Mercedes CLA 35 AMG review

Category: Performance car

Section: Performance & drive

Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD rear seats
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD infotainment
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD wide rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD rear seats
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD infotainment
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD
  • Mercedes CLA 35 AMG 2020 RHD wide rear tracking
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

If 302bhp in a relatively small car sounds like a potent combination, that's because it is. Even on cold, wet roads, the CLA 35’s claimed 0-62mph time of just 4.9sec never feels in doubt. Put your foot down and the CLA 35 simply digs in and goes, its four-wheel drive system transferring all of the engine's power to the road without a hint of wheelspin.

With its neutral, predictable cornering balance and superb body control, the CLA 35 is a car that can cover ground extremely rapidly, regardless of conditions. However, in terms of pure driving thrills, it suffers from the same problems as its closest rival, the BMW M235i Gran Coupe; its ‘safe’ front-biased all-wheel drive system restricts the amount of fun you can have in the corners. Put simply, if you want a four door, five seat vehicle that feels truly thrilling, we’d recommend the far cheaper Honda Civic Type R hatchback; a car that involves you in the driving process, thanks to its slick manual gearbox, well-weighted steering and nimble chassis.