Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 vs Audi S3 Saloon CarWow challenge comparison review - Dexerto
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Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 vs Audi S3 Saloon CarWow challenge comparison review

Published: 22/Jan/2020 17:10 Updated: 22/Jan/2020 17:32

by David Purcell

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Car enthusiasts looking to invest in a saloon car have thousands of options in front of them, but after seeing CarWow’s YouTube show pit both the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and Audi S3 against each other, you might be tempted to splash out. 

The YouTube channel boasts over 3.3 million followers on the platform, posting regular car reviews with an in-depth look at the hottest sets of wheels in the industry, while also providing its loyal following with other content such as drag race videos, head-to-heads, and more.

Speaking of head-to-heads, on January 21 they posted a video including both the Mercedes-AMG and Audi vehicles mentioned, in an attempt to find out which would be the best to drive from the two.

CarWow speed test for Audi S3
carwow, YouTube
Mat Watson takes both cars for a spin during his YouTube review for CarWow, before giving his verdict on which is the best.

The presenter for this video was Mat Watson, who aptly described both of these as “desirable” saloon cars right from the outset, but he wanted to know which one was the best.

In order to do that, he picked a few different aspects of the vehicles to compare – including their launch, technology, design, sound, practicality, and finally something that’s very important for a lot of drivers… Finding out which is the most fun.

So, let’s take a look at the video and crucially, the findings.

Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 profile

Performance

Just to give you an idea of how they stack up against each other, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 has a 2.0 litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine, 306hp, four wheel drive, and its manufacturer says it can do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. Yet, in the video it actually hit 60 in 4.7 seconds.

Design (exterior)

The design of the CLA 35 is slick to say the least. In the review, too, Watson wanted to emphasize just how impressive its design was by making a comparison to another model from Mercedes.

Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 reviewed on YouTube
carwow, YouTube
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 has some impressive performance to back it up, but does it top the Audi?

He said: “Some of you may be wondering why the heck I haven’t got the A35 Saloon [in the video]. Well, the reason is the CLA is only a little more expensive and let’s be honest, it’s the one you would have because it’s just looks way sexier. In fact, I really like the look of it.”

Key features include the sporty rear diffuser, new badging, boot-lip spoiler, 35 grill featuring two slats, no huge wing like we’ve seen in other models, low to the ground with its suspension, and looks “meaner” with blacked out elements as well.

Overall, Mat said this car was easily the best in terms of exterior design.

Design (interior)

Straight off the bat, the inside of the Merc looked a lot more complex than the Audi – and looked more modern.

“I tell you what, the inside of this CLA just makes that of the S3 look absolutely old as the hills – love it – so modern,” Mat said, although he had to admit that some of the materials selected were “cheap” to feel. Take a look yourself.

The entertainment built into the car, this reviewer says, is the best around right now.

Interior of Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
carwow, YouTube
Here’s how the Mercedes looks inside.

Sound

The way an engine sounds is important for some drivers and particular focus was given to it in this CarWow video. When revving in a stationary position, the Mercedes sounded better by a mile. The same verdict was given about the cars when driving, too.

Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 price

This vehicle’s price starts at £40,000 (around $52,000) and final prices will be determined on which specifications are picked by the buyer – according to CarWow.

Audi S3 saloon 

Performance

In the case of the second car in this review, the Audi S3 saloon also has a 2.0 litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine, with 300hp, and a dynamic mode that activates a speedy launch system, similar to the Merc’s Sport+ feature.

After activating dynamic, sports mode and stability controls, the four wheel drive car blasted out of the blocks in the speed test and hit 60mph in 4.3 seconds – meaning its acceleration just pips the CLA 35.

Audi S3 reviewed on YouTube
carwow, YouTube
Here’s a closer look at the Audi S3 saloon.

Design (exterior)

The sporty front bumper, boot-lip spoiler, S3 badge, rear diffuser, four exhaust pipes, low suspension, and side skirts makes this vehicle a really eye catching one in the video and on the road. Audi also offers the chance to change the color of the front of the vehicle, its wheels and wind mirrors with the black pack.

Design (interior)

“One thing Audi always does well is with their interior quality and it’s no different with the S3,” Watson said, brushing his hands around the sporty steering wheel, gear stick, upgraded sport seats with fixed headrests and more.

There are optional red stitching and surrounds for other features that are available with this vehicle. There’s a pop-up screen inside the car, too, which makes it look a little dated, according to this reviewer.

Audi S3 saloon interior
carwow, YouTube
Here’s what the Audi S3 saloon looks like inside.

Sound

When stationary, just revving, the Audi wasn’t the most impressive to listen to. However, it sounded much louder on the road, but still wasn’t enough to get the nod from CarWow when pitted against the CLA 35.

Audi S3 saloon price

This vehicle’s price starts at £39,000 (around $51,000) and final prices will be determined on which specifications are picked by the buyer – according to CarWow. They are, side-by-side, very similar in that respect.

Verdict

With so many indicators and comparisons looked at during the course of the in-depth video, including price, design, launch, speed and specifications, Mat Watson suggests that the price will ultimately make up many people’s minds.

However, all things weighed up, he went with the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35… but what would you choose?

Cars

SSC accused of faking 331mph speed record revealed on Top Gear

Published: 27/Oct/2020 11:53

by Kieran Bicknell

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With the automotive world rocked by the SSC Tuatara’s record-breaking run during October 2020, YouTuber Shmee 150 has raised a number of doubts about the credibility of their record.

Land speed records are nothing new – ever since the dawn of the motor car, drivers have been competing to go faster and faster in an all-out race to beat each other’s top speeds.

With competitors Bugatti having set the previous production car speed record of 304.77mph in a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, SSC has now obliterated their record… or have they?

SSC tuatara speed run
SSC
The SSC Tuatara is the record holder for the world’s fastest production car, but many have pointed out there are issues with the footage.

Top Gear announces SSC Tuatara speed record

When BBC’s Top Gear announced the breaking news that the SSC Tuatara had broken the production car speed records, the automotive world went into pandemonium. To break any speed record is an incredible achievement, but to do so by such a massive margin is almost unheard of.

The record attempt itself was also unusual in that it was carried out on a stretch of public road. A closed-off section of dead-straight road near Las Vegas provided the setting, totaling seven miles long.

Unfortunately for SSC and potentially for Top Gear, a number of popular online personalities and journalists have now called out SSC, claiming that the record is “fake.”

SSC World Record run controversy

YouTuber Shmee150 has been one such journalist, and put out a very convincing video debunking the record attempt on October 26.

The first major issue that he identified is that the tires on the Tuatara were allegedly ‘stock’ tires. Since they were not made specifically for the record attempt (to the best of his knowledge) they would’ve been rated for a significantly lower speed than 300+ mph.

Shmee then goes further to discuss the timings between set points on the route. By calculating the distance covered and the time it took for the Tuatara to cover that distance, he was able to work out a rough average speed.

SSC Footage slowed down?

Unfortunately, the speed between the first and second point that he highlighted is significantly different to that shown by the on-board footage that Top Gear released. According to his calculations, either the onboard footage was slowed down “by around 30%” for some reason, or the figures shown are totally wrong.

He also points out that the dashboard was obscured in the first-person view footage, despite the fact the reading should’ve mirrored that of the telemetry. As Shmee points out, the car is always going faster than the calculated average speed, which is a “mathematical impossibility.. you can’t dispute [it].”

By Shmee’s calculations, the Tuatara only reached a peak speed of “around 280 miles an hour”. Given that the original video was a Top Gear exclusive, it will be interesting to see how this situation develops.