The BMW M235i Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG CLA35 are so similar you’d think that they were designed by the same people, in the same room, at the same time. Both cars are four-door “coupes” from Germany with 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, automatic gearboxes, front-wheel drive chassis and all-wheel drive systems. So which flavor is better; the one from Stuttgart or Munich? Auto Express recently found out in this new test.
In terms of outright performance, there’s not enough between the two to make any sort of significant difference. Both cars have 302 bhp and get from 0-60 mph within a tenth of each other; the BMW doing the sprint in 5.0 seconds flat and the AMG taking a tenth longer.
Where the two cars really separate themselves is in how they drive. According to AE, the AMG is the sweeter driving car of the two. Its steering is quite a bit better than the M235i’s, with better precision and a nicer feel. Sure, both cars have numb steering but the CLA’s has better weighting, more consistency and just a nicer feeling rack than the M235i’s. The ride is also said to be better in the AMG.
The BMW M235i Gran Coupe does fight back with a lower price tag, so it’s the more affordable car of the two. Not that that makes up for its lack of handling or feel but it can sway customers who care more about looks and affordability.
In the end, Auto Express gave the win to the Mercedes-AMG A35. It’s the more fun and engaging car of the two while also managing to ride better. It also looks better, which isn’t actually all that hard to do. The M235i Gran Coupe isn’t all bad; it’s fast, it is fun to drive just not as fun as the AMG, has great tech and a nice price tag. It’s just not as good of a sporty four-door “coupe” as the AMG.