AMG battle: Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S vs C43, which AMG is for you?

Shaun · Jun 10, 2020 04:39 PM

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia introduced a trio of AMG models last week, one of them was the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, a four-door coupe priced at RM 448,888. But there’s another AMG model with four doors, similar output levels, and in a similar price bracket (RM 421,888) – the Mercedes-AMG C43.

Both are priced rather closely to one another because the Mercedes-AMG C43 is locally assembled, while the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S is fully imported.

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA

Since we’ve yet to test the CLA 45 S, we won’t be getting into driving impressions. Instead, we’ll take a closer look at the spec sheets.

Powertrain

Propelling the recently introduced CLA 45 S is a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, churning out 421 PS/500 Nm and is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 4Matic+ system channels power to all four wheels. 0-100 km/h is dealt with 4 seconds flat and charges to a top speed of 270 km/h.

The C43 is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine that pushes out 390 PS and 520 Nm of torque, all wheels are driven through a 9-speed automatic transmission. It completes the century sprint in 4.7 seconds and is limited to 250 km/h.

Exterior dimensions and weight

Dimensions and weight
  C43 CLA 45 S
Length (mm) 4,699 4,693
Width (mm) 1,810 1,857
Height (mm) 1,429 1,413
Wheelbase (mm) 2,840 2,729
Weight (kg) 1,630 1,600

Both cars are actually close in terms of overall dimensions, save for the wheelbase. As a car from one size above, the C43 has a longer wheelbase by 111 mm. This would theoretically trade agility for stability.

The four-door coupe CLA 45 S is wider and lower, giving it a sportier stance on the road whereas the C43 has a traditional sedan look.

Interior

As standard inside the CLA 45 S, there are AMG Performance seats that hug your body in place and provides the necessary support when going around corners. The dual-widescreen setup, ambient lighting, and the intricately designed air vents add the wow factor.

In the C43, it’s a familiar sight of the W205 C-Class interior. It still looks good after all these years but next to the CLA 45 S, its age starts to show. The touchpad is from earlier generations of Mercedes-Benzes and the screens aren’t as well integrated to the dashboard.

Wheels and suspension

The C43 has a staggered setup in which the rear wheels are wider than the front, with tyres measuring 225/40 R19 at the front and 255/35 R19 at the rear. Staggered wheels, in general, provide a stable handling balance that favours understeer at the limits.

On the other hand, the CLA 45 S wears 255/35 R19 on all corners. This should in theory give a more neutral handling balance.

Both cars are equipped with AMG Ride Control suspension with adaptive damping.

Advanced Driver-Assistance System

The Driving Assistance package in the CLA 45 S includes Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assistant with cross-traffic function. There’s also Active Parking Assist with Parktronic and Pre-Safe.

The C43 has Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Active Parking Assist, Active Brake Assist, and Pre-Safe.

So there you have it, a quick overview on the C43 and CLA 45 S. Would you pick a more traditional looking sedan or the sleek four-door coupe?

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