Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Review 2024 | Performance & Pricing (2024)

The AMG CLA 45 is seriously good fun to drive and looks cool inside and out. It might be a bit too subtle for some – there are no lairy spoilers – and the back seats are cramped at best

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Rated 4.5/5from 55,455 reviews

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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Powerful and responsive four-cylinder engine
  • A hoot to drive thanks to its tech
  • Lovely infotainment system

What's not so good

  • AMG A45 has more rear headroom
  • The boot opening is a bit awkward
  • You could spend thousands on upgrades

Most popular: Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 AMG S CLA 45 S 4Matic+ Plus Tip Auto

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Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

Is the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 a good car?

The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is a hot-hatch for grown-ups. If you want the fun and performance but not the boy-racer image, this amped-up CLA is basically the same as the AMG A45 hatch, but in a more sophisticated four-door coupe bodystyle.

So think of it as a steak sandwich compared with the towering burger that is the AMG A45.

You can spot it’s the full-fat CLA 45 and not just a dolled-up AMG Line diesel CLA thanks to those vertical slats on the imposing grille and bigger front air intakes.

The CLA 45 sits lower to the ground than the standard car which, along with 19-inch alloy wheels, gives it a rather menacing look.

At the back there are deeper, more aggressive-looking bumpers and an air diffuser, too. Although how much diffusing this does is up for debate… The quad tailpipes are another giveaway that this is the 45 and not the lesser-powered AMG CLA 35, though if you look closely you’ll see they are fake.

Inside you get a sports steering wheel covered in leather and Alcantara. There’s also a handy dial that you use to change driving modes and switches for the suspension settings.

You also get really comfortable, body-hugging sports seats, but overall it’s quite similar to the standard CLA, which is to say it’s well-made and looks cool – especially the turbine-style air vents and that lovely dual-screen infotainment system.

The infotainment system comes as standard with the largest screens you can get in any Mercedes CLA as well as the augmented reality sat-nav which beams a live feed of the road ahead onto the screen. It then adds direction instructions which are really useful at confusing junctions and roundabouts.

There are AMG-specific graphics on the digital driver’s display and you can change the layout and style of the displays, just as you do on the standard car. It also comes with an AMG Track Pace function that’ll store lap times and sprints on the car’s hard drive. It comes preloaded with many famous race tracks in case you want to test your abilities at a track day.

There are some cheaper bits though, such as the air conditioning controls that wobble if you grab them.

OK, so it’s not quite as rowdy as an AMG C63, but the CLA 45 is still really quick and a lot cheaper – it's brilliant

There’s a bit more to gripe about in the back, too. Sure, knee room is pretty good but the sloping roofline does affect headroom. The 460-litre boot is pretty massive for such a high-performance car, but the opening is a bit awkward. A BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is a bit easier to pack if this is important to you.

You’re probably more interested in what’s under the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45’s bonnet than its boot, though, aren’t you? Well, its 2.0-litre, four cylinder petrol engine is the most powerful engine of its size on sale today. It has 421hp and 500Nm of torque and an absolutely huge turbocharger, which helps give it all that power. Four-wheel drive comes as standard, as does an eight-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

The CLA 45 gets extra body bracing over the standard car to make it stiffer, and a pair of uprated anti-roll bars to make the car lean less in the corners. The suspension is lower and stiffer than the standard CLA’s and you also get adaptive dampers that can firm up things even further. Although you don’t want to go too crazy – the UK’s roads aren’t the smoothest, after all…

When you head into a corner, the inside wheels brake slightly to help the car turn more quickly, which helps it feel more responsive. Meanwhile, the four-wheel drive system mainly powers the front wheels, but when you need some extra traction at the back, it can send up to 50% of its power to the wheels under the CLA 45’s shapely rear haunches.

You can upgrade to have a limited slip differential on the rear axle. This can send up to 100% of that 50% power – you still with us? – to either rear wheel. This makes the outer wheel spin faster than the inner wheel, which makes it easier to do fun skids (in a safe place, of course).

So yes, you can drift in a front-wheel biased, four-wheel drive car. Clever stuff.

All that tech makes the CLA 45 huge fun on a twisty road. It does take a bit of getting used to but once you do, driving the CLA 45 will put a huge smile on your face.

If you’re just cruising along it’s fairly quiet and the seats make it supremely comfortable too.

So overall, the CLA 45 takes all the brilliant bits from the A45 and wraps it up in a cooler-looking saloon body style. If this sounds like your next new car, check out the latest Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 deals. You can also browse the latest used examples as well as other used Mercedes models. And if you need to sell your car first, carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Mercedes AMG CLA 45?

The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 has a RRP range of £68,260 to £68,260.Prices start at £68,260 if paying cash.The price of a used Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 on Carwow starts at £38,620.

Our most popular versions of the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 are:

Model versionCarwow price from
CLA 45 S 4Matic+ Plus 4dr Tip Auto£68,260Compare offers

Buy or lease the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 at a price you’ll love

We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers


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Rated 4.5/5from 55,455 reviews

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 Review 2024 | Performance & Pricing (2024)
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