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Quick Review | Mercedes-AMG CLA 45: Furious Subcompact

A total of 416 hp, a 0-100 km/h in 4.1 s and a starting price that happily exceeds $70,000. The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is defined first by its impressive technical data that mask its modest subcompact sedan bases. Impetuous as desired, it recalls an era when small turbocharged engines symbolized performance above all.

It is its 2L four-cylinder engine, fed with air by a large turbocharger, that alone defines the driving experience. A hand-assembled masterpiece that exceeds 400 hp without electrical assistance and whose maximum torque of 369 lb-ft appears quite late for this type of engine (5,000 rpm), a sign of a more sophisticated temperament. However, the response time remains limited.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S

Its raucous sound punctuated by the tight rhythm of its dual-clutch gearbox (eight gears) bathes us in a motor racing atmosphere. We detect a feverishness, even when stationary, while the small block emits slight vibrations and a loud idle to mark its presence. The launch assistance also gives a fascinating and dry kick after the turbo gets into rhythm.

The chassis performs very well, despite this power. With a lot of grip courtesy of adhesive Continental tires, if not silent, as well as dynamic damping, a little harsh, but which greatly contains the body roll. This CLA 45 shows a natural address in turns, without having the aplomb of a car with a rear-wheel drive platform. When accelerating again, we feel the front wheels very stressed, thus numbing the steering wheel, which is not very communicative, but nervous and precise.


PHOTO PROVIDED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The interior of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S

The cabin is upholstered in beautiful materials, but suspicious creaking noises constantly emanate from behind the scenes, something that is difficult to accept for such a quality. There is also the MBUX multimedia system that will make some people angry by relying on too many touch elements for navigation.

An impressive creation, this CLA 45, but it's hard to justify its $74,000 compared to more complete indirect rivals.

Technical sheet

  • Version tested: CLA 45 S 4MATIC+
  • Price (with options, freight and preparation): $92,465 (starting price of $74,300)
  • Engine: 2.0L L4 DOHC Turbocharged
  • Power: 416 hp at 6750 rpm
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft from 5000 to 5250 rpm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual mode
  • Drivetrain: Front transverse engine, all-wheel drive
  • Consumption (estimated by the manufacturer): 10.3 L/100 km (Super petrol)


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