2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Review: Price, Engine, Performance, Features, and Rivals

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Saurav Kumar

Editor July 01, 2020 at 06:49 AM
The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is a proper hooligan cra that offers well balanced ride quality compared to its competitors. The CLA 45 gets the power pump with turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that propels 382 hp and 354 lb-ft. The engine is connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and AWD configuration. The CLS 45’s tiny footprint makes it easy to place itself on the streets. It never feels like driving a bulky car. Let’s find more details about this new CLA 45.

The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 is a performance model of the regular Mercedes-Benz CLA Class. It is a compact sedan that looks more like a coupe and attracts lots of young buyers with its attractive pricing. The 2021 AMG CLA 45 offers a sleek exterior with a powerful 2-liter four cylinder turbo engine, similar to what we see on the AMG GLA 45. The AWD configured engine delivers 382 horsepower along with 354 lb-ft of torque. 

When the CLA was introduced for the first time in 2014, it couldn’t attract many buyers due to its distinguishing design line. Recently, the CLA 45 got a redesign in 2020 and it started to look both practical and modern. With the recent sleek design and several tweaks on the interior, the car became everyone’s favourite in less time. It goes against some prominent cars in the segment like Audi RS3 sedan, and BMW M2

What's New in the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45?

  • 382-hp turbocharged engine and AWD system with a Drift mode
  • Mostly unchanged from outgoing model due to 2020 redesigned model

What is the estimated Price and release date of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45?

Mercedes-AMG hasn't announced pricing but we expect it to remain close to the previous model’s starting MSRP of $54,800.

What is the powertrain under the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45’s hood?

The CLA 45 sedan is also known as “baby AMG car” for its sleek profile. It is powered by a newly developed 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 382 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. This upgraded engine offers a power boost of 7 hp and 4 lb-ft torque over its predecessor. The sedan is configured with 4MATIC+ AWD system alongside the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The AMG SpeedShift DCT-8G dual-clutch transmission is so responsive that the shifts can be measured in milliseconds, and the 4MATIC+ AWD system can also optimize the power ratio between the front and rear axles as well as between the left and right rear wheels using a new rear axle differential that comes with two multi disc clutches. First things first, the CLA 45 sedan comes with an exclusive rear-wheel-drive-only Drift Mode that eventually enhances the ride quality.


2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (expected)

2020 Audi RS3 2.5T


$56,000 (estd.)



Handcrafted AMG 2.0-liter Inline 4 Turbo

2.5L Premium Inline-5 


AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with AMG Torque control



8-speed dual-clutch transmission

7-Speed Auto-Shift Manual With OD and Auto-Manual


382 hp at 6,500 rpm

394hp at 5,850rpm


354 lb-ft at 4,750-5,000 rpm

354lb-ft at 1,700rpm

In terms of performance, the AMG CLA 45 has already benchmarked its close rivals, the Audi RS3, and BMW M2. The 0 to 60 mph sprinting is expected around 4 seconds which is slower than the RS3 and equal to M2. 

How is the Interior of 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45?

Looking at the sophisticated interior of the all-new CLA-Class, the CLA 45's interior just looks amazing. It is great to see how the Mercedes-AMG has managed to provide good amenities in its baby AMG. 

The next generation CLA class is elegant and premium. The sports seats come standard with racing buckets as options. 


2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (expected)

2020 Audi RS3 2.5T

Seating Capacity



Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)



Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)



We expect AMG to offer generous space in the 2021 CLA 45 model as the predecessors complained about limited headroom in the rear seating. 

What’s the new Infotainment system inside?

The dual-screen setup continues in the CLA 45 as well, including the 10.25-inch MBUX infotainment system and 10.25-inch Digital Instrument Cluster, which are standard kit, so you'll get voice command with pre-installed “Hey Mercedes” feature. 

The notable infotainment features include:

  • 14 Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • Sporty steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
  • 705W premium amplifier
  • SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite with seek-scan, single glove box 
  • Audi connect PLUS for internet access
  • Tire pressure monitoring sensors

How does the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 look?

The CLA has always been an attractive car to drive and see. The car looks more beautiful in its second generation. The car’s coupe-like roofline makes the rear look more aerodynamic. Now, AMG has successfully differentiated the 45 model with its 35 and 250 models with the front Panamerica grille that is found on bigger AMG cars. 

The sedan stands on 19-inch large wheels. The front facia gets air duct of front fenders, providing an aggressive profile.  


2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (expected)

2020 Audi RS3 2.5T

Curb Weight

3825 lbs

3593 lbs


185 in.

176.3 in.


71.3 in. 

70.7 in.


56.3 in. 

55.0 in.

Ground Clearance

3.5 in.



111.8 in. 

103.6 in. 

We expect the new CLA 45 to get a bigger dimension than the previous models. The sloppy roofline takes away some of the precious pace from the rear seats that the tall passengers have to say. We are expecting the future CLA 45 to resemble Mercedes A45’s design with a good driving position. 

How safe is the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. The CLA 45 comes standard with safety features including a rearview camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and crosswind assist, which keeps the vehicle stable during emergency braking.

Optional features with the CLA 45 include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, active park assist, and a surround-view parking camera system.

Should you buy the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45?

Mercedes-AMG has been successful in placing the CLA 45 in the top of the lineup and distinguishing itself from the CLA 35 and 250 models.With the lower CLA 35 and A35 set to compete against the Audi S3 and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, the CLA 45 will be futuristic in terms of performance delivery. The AMG CLA 45 comes with a newer interior which is far more attractive than the competitors, which should be enough to attract buyers.

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