As peculiar as it may seem to old-school BMW and Mercedes fans, the two German giants are now battling Audi in new segments. BMW is actually famous for making entire marketing campaigns mocking front-wheel drive cars. Yet today, it’s giving a car based on a front-wheel drive platform not only its badge, but also the M logo. The M Performance-badged BMW M235i Gran Coupe was unveiled a few months ago and received mixed reactions.
The guys from Throttle House set up a proper German showdown featuring the aforementioned BMW and its main rivals: the Audi S3 and Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. There are some small discrepancies here, but overall these cars are direct rivals. I’m saying discrepancies because, theoretically, the A3 is a Sedan (as defined by the company) while the other two are claimed to be Coupe models, even though we all know they are actually sedans.
On paper, they are also extremely close in terms of performance. All three use 2-liter 4-cylinder engines with around 300 HP. All three are all-wheel drive and all three are built atop front-wheel drive platforms. Therefore, you’d expect a certain behavior. The similarities go even deeper. All three also have the engine above the front axle, which is rather new for BMW and their rear-wheel drive dynamic models.
The reviewers do great job at talking through all the pros and cons of the three cars, but we won’t spoil the video for you. But considering you’re probably a BMW fan, there’s a lot of criticism included in the following minutes, so fair warning ahead.