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    • MotorTrend compares the 2014 BMW F22 M235i to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C117 CLA45 AMG

      We will be seeing this comparison many times over the next few years. MotorTrend already compared these cars last month with the Subaru WRX STI picked as the winner over both. In that comparison the CLA45 AMG finished in last place and the BMW M235i finished in 2nd place although the CLA45 AMG was quicker around the track than the M235i and also the faster car in a straight line. Well, here we go again without the Subaru.



      MotorTrend is rehashing content but considering the popularity of these two cars that is fine. As you already know these two cars have significant differences. The Mercedes-Benz CLA45 has a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder. The motor, codenamed M133, is the world's most powerful production four-cylinder and a beast of a 2.0 liter. The M235i has the tried and true turbocharged 3.0 liter N55 inline-6 although at 320 horsepower it is rated at 35 horses less than the CLA45 AMG.

      The BMW is rear wheel drive with an 8-speed ZF automatic (a manual is an option). The CLA45 AMG by contrast has a seven speed dual clutch transmission and it sends power to all four wheels.

      So does MotorTrend feel differently about these cars a month later? Well, the M235i is criticized for its brakes and steering feel. It is said to offer great fun factor partially due to being able to wag its tail around and its balance.

      The CLA45 AMG by contrast is said to feel more powerful, offer better grip, and it features better brakes. The steering feel also is stated to be better which is interesting considering this is essentially a front wheel drive platform. MotorTrend complains about the looks but this is subjective and having seen the CLA in person it is quite striking. The dual clutch is also criticized for its behavior and downshift speed.

      They take them around the track in an attempt to pick which is better and this is where the rehashing of content comes in. We already know the result from last month with the CLA45 outperforming the M235i on the track. What the video features is an overlay of both cars lapping which is nice to see.

      Ultimately, these are both great entry level German performance cars. The CLA45 AMG is the better performer partially as a virtue of brute force but the M235i offers a greater fun factor. Two different styles at work here and it would be nice to revisit this comparison when the M235i gets a limited slip differential. On a track like the Streets of Willow that alone will make a huge difference for the M235i.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: MotorTrend compares the 2014 BMW F22 M235i to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C117 CLA45 AMG started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 10 Comments
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        IMO considering this is more of an M "package" car and not a real M car, where the MB is a real AMG car, I think the Bimmer did pretty awesome.

        I'd actually like to see the CLA45 up against a 1M and then a "M2" if BMW does one.
      1. Roll racer's Avatar
        Roll racer -
        Those models you speak of would be about what 350-370 hp and would be to close in hp to the flagship m3
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Roll racer Click here to enlarge
        Those models you speak of would be about what 350-370 hp and would be to close in hp to the flagship m3
        This is the problem. I feel a new M four-cylinder is the resolution to the issue.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Call me crazy, I'll take the M235i. Cheaper, better looking, and the interior is more my style. Also, with the money you save vs. the CLA 45, you could have quite a bit more power and better handling than the Merc (and many other cars period) and have the better driver's car too. And the sound...can't beat an I6. CLA 45 is a crazy car, but just not my style.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        Call me crazy, I'll take the M235i. Cheaper, better looking, and the interior is more my style. Also, with the money you save vs. the CLA 45, you could have quite a bit more power and better handling than the Merc (and many other cars period) and have the better driver's car too. And the sound...can't beat an I6. CLA 45 is a crazy car, but just not my style.
        I completely understand your logic here.

        If one intends to modify the M235i makes a lot of sense especially if you value fun factor.

        The M235i is artificially limited by BMW, we know this. They charge you to unlock it (only to a degree) with their M Performance Parts.

        The CLA45 AMG is probably not going to be nearly as much fun to drive but it's a hell of a drag racer with the all wheel drive and DCT. I prefer its styling as it is more progressive but this is as subjective point.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I completely understand your logic here.

        If one intends to modify the M235i makes a lot of sense especially if you value fun factor.

        The M235i is artificially limited by BMW, we know this. They charge you to unlock it (only to a degree) with their M Performance Parts.

        The CLA45 AMG is probably not going to be nearly as much fun to drive but it's a hell of a drag racer with the all wheel drive and DCT. I prefer its styling as it is more progressive but this is as subjective point.
        I'll say this, I far prefer it with either the Night Styling package or the carbon fiber package, as all that silver trim looks a little cheap to me. Also I hate the way the black wheels look with the polished lip...for some reason they look very cheap. With the red paint, it just screams to be looked at, and not in a good way. Now, in that nice purple with some black trim, that would look nice.

        I really hope there's an M2 with an S20 or something like that...it could be an amazing car.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        I really hope there's an M2 with an S20 or something like that...it could be an amazing car.
        Click here to enlarge
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        The internet ate your link
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        The internet ate your link
        Let's see if it eats this one:

        Click here to enlarge
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        That's one of my favorite pictures of all time...absolutely gorgeous. Makes me want an E30 M3.