2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

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in Midsize sedans
2019 MODEL

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Detailed Review

The CLA class was introduced in 2014 as an entry-level sedan to cater to the desires of owning a luxury four wheeler. Like almost every class where there’s an AMG model, the CLA 45 exists to bridge the gap between premium and performance. Sheer confidence has the CLA class going without a major revision since its introduction, but with the 2019 Mercedes AMG CLA 45 Coupe, it seems that this tradition might just not work anymore.Powering the coupe is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine which produces enormous outputs of 375 horses and 350 pound feet torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.


The AMG CLA 45 is kitted with the bells and whistles of the performance division along with a few premium touches from the German marquee, but at the same time is rather unlike the manufacturer. Why do we say that? Read on to find out, including its stand against the likes of BMW M2 Competition, Chevrolet Camaro SS, and the Ford Mustang GT.

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Features

Priced at $53,100, the 4-doored coupe-styled CLA 45 packs a power packed 2.0L machine under its hood. Incorporating AMG-body styling with sport interiors and premium features, it is offered in a single trim with additional packages introducing mostly cosmetic features or manufacturer services.

Some noteworthy packages include Multimedia Package at $2,300, Smartphone Integration package at $350, Drive Assistance Package at 1,500, and AMG Dynamic Plus Package at $2,800.

For this review, we’ve included the AMG Dynamic Plus Package, which brings the total cost of the AMG CLA 45 to $55,900

Trim

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

MSRP

$53,100

Key Features

3-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel

 

4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS)

 

14-way power front seats with memory

 

Central controller and 8-inch color display

 

ECO Start/Stop system

 

Brushed aluminum pedals

We recommend

In an otherwise great package, invest in the Multimedia Package that will get you Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration along with a navigation system and voice controls.

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Engine

With its strong four-cylinder and quick-shifting transmission, the CLA 250 offers enough performance to impress owners of the larger C-Class. Unfortunately, that same transmission can be quirky in typical driving.” -edmunds

Propelling the CLA’s wheels is a turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 engine mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Punching out mighty outputs of 375 horses and 350 pound feet torque, they drive the coupe with brutal and smooth power delivery and quick gear shifts. However, for all the monstrous performance, the coupe is hit by turbo lag and abrupt shifts at low speed. Even though it’s a front-driven 4-matic coupe, half the power can be transferred to the rear wheels.

Selectable driving modes enhance the drivability of the coupe, where further up the choice the coupe gets sportier and firm, and alive comes the sonorous pops and crackles of the exhaust. The coupe is still a rogue on the tarmac in its most civilian mode but the Sport modes, including the available RACE mode (which also raises top speed), unleashes the beast this car has hidden underneath it.

Under the competition, the AMG CLA 45 technically is the most powerful with its tiny 2 liter displacement and 4 cylinders producing such mammoth figures. Yet, it is the least brawny in terms of the V6’s and V8’s used here by other competitors.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

MSRP

$53,100

$58,900

$41,995

$35,355

Engine

2.0L inline-4 turbo

Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded I-6, 3.0 L

Gas V8, 6.2L

Premium Unlead 5.0L V8

Transmission

SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed dual-clutch

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-speed Manual

Horsepower

375 hp @6000 rpm

405 hp @5230 rpm

455 hp @ 6000 rpm

460 hp @ 7000 rpm

Torque

350 lb.-ft. @ 2250 rpm

406 lb.-ft. @ 2350 rpm

455 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm

420 lb.-ft. @ 4600 rpm

Acceleration

Jabbing the pedal sprints the CLA 45 from 0-60mph in 4.1s and completes the ¼ mile in 12.3s. For a powertrain this size, it is laudable feat what the AMG under the hood is capable of, especially considering it races right up there with its muscular counterparts. Having said that, the competition is still a tad quicker while the Ford Mustang GT lags half a second behind.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

0-60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.0 sec

3.9 sec*

4.6 sec

Quarter mile

12.3 @ 113 mph

12.5 sec @ 113 mph

12.3 sec @ 118 mph*

NA

Engine

2.0 Liters

3.0 Liter

6.2 Liter

5.0 Liters

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

TBD

8.4

TBD

TDB

Ride and Handling

Equipped with the AMG Dynamic Plus package, which includes sport suspension and AMG front limited-slip differential, the drivetrain riding the Mercedes is AMG’s 4-matic system. The ride height which is clear by just 3.7” from the ground clenches the coupe down to earth, and its driving dynamics tries hard to stick by the modest connotation but gets lost in creating the experience its spirit is designed for.

How about taking it to the track where it is best suited? Now that’s not to say the car is entirely handicapped of cruising, but drive it in Comfort mode and it’s passable. Want that firm and getting-down-to-business spirit? Simply tweak up the driving modes on the rotor dial ranging from civilian friendly to complete rogue.

However, at last its handling is exceptional; maneuver the steering and feel the coupe stuck to the tarmac around corners even at high speeds.

Braking

While its powertrain offers crisp and commendable performance, the brakes work just as great. Smooth pedal feel and modulation gets the 13.8” and 13” rotors to bring the almost 3500 pound coupe to a standstill from 70-0mph in 150 feet.

This is quite a laudable feet for the AMG 4-doored coupe but its rival, the Camaro, takes just slightly quicker at 149 feet. Information about the rest of the field is still to be declared but we’d suspect these rivals would give both the tested coupes a worthy fight.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

Brake Front (in.)

13.8

15.7

13.6

13.9

Brake Rear (in.)

13

15

13.3

13

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3450

3600

3685

3705

70-0 MPH (ft.)

150

NA

149

NA

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Fuel Economy

As the 2019 AMG CLA 45’s powertrain remains unchanged, we can estimate its fuel economy to be similar or same as that of the previous iteration. A combined 30 mpg is admirable for the powertrain it offers while the rest of the competition lag by a margin. This is due to the smaller package under the Mercedes, while the others have similar sized powertrains. If setting that aside, the BMW M2 Competition takes the top spot for being the most fuel efficient.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45*

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

MPG (city)

23

18

16

15

MPG (highway)

26

26

25

25

MPG (combined)

30

21

19

18

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Interior

“The CLA has traditional Mercedes-Benz interior design in that it isn't flashy, but it surprises with its ease of use. Limited rear-seat access and space, plus lackluster visibility, hurt the CLA's score in this category.”

Welcomed by AMG illuminated door sills upon entry, the interior incorporates ambient lighting, feels cramped but is strikingly well designed. If you’re tall, getting in and out the coupe will prove to be a tad difficult for you, while overall visibility also takes a hit.

Stitched with MB-Tex/DINAMICA upholstery, the CLA 45 is capable of accommodating 5 passengers but due to the sloping roofline and compact coupe design, it falls short of providing ample comfort and space. Front seating is comparatively better in comfort than the rear. It incorporates 14-way power seating with memory and adjustable cushion length, while the rear seats get split-folding feature for extra luggage space.

A 4.5” instrument cluster sits behind the multifunction steering wheel. Now you’d expect a Mercedes quality cabin, especially with the AMG badge. Prepare to be disappointed for the materials and finish inside the CLA 45 is plastic and feels cheap compared to the enormous price tag it carries.

The Mercedes fails to give its rivals the competition it should; nonetheless, the BMW M2 takes the triumph over the rest of the competition, in terms of quality, space and features.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

Passenger capacity

5

4

4

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.2/56/40.2

40.1/54.4/41.5

38.5/55/43.9

37.6/56.3/45.1

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.4/53.2/27.1

36.5/53.4/33

33.5/50.3/29.9

34.8/52.2/29

Infotainment System

On the dash floats an 8” COMAND infotainment system with no touchscreen capability but controlled by a rotary dial sat on the center console. The system on the AMG CLA 45 is intuitive and easily navigable.

In terms of performance, its response times are quite quick with a neat interface. While the system gets laudable comments, its controller would seem otherwise – it feels plastic and cheap - unexpected by a brand such as Mercedes. Unfortunately, the biggest disappointment would be excluding Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which are available in the Multimedia Package or Smartphone Integration Package.

Some standard features included in the system are –

  • SiriusXM Radio with 6-month All Access trial
  • harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system
  • Prewiring for GARMIN MAP Pilot - Navigation System
  • 8” COMAND Infotainment System

Interior Features

Some features included in the cabin are –

  • Sporty cabin styling
  • AMG Design Trim
  • Brushed aluminum pedals
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • 4-way power lumbar support for driver

Cargo Volume

All the spacing that should’ve been available for seating comfort is found in the trunk allowing 13.1 cubic feet of cargo volume. This makes the AMG CLA 45 playing the second fiddle to the competition leader, the BMW M2, followed by the Mustang GT with similar volume.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

13.1

13.8

9.1

13.5

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Exterior

“Both the 2019 CLA250 and 2019 CLA45 feature the sweeping, dramatic design that made them revolutionary so many years ago.”

No doubt, the AMG CLA 45 has the characteristics and curves of the manufacturer’s design philosophy. Yet, an ageing design carried forward since the 2017 refreshed styling, the 4-door coupe still retains its beautiful and aerodynamically aggressive look all across its curvaceous body.

An AMG double-crosswing chrome-accented grille greets the front fascia with the tri-starred Mercedes insignia. Flanked either sides by the LED headlights, underneath comes the bumper which houses mesh air intakes with gloss black winglets alongside, giving the whole front a serious, no-bullshit look. Over the hood feature two parallel character lines and a metal Mercedes-Benz monogram sealed above the grilles.

As mentioned the coupe sits 3.7” clear from the ground, the fenders curve just above the 19” AMG multispoke wheels. Gloss black character line sits on the side skirts with body colored hard design element running along the window line. The roofline has a pleasant curve, tapering down elegantly down the back, where the rear finds LED taillights, chrome-accented dual-tail pipes on either sides, with finally a gloss black rear spoiler atop the trunk.

Models

Mercedes-AMG CLA-45

BMW M2 Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Ford Mustang GT

Curb weight (lbs.)

3450

3600

3685

3705

Length(in)

184.7

176.2

188.3

188.3

Width(in)

88.0

73

74.7

75.4

Height(in)

55.7

55.5

53.1

54.4

Ground clearance (in)

3.7

4.8

TBD

TBD

Wheelbase (in)

106.3

106

110.7

107.1

Track width (in) F/R

61.3/61.5

62.2/63

63.0/62.9

62.3/64.9

Exterior Features

Included in the CLA 45 are some of the following exterior features –

  • Gloss black rear spoiler
  • 19” multispoke wheels
  • Large front splitter
  • AMG body styling
  • Front apron flics and rear breakaway edges

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Safety

While NHTSA and IIHS are still to rate the AMG CLA 45, Mercedes have provided their take on safety standards by kitting the coupe with a host of safety features. Some of them are -

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • 8 air bags
  • Rearview camera
  • Brake Assist (BAS)
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS)
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • SmartKey with KEYLESS-START
  • Antitheft alarm system with remote panic feature

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Competition

Mercedes AMG CLA 45 vs BMW M2 Competition

Priced similarly, the German big guns go all out in their battle. With the muscular BMW M2 equipped with a burly 3.0L 6-cylinder engine, the AMG CLA 45 holds a tiny 2.0L inline-4.

Both cars feature stiff handling, and are more suited for track day. However, the Mercedes struggles with cabin space and poor quality materials, mangled by hit-and-miss in performance, and a price tag which does not justify its worth. M2, on the other hand, sails past all these troubles with ease and excels in some, gives decent fuel economy but below average boot space. Yet, you should settle with the Bavarian over the Silver Arrow.

Mercedes AMG CLA 45 vs Ford Mustang GT

A more versatile car, the Ford Mustang GT undercuts the AMG CLA 45 in some aspects, while remaining similar to it in others. Priced at a much cheaper $35,355, the American muscle houses a brawny powertrain and comfortable ride, including a decent trunk size. Its fuel economy is decent for the size of the machine it is powered by.

Its interior shares similar characteristics with the Mercedes coupe but can seat lesser people and is technologically less advanced, however all that comes with lesser price to pay. Even so, there are packages available to up the American’s game. Keeping in mind its superiority, the Mustang is a worthier buy.

Mercedes AMG CLA 45 vs Chevrolet Camaro SS

Priced over a grand cheaper than the CLA 45, the Camaro drives with a mighty 5.0L V8 and performs slightly faster than the Mercedes. For a muscle car, it has seen improvements in its handling and cornering capability, enabling comfortable ride and cruising.

The interior is cramped on both the coupes, however the Mercedes can seat 5 with much lesser difficulty than the Camaro. Technologically the Chevy is less impressive as the German. Trunk space is mediocre as compared to the AMG CLA 45, and fuel efficiency is decent for the American’s offered powertrain. In conclusion, the extra 13 grand will get you a better coupe, but if given a choice, you’d be better off fishing for other coupes in this segment. Unless you want a muscle car with raw power….which screams for the Camaro SS then!

2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Final Verdict

Just one question – what was Mercedes thinking when they retained everything about the 2019 Mercedes AMG CLA 45 at a steep $53,100? It clearly has better competitors who have a refreshed model, with them having upped their game. Cramped seats, turbo lag and strenuous transmission, stiff ride, and a 2.0L 4-cylinder which laudably produces mighty figures but it still doesn’t justify the price. Give this coupe a miss and look elsewhere for the competition does it better at what they offer.

Pros

Impressive 4-cylinder performance

Better fuel economy than rivals

Large cargo space

Sonorous exhaust note

Cons

Stiff ride quality

Poor interior quality

Cramped seating

Turbo lag and slow transmission

What's New?

Aside from introducing few more standard features, the AMG CLA 45 remains unchanged since 2017.



Styles

 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Cocoa Brown Metallic color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Phantom Black color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Midnight Black color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Mountain Gray Metallic color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Lunar Blue Metallic color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Jupiter Red color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Cosmos Black Metallic color  2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Cirrus White color
Cocoa Brown Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Base

Base

power
375 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
26 combined

$53,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $53,100 MSRP (23 mpg/26/30 mpg) 375 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
7-speed automated manual all wheel drive 5   designo Magno Polar Silver (Matte Finish)
  Cocoa Brown Metallic
  Mountain Grey Metallic
  Polar White
  Cosmos Black Metallic
  Lunar Blue Metallic

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