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    • Turbo import pocket rockets - 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG vs. 2014 BMW M235i vs. 2014 Subaru WRX STI

      A Subaru going up against a Mercedes with an AMG and a BMW sporting an M badge? Hey, it does not sound as crazy as it once would have before BMW had a 2-Series and Mercedes-Benz produced a turbo 2.0 liter four-cylinder AMG model with all wheel drive. As the Germans move downscale these types of comparisons of brands not traditionally compared will becomes more common. How does the new Subaru WRX STI stack up to its German competition?


      Well, the first thing to notice is its the greatest value. A Subaru does not exactly have the brand appeal of a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz but that much is obvious. Starting at $38,190 and its as tested price of $38,190 makes that Mercedes badge lose some of its luster when the CLA45 AMG tested price comes in at an eye opening $60,625. If the CLA45 AMG loaded up with options is getting to $60k what will the new W205 C63 AMG go for? $80k? Probably.

      The M235i's tested price is $46,025 so it actually comes up in the middle between the STI and the CLA45 AMG. It also does not have all wheel drive or a turbo four-cylinder like the other two. It does offer the greatest displacement at 3.0 liter from its turbo inline-6 versus 2.5 liter for the STI turbo flat-4 and 2.0 liters from the AMG turbo inline-4.

      The WRX STI has the least amount of horsepower and torque at 305 horses and 290 lb-ft. It is outgunned by the 320 horse 330 lb-ft M235i and the 355 horse and 332 lb-ft CLA45 AMG. It shows in the acceleration figures:

      1. CLA45 AMG - 12.7 @ 110.0 1/4 mile, 4.2 0-60
      2. M235i - 13.0 @ 106.6 1/4 mile, 4.4 0-60
      3. WRX STI - 13.1 @ 104.4, 4.6 0-60

      The CLA45 AMG is the quickest and fast of the bunch, decisively. So the acceleration is quite clear but what about the handling performance? Interestingly all three cars pull a .97g skidpad. The skidpad does not tell the whole story and fortunately MotorTrend took all three cars for timed laps on the roadcourse. The result is quite interesting.

      The quickest car around the roadcourse? The WRX STI. Does the fact it has the lightest curb weight of the trio at 3367 pounds help? Certainly. It also seems to manage its nose heavy weight distribution of 59/41 front to rear better than the CLA45 AMG with its incredible 60/40 front to rear bias. It is clear which car here was designed as a front wheel drive originally.

      Streets of Willow laptime:

      1. WRX STI: 1:26.12
      2. CLA45 AMG: 1:26.20
      3. M235i: 1:26.37

      So the least powerful and cheapest car in the comparison has the best laptime. It also wins the comparison. The STI is said to just pack in a ton of fun into the package despite its understeer. The BMW unfortunately comes up short and the laptime likely shows that the tight Streets of Willow course does not favor an M235i without a limited slip differential and an automatic transmission. Whereas the STI has a sportier manual and the CLA45 AMG a technology advanced dual clutch the BMW is stuck with an automatic. What's going on here? Open diff, automatic, is this really a BMW?

      The STI wins and deservedly so. A great value and all around package. The CLA45 AMG shows it is the dragster of the group and very capable... but boring. MotorTrend cites the lack of emotion and so it finishes last.

      A Subaru going up against a BMW and a Mercedes? That thought certainly does not look so crazy in retrospect.

      3rd Place: Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

      Big on speed, style, and price; small on emotion.

      2nd Place: BMW M235i


      A well-balanced rear-driver in need of options for pizzazz.

      1st Place: Subaru WRX STI


      Launch Edition: Loud, fast, surefooted, amenity-packed—it typifies fun.

      2014 BMW M235i 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA45 AMG 2015 Subaru WRX STI (Launch Edition)
      POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
      DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD
      ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged flat-4, alum block/heads
      VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
      DISPLACEMENT 181.8 cu in/2979 cc 121.5 cu in/1991 cc 149.9 cu in/2457 cc
      COMPRESSION RATIO 10.2:1 8.6:1 8.2:1
      POWER (SAE NET) 320 hp @ 5800 rpm 355 hp @ 6000 rpm 305 hp @ 6000 rpm
      TORQUE (SAE NET) 330 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm 332 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm 290 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
      REDLINE 7000 rpm 6250 rpm 6700 rpm
      WEIGHT TO POWER 10.9 lb/hp 10.1 lb/hp 11.0 lb/hp
      TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 7-speed twin-clutch auto. 6-speed manual
      AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.08:1/2.05:1 2.44:1/1.17:1 3.90:1/2.94:1
      SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
      STEERING RATIO 14.5:1 14.5:1 13.1:1
      TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.2 2.7 2.5
      BRAKES, F;R 13.4-in vented disc; 11.4-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented, drilled, grooved disc; 13.0-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 13.0-in vented disc; 12.4-in vented disc, ABS
      WHEELS, F;R 7.5 x 18-in; 8.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum 9.0 x 19-in, cast aluminum 8.5 x 18-in, forged aluminum
      TIRES, F;R 225/40ZR18 88Y; 245/35ZR18 92Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/40ZR19 91Y Dunlop Sport Maxx RT MO 245/40R18 97W Dunlop Sport Maxx RT
      DIMENSIONS
      WHEELBASE 105.9 in 106.3 in 104.3 in
      TRACK, F/R 59.7/60.4 in 61.3/61.4 in 60.2/60.6 in
      LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 174.5 x 69.8 x 55.2 in 184.7 x 70.0 x 55.7 in 180.9 x 70.7 x 58.1 in
      TURNING CIRCLE 35.8 ft 36.1 ft 36.0 ft
      CURB WEIGHT 3494 lb 3600 lb 3367 lb
      WEIGHT DIST., F/R 53/47 % 60/40 % 59/41 %
      SEATING CAPACITY 4 5 5
      HEADROOM, F/R 40.1/36.5 in 37.0/35.6 in 39.8/37.1 in
      LEGROOM, F/R 41.5/33.0 in 40.2/27.1 in 43.3/35.4 in
      SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.4/53.4 in 56.0/53.2 in 55.6/54.2 in
      CARGO VOLUME 13.8 cu ft 13.1 cu ft 12.0 cu ft
      TEST DATA
      ACCELERATION TO MPH
      0-30 1.7 sec 1.4 sec 1.3 sec
      0-40 2.4 2.2 2.3
      0-50 3.3 3.0 3.2
      0-60 4.4 4.2 4.6
      0-70 5.7 5.3 6.0
      0-80 7.3 6.9 7.5
      0-90 9.0 8.6 9.7
      0-100 11.2 10.5 11.9
      PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.2 2.2 2.5
      QUARTER MILE 13.0 sec @ 106.6 mph 12.7 sec @ 110.0 mph 13.1 sec @ 104.4 mph
      BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 103 ft 105 ft 108 ft
      LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.97 g (avg) 0.97 g (avg) 0.97 g (avg)
      MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.9 sec @ 0.78 g (avg) 24.6 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 24.9 sec @ 0.79 g (avg)
      1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 86.37 sec 86.20 sec 86.12 sec
      TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1800 rpm 1500 rpm 2400 rpm
      CONSUMER INFO
      BASE PRICE $44,025 $48,375 $38,190
      PRICE AS TESTED $46,025 $60,625 $38,190
      STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes
      AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r head Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee Dual front, front side, f/r head
      BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles
      POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
      ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/unlimited miles Unlimited 3 yrs/36,000 miles
      FUEL CAPACITY 13.7 gal 14.8 gal 15.9 gal
      EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 22/32/25 mpg 23/31/26 mpg 17/23/19 mpg
      ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 153/105 kW-hrs/100 miles 147/109 kW-hrs/100 miles 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles
      CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76 lb/mile 0.75 lb/mile 1.01 lb/mile
      REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 22/29/25 mpg 23/30/26 mpg 22/25/23 mpg
      RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Turbo import pocket rockets - 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG vs. 2014 BMW M235i vs. 2014 Subaru WRX STI started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 42 Comments
      1. Stevenh's Avatar
        Stevenh -
        Looks like Subaru put together a nice package... if they had only made a SINGLE update to the powertrain since I had one 10 years ago I might have been interested.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stevenh Click here to enlarge
        Looks like Subaru put together a nice package... if they had only made a SINGLE update to the powertrain since I had one 10 years ago I might have been interested.
        Honestly it's kind of nice that tuners can tackle this easily.
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        Soon as tunes and a few aftermarket parts are available for the BMW its going to leave the other 2 in the dust. I6 against the I4, higher compression ratio etc. The Subi is holding up decent though.
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        The m2 should crush the cla45, considering the m235 is that close for way less. The sti is a nice car but I doubt anyone interested will cross shop to the others. The CLA is to much and the m235 has no all wheel drive.
      1. ezec63's Avatar
        ezec63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Soon as tunes and a few aftermarket parts are available for the BMW its going to leave the other 2 in the dust. I6 against the I4, higher compression ratio etc. The Subi is holding up decent though.
        We are talking about the n55 here the cla45 has shown to put down 370 whp on a dyno jet with just a tune wait for downpipes/intake/race gas. Not only is that more power then a n55 if you check out the dyno graphs the Cla holds it's power all the way to redline as opposed to the n55 that's get a surge in the midrange and dies off HARD up top. The Cla has AWD so it would obviously have the advantage from a dig and a faster shifting dual clutch trans vs the torque converter in the m235. The Cla has already hit 12.1 @ almost 118 on a vbox with just a piggyback and 12.2 at a certified drag strip I don't think n55's have gotten close to that tune only
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
        The m2 should crush the cla45, considering the m235 is that close for way less. The sti is a nice car but I doubt anyone interested will cross shop to the others. The CLA is to much and the m235 has no all wheel drive.
        Are we even getting an M2?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ezec63 Click here to enlarge
        We are talking about the n55 here the cla45 has shown to put down 370 whp on a dyno jet with just a tune wait for downpipes/intake/race gas. Not only is that more power then a n55 if you check out the dyno graphs the Cla holds it's power all the way to redline as opposed to the n55 that's get a surge in the midrange and dies off HARD up top. The Cla has AWD so it would obviously have the advantage from a dig and a faster shifting dual clutch trans vs the torque converter in the m235. The Cla has already hit 12.1 @ almost 118 on a vbox with just a piggyback and 12.2 at a certified drag strip I don't think n55's have gotten close to that tune only
        The ET of course will favor the CLA45 AMG due to the all wheel drive and dual clutch transmission.

        It's pretty hard to overcome a liter of displacement and two cylinders though when you're only packing 2.0 liters. The N55 here isn't being pushed at all by BMW.
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ezec63 Click here to enlarge
        We are talking about the n55 here the cla45 has shown to put down 370 whp on a dyno jet with just a tune wait for downpipes/intake/race gas. Not only is that more power then a n55 if you check out the dyno graphs the Cla holds it's power all the way to redline as opposed to the n55 that's get a surge in the midrange and dies off HARD up top. The Cla has AWD so it would obviously have the advantage from a dig and a faster shifting dual clutch trans vs the torque converter in the m235. The Cla has already hit 12.1 @ almost 118 on a vbox with just a piggyback and 12.2 at a certified drag strip I don't think n55's have gotten close to that tune only
        Well I give up. Wrote 3 long posts explaining why you are incorrect. All 3 times they were erased when I tried to post from my phone. Sticky time for an app man. The site is really terrible to work with via mobile.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Well I give up. Wrote 3 long posts explaining why you are incorrect. All 3 times they were erased when I tried to post from my phone. Sticky time for an app man. The site is really terrible to work with via mobile.
        What phone?

        I don't disagree an app will help but there is no point adding one right now when I'm not done with the desktop version yet. It will come.
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        There will be a m2, with a n55 that will have more power..... IMO
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
        There will be a m2, with a n55 that will have more power..... IMO
        It's certainly probable.
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        If they are going to call it an M model. Why not give it the S55?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        If they are going to call it an M model. Why not give it the S55?
        BMW because doesn't care about stuff like that any longer. It's all about what's cheapest.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Honestly it's kind of nice that tuners can tackle this easily.
        Vendors are already listing the Cobb down pipe as compatible with the '15 STi, and Cobb got a car about a month ago to begin their work on the ECU. So everything known about the EJ should transfer over pretty easily w/regard to tuning.

        If you're willing to bypass the keyless entry and the things like gold wheels that are exclusive to the launch edition, you can get a base STi for under $34k. Mine is scheduled to be here in August, just before the snow flies. Looking to do E85 next spring.
      1. ezec63's Avatar
        ezec63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Well I give up. Wrote 3 long posts explaining why you are incorrect. All 3 times they were erased when I tried to post from my phone. Sticky time for an app man. The site is really terrible to work with via mobile.
        Id like to know. Can you give us a summary? I've heard the turbos were similar on n55 and Cla engines? Doesn't make sense since the Cla is making same or more power stock and tune only and obviously a lot more psi which isn't the best indicator obv. Maybe Mercedes used better turbine/compressor wheels?
      1. ChuckD05's Avatar
        ChuckD05 -
        Upgraded turbo sti at the track today trapped 115... Stock motor 407whp went 12.0 @115 not too bad .. Older hatch but similar performance .... 1.8 60 walk to his car they're blizzacks lol

        i dig the sti but you shouldn't expect to drag race just as this article says ... I'd prob take it over the other two as well with the price it is...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by whoosh Click here to enlarge
        Vendors are already listing the Cobb down pipe as compatible with the '15 STi, and Cobb got a car about a month ago to begin their work on the ECU. So everything known about the EJ should transfer over pretty easily w/regard to tuning.

        If you're willing to bypass the keyless entry and the things like gold wheels that are exclusive to the launch edition, you can get a base STi for under $34k. Mine is scheduled to be here in August, just before the snow flies. Looking to do E85 next spring.
        Didn't know you were getting one, congrats man. Got Subaruboost.com up last night but I'm kind of confused on if this 2015 WRX STI is a 5th gen car? But the 4th gen Impreza is still sold? It's confusing.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ChuckD05 Click here to enlarge
        Upgraded turbo sti at the track today trapped 115... Stock motor 407whp went 12.0 @115 not too bad .. Older hatch but similar performance .... 1.8 60 walk to his car they're blizzacks lol

        i dig the sti but you shouldn't expect to drag race just as this article says ... I'd prob take it over the other two as well with the price it is...
        I have to admit I kind of dig the STI too.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ChuckD05 Click here to enlarge
        Upgraded turbo sti at the track today trapped 115... Stock motor 407whp went 12.0 @115 not too bad .. Older hatch but similar performance .... 1.8 60 walk to his car they're blizzacks lol

        i dig the sti but you shouldn't expect to drag race just as this article says ... I'd prob take it over the other two as well with the price it is...
        blizzacks! That's hilarious.

        Price was a huge factor for me. I need to get back into an AWD car, and the value of this thing along with my already knowing how to take apart 3/4 of the car made it a hard thing to pass up.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Didn't know you were getting one, congrats man. Got Subaruboost.com up last night but I'm kind of confused on if this 2015 WRX STI is a 5th gen car? But the 4th gen Impreza is still sold? It's confusing.
        Thanks man, and thanks for subaruboost. I'm going to try and drive some traffic this way. NASIOC has been a CF for about a decade, and IWSTI is heading that way as more and more cheap STis fall into the hands of the stance/illest crowd.

        I'm not 100% on the gens; it's even more confusing since there was at least one gen of WRX over in Japan that we didn't get here while we got the GC Impreza. So (off the top of my head) we're on the 4th gen of Impreza in the US, but only the third gen of WRX and STI, which technically aren't Impreza trim levels anymore.
      1. andrew20195's Avatar
        andrew20195 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Didn't know you were getting one, congrats man. Got Subaruboost.com up last night but I'm kind of confused on if this 2015 WRX STI is a 5th gen car? But the 4th gen Impreza is still sold? It's confusing.
        The new WRX/STi is based on the 4th gen Impreza chassis. Subaru may claim extra generations in between but there have really only been 4 clean sheet designs. This is the first WRX that "isn't an Impreza", even though it uses the same chassis. There was no 4th gen "Impreza WRX".