The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is a compact four-door saloon, and the most powerful CLA on sale. Direct rivals include the Audi S3 Saloon and Subaru WRX STi, but it might also steal sales from the likes of the VW Golf R hatchback.
The Mercedes CLA 45’s interior is made from expensive materials – and it’s very well put together. Rear passenger space is sub par though, a direct result of the eye-catching sloping roofline. Boot capacity is above the class average, though.
Some criticisms are leveled at the regular CLA for its firm ride, but it makes more sense in this AMG version, which has huge grip levels and an agile chassis, yet is comfortable on a long drive.
With 381hp on tap, the engine powering the CLA 45 is one of the most powerful four cylinder engines currently on sale, but it has noticeable turbo lag – if you prefer instant throttle response to explosive power delivery you’re better served by the Audi S3 Saloon.
All CLA 45s come with an extensive array of equipment that includes an intuitive infotainment system, park assist to aid with the poor rearward visibility, climate control, adaptive suspension and AMG branded everything – from the bodykit to the floor mats.
The AMG CLA is a great point-to-point weapon with cramped back seats
The CLA 45 has huge grip, an addictive engine, sleek styling and a big boot. Yes, it’s not the most spacious for passengers, the ride is definitely on the firm side and it’s quite expensive, but it’s a great starting point to AMG ownership where some cars carrying the three-letter badge easily surpass six figures.