2020 Audi S4 vs. 2020 Mercedes AMG CLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes AMG CLA doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S4 and AMG CLA have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The AMG CLA’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the S4 and the AMG CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The S4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG CLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The S4’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 47 more horsepower (349 vs. 302) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the AMG CLA 35’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The S4’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 354) than the AMG CLA 45’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The AMG CLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The S4 has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the AMG CLA (15.3 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S4 has larger standard tires than the AMG CLA (245/40R18 vs. 235/35R19). The S4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the AMG CLA (255/35R19 vs. 235/35R19).

The S4 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the AMG CLA; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the AMG CLA don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S4’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the AMG CLA (111 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

Passenger Space

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The S4 has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the AMG CLA (92 vs. 89).

The S4 has .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG CLA.

Cargo Capacity

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The S4 has a larger trunk than the AMG CLA (12 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the S4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the AMG CLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S4 has standard extendable sun visors. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the S4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The S4 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the AMG CLA. The S4 Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the AMG CLA.

On extremely cold winter days, the S4 Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The AMG CLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The Audi A4/S4 outsold the Mercedes CLA by over two to one during 2019.

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