2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

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in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

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Detailed Review

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 is a lightweight coupe that is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine. The engine puts out a peak power of 375 HP and hits 60 mph in just 4.1 sec. The car also has an improved transmission and brakes from AMG.

With a starting retail of $50,400, the car offers high performance and a good fuel efficiency. It comes packed with a lot of features including the full LED headlamps and newer version of COMAND Infotainment system.

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful engine

LED Headlights

Elegant Aerodynamic design

Cons

Small boot

Infotainment system has a small display

What's New?

Upgraded Brakes

Upgraded Transmission

Newer version of COMAND Infotainment System


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$50400

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu. in.

horsepower

375 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

350 lb.-ft. @ 2250 rpm

transmission

7-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13 in. ventilated disc brakes/13.8 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

183.8 in.

width

70 in.

height

55.7 in.

curb weight

3450 lbs.

ground clearance

4.6 in.

capacity

cargo volume

13.1 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

12.7 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

16/27/30 mpg

highway range

473.6 mi.

warranty

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Cirrus White color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Cocoa Brown Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Polar Silver Metallic color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Jupiter Red color  2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 in Lunar Blue Metallic color
Cirrus White

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

Ratings

Engine

8.7

Interior

8.5

Exterior

8.5

8.6

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Base

Base

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

$50,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $50,400 MSRP (23/27/30) 375 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
7-speed automatic all wheel drive 5   Cirrus White
  Cocoa Brown Metallic
  Cosmos Black Metallic
  Jupiter Red
  Lunar Blue Metallic

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Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

8.6

Overall Rating


 

8.7/10
Engine

 
 

8.5/10
Interior

 

8.5/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

With the BMW and Audi offering competent machines at the same price, does the CLA45 has what it takes to beat the competition? Let's find out.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Features

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 is feature rich like any other Mercedes. The most important bits include the full LED headlights with daytime running LEDs, the latest command infotainment system from Mercedes, Bluetooth connectivity rear parking cameras and a collision warning and drowsy driver monitor.

Trims

AMG CLA 45

MSRP

$50,400

Features

  • 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and running lights 
  • Unique styling and aerodynamic flourishes
  • Sport exhaust system
  • Upgraded brakes and transmission
  • Torque-vectoring differential
  • Sport steering wheel and simulated suede upholstery inserts.
  • 8-inch infotainment screen
  • Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system
  • Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning and mitigation
  • Drowsy driver monitor, the Mbrace emergency telematics

There are 19-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes and transmission, a sport exhaust system and torque vectoring differentials on the CLA 45 that help enhance the performance of the car than its predecessor.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Engine

8.7/10

Like a teenager loaded with hormones, the CLA45's high-strung 375-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is an aluminum block seething with emotion.

The AMG CLA 45 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine and is mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Its engine is very powerful and it produces a peak power output of 375 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

Models

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

MSRP

$50,400

$54,400

$50,900

Engine

2.0L inline-4 turbo

3.0L TFSI 6 Cylinder

3.0L DOHC 24-Valve 6-Cylinder Turbocharged

Transmission

7-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power

375 hp

354 hp

320 hp

Torque

350 lb-ft

369 lb-ft

330 lb-ft

Both the Audi A5 Sport back and BMW 340i feature a 6 cylinder turbocharged engine that is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The BMW produces 320 HP whereas the Audi produces 354 HP. That being said, both the larger engines are no match to the smaller unit on the CLA 45 that produces much more power.

Acceleration

Even though it has a smaller engine, the 45 is a very quick car. It does the 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, which is very impressive. Mercedes has done a good job in tuning the engine for maximum power output, and does the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds.

Models

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

0-60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.5 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter mile

12.3 sec

12.9 sec

12.7 sec

Engine

2.0L

3.0L

3.0L

Emission

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

6.8

7.4

7.7

The S5, having a larger engine is able to hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. The 340i does the 0 - 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. In terms of acceleration and power output, the CLA is the clear winner here leaving out the Audi S5 in the second place and BMW 340i at third.

Braking

The CLA has the high-performance brakes from AMG. The car is fitted with 13.8-inch discs on the front and 13.0-inch discs on the rear. It has a curb weight of 3450 lbs. and these high-performance brakes do an excellent job in bringing the car to a complete halt from 60 mph in just 109 ft.

Model

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

Brake Front(in)

13.8

13.8

13.4

Brake Rear(in)

13.0

13.0

13.0

Curb Weight(lbs.)

3450

3924

4103

60-0 MPH (ft.)

109

110

118

Both the Audi and the BMW are heavier than the CLA 45 and this extra weight has its impact on the braking of the car. The S5 needs 110 ft. and the 340i requires 118 ft. to come to a halt from 60 mph.

Ride and Handling

A Mercedes is all about comfort and luxury. The CLA 45 AMG also follows the same principle but the car has been made to perform well rather than being a comfortable car. The ride is stiffer than the usual C class and E class but it is not that harsh either. The AMG has fine-tuned the suspension setup for maximum performance without compromising much on the comfort.

The CLA has a very good steering that provides a good amount of feedback. But the handling is better on the Audi and BMW. Mercedes is more focused on comfort rather than driving dynamics. The BMW and Audi are on the stiffer side, which means less body roll and more agility.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Fuel Economy

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 has a fuel efficiency of 23 mpg in the city and a fuel efficiency of 30 mpg on the highway. The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 gives a combined mileage of 30 mpg.

Model

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

MPG (City)

23

21

20

MPG (Highway)

30

30

29

MPG (Combined)

29

24

23

The Audi A5 and BMW have lesser fuel efficiency than the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 due to the larger capacity engine and more weight. The BMW 340i has an approx. the fuel efficiency of 23 mpg and the Audi S5 has combined fuel efficiency of 24 mpg.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Interior

8.5/10

Don't be fooled by its racy red-and-black interior and exclusive AMG options such as carbon-fiber trim and performance front seats. The CLA45's interior is cheapened by un-Mercedes-like plastics, cramped quarters, and limited standard features. -caranddriver

Seating and Comfort

The Mercedes-Benz is a 4 seater coupe. It has an overall cabin volume of 91.5 cubic ft. The amount of headroom, shoulder room and legroom are adequate in the front. The rear seats can seat 5 persons though it is always better to have 4 on long journeys. The fifth person can be accommodated easily.

Model

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

Passenger Volume (ft. cube)

91.5

98.7

N/A

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

38.2/56/40.2

39.4/55.7/41.3

41.3/55.2/42.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

35.6/53.2/27.1

37.0/54.5/35.1

38.3/54.1/39.2

The seats are quite comfortable. They come in a black theme with red accents on it and the coupe also offers sports seats and performance seats as an option. There is also an automatic climate control as standard on the car.

Interior Features

  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Command Infotainment System
  • Black and red theme
  • AMG Multifunction sports steering wheels
  • AMG Instrument Console
  • AMG Drive Unit
  • Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink

Infotainment System

The infotainment system on the AMG is the smaller version of the COMAND infotainment system from Mercedes Benz. It has a set of build in features like the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, build in satellite navigation and connectivity modes such as Bluetooth, AUX, USB or SD card.

The infotainment system also has the air con controls. Every setup on the car such as steering, throttle response, and suspension settings can be adjusted using the touchscreen system.

Cargo Volume

In the rear, the coupe has a boot volume of 13.1 cubic ft. This is a small boot compared to the boot size of others and also has a high loading making it difficult to load those large bags.

Model

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

Volume (ft. cube)

13.1

21.8

18.4

It is more of a performance car than a practical one and this is evident from the way Mercedes has designed its interior, so the boot being very small is not a surprise either. The Audi S5 has a boot volume of 21.3 cubic ft. whereas the BMW has a boot volume of 18.4 cubic ft.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Exterior

8.5/10

The CLA45 wears the same exterior design and available appearance upgrades and adds the new AMG Performance Studio package. -caranddriver

Remove the recognizable three-point-big name badges from the CLA45, and most won't recognize this eccentric-searching coupe is a Mercedes. Based at the swoopy Mercedes-Benz CLA-elegance, the lowered AMG version wears a wild body package. While its layout is more brash than lovely, the extroverted CLA45 honestly attracts attention.

Dimension and Weight

The coupe looks modern, elegant, and aggressive with the large grill on the front and large air dams on the front bumper. Its flowing aerodynamic shape of the coupe with the LED tail lamps makes the car look really sporty.

Model

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Audi S5 Sport back Premium Plus

BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo

Curb weight(lbs.)

3450

3924

4103

Length(in)

183.8

187.1

190.0

Width(in)

70

72.6

72.0

Height(in)

55.7

54.5

59.4

Ground clearance(in)

4.6

6.2

6.5

Wheelbase(in)

106.3

111.2

115.0

Track width(in) F/R

61.3/61.5

62.5/61.7

60.7/62.4

It has a curb weight of 3450 lbs, being 183.8 inches long and 70 inches wide. The 45 has an overall ground clearance of 4.6 inches and is 55.7 inches high and the wheelbase is 106.3 inches.

Exterior Features 

  • LED Headlamps
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED Taillamps
  • AMG sports exhaust system 
  • LED Headlamps
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED Taillamps
  • AMG sports exhaust system

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Safety

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 is a high-performance car from Mercedes. Being a high-performance car, it also comes packed with a lot of safety features for crash prevention, crash protection and also driver assist systems.

The AMG version of the CLA hasn't been crash tested by both the IIHS and NHTSA. However, the non-AMG CLA has a good frontal crashworthiness and poor headlamps according to the IIHS.

Safety Features

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS and Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver and Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap and Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Competition

Mercedes CLA 45 Vs Audi A5

The Audi A5 is more of an all-rounder rather than being a car with maximum power. The Audi A5 has a 3.0L TFSI V6 engine that is larger than the 2.0L Turbocharged I4 unit on the Mercedes. Although it is the smaller engine of the Mercedes that has more power, it is comfortable to go on long trips in a higher displacement engine car.

The Audi offers more practicality, space, comfort and driving dynamics better than the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45. All that the CLA has is just performance and lacks out at everything else whereas the Audi A5 offers a good package of luxury, more comfort, and practicality.

Mercedes CLA 45 Vs BMW 340i

Like the Audi A5, the BMW 340i has the edge over the CLA in everything else except performance. Although the car has a bigger engine, the performance of the 340i isn't near the CLA due to the weight of the car. The BMW is heavier than the Merc's CLA.

The 340i is better than the CLA in terms of practicality too. Where the BMW really outshines others is in terms of driving dynamics. BMW cars have been known to focus more on fun to drive characteristics rather than just engine performance.

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Final Verdict

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 is a high-performance car from Mercedes that features a 2.0L liter engine that produces more power than the 3.0L unit on the Audi and BMW. The car is purely focused on performance and is not at all a practical car. It has a smaller cabin and small boot.

The AMG CLA45 is lightweight, has more power, better brakes and better fuel efficiency. So if you are someone who is purely focused on performance, the CLA 45 is the car for you. Now, if you are looking for an all-rounder practical car, there is no better option than the Audi A5 which offers the best in class space, good performance and is also fun to drive.

But it is the BMW 340i is something that bridges the gap between the Audi and Merc. The BMW has the best dynamics, performs well and also has more space than the CLA.