really great multifunctional steering wheel which fits perfectly into my hands. But the best is yet to come: The car was about 38.000 Euro when it was new, now, still almost new, its just a bit more than 27.000 Euro.

First impression
Love at first sight! I think the car looks like a car way more expensive. My test car comes in white, which is also nice. The two big exhaust pipes are part of the AMG package and I would not like to miss them. I actually have to walk around the car to see and feel the design idea of it.

The interior
Pretty neat looking bucket seats are waiting for me. I put them way back and down and before I enter the car. And here is the first little problem. Being all excited of the car, I almost forgot that I am basically sitting in an A-class and not in a real big luxury car. The sporty line and the wheelbase of the A-Class are responsible that the car feels a bit tight at the insight. And yes, I do fit in the car with almost 2 meters of hight and also yes, I can live with it but let`s just say, it feels a bit to „cuddly“. But this is already the end of my problems. To me, the car has not only one of the best outside designs in its class, it also offers a great interior. It looks sporty and upscale, nice materials, pretty contrasting seams, aluminium and leather. Did I already mention this perfectly made steering-wheel? To be honest, I have seen many cars, way more expensive than this with a less appealing interior.

On the street
Let`s go. The 1.6 liter engine with 122 hp is what I expect it to be. It`s enough for every day driving but it is not a racing engine either. Equipped with the 7-speed double clutch transmission (2000 Euro) it feels like a great car for the every day drive to the office or for the next vacation trip. To make it short and sweet: 8.7 seconds von 0-100km/h, top-speed 210 km/h, gas milage 5,2-5,6 liters/100km. If this isn`t enough for you but you like the design of the car as much as I like it – maybe just get a bigger engine, like the great 250 CLA which offers a bit more than 200hp and a lot more fun.

The suspension
Talking about „more fun“. From now on, ap Sportfahrwerke offers lowering springs (179 Euro) for a lowered ground clearance of 20/20 mm and 30/30 mm as well as a coilover kit for a continuous lowering of up to 60 mm (569 Euro) for the CLA on the floor unit of the current A-Class. Besides a lower center of gravity, the CLA benefits from the ap springs and the ap coilover kit by a significantly more sporty driving behavior. Find out more at

Text: Andreas Leffler
Pictures: Andreas Leffler

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