2020 Mercedes AMG CLA vs. 2020 Audi S4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The AMG CLA’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG CLA and the S4 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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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG CLA’s warranty.

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 2020/07/15

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

© 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 2020/07/15

The AMG CLA 45’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 33 more horsepower (382 vs. 349) than the S4’s 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG CLA 35 gets better fuel mileage than the S4 (23 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

Transmission

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The AMG CLA offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The S4 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG CLA 45’s optional brake rotors are larger than those on the S4:

AMG CLA 45

S4

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG CLA can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG CLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The S4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the AMG CLA is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the S4.

Chassis

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The Mercedes AMG CLA may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Audi S4.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/07/15

The AMG CLA has 1.2 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the S4.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG CLA has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the S4, the AMG CLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The AMG CLA’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The S4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The AMG CLA’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The AMG CLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The S4 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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