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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - January 26, 2016

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG OVERVIEW

Serving as the fiery-performance member of the “entry-level” Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class lineup, the CLA45 AMG is one of the quickest-accelerating compact sedans available at any price. Its sleek, coupe-like four-door body forms an ideal receptacle for this level of performance and prestige, as developed by Mercedes-Benz’s renowned AMG partner.

What's New for 2016

Performance updates for 2016 have hiked engine output by 20 horsepower and 18 pound-feet of torque, to 375 and 350, respectively. Multi-mode Dynamic Select, formerly called Agility Select, permits toggling between driving modes using a selector on the central console. It replaces the previous E/S/M button. New CLA45 AMG features include a Dynamic Plus Package, limited-slip front differential, AMG adaptive suspension, and a Race mode that raises top track speed to 167 miles per hour.

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Interior

The AMG edition gets its power from a heavily modified version of the 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in other CLA-Class models. The result of all that intensive tuning is 375 horsepower (up 20) and 350 pound-feet of torque -- incredible output for an engine of this size. To handle all that vigor, the AMG gets a specially calibrated seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, paddle shifters, launch control, and 4Matic all-wheel drive. It's also fitted with larger brakes than the standard CLA-Class, along with a markedly firmer AMG Sport suspension. Expect to rocket from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, versus 4.4 with the previous engine.

Fuel economy is estimated at 23 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway (26 mpg combined). That’s only a little below the CLA250 4Matic, with its 208-horsepower engine.

In terms of creature comforts, the CLA45 AMG is equipped with leatherette upholstery, power front seats with memory, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio, a central controller and seven-inch display screen, brushed aluminum pedals, and HD radio. You also a get collision mitigation system with automatic braking and a driver alertness monitor. The CLA45 AMG rolls on 18-inch twin five-spoke wheels.

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Rear Seats

The available $2,400 Premium package enhances the interior with heated front seats, auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors, keyless access and ignition, a HomeLink garage door opener, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Premium-equipped models can get an Interior package with leather seating (complemented by expanded leatherette trim) and ambient interior lighting.

A $2,480 Multimedia package adds a rearview camera, navigation system, voice control, and SD card reader. Active safety is the theme of the $2,500 Driver Assistance package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring.

Plenty of standalone options are offered, too, including leather upholstery, a rearview camera, navigation, AMG Performance front seats by Recaro, a panoramic sunroof, carbon fiber interior trim, burl walnut or ash wood trim, Harman Kardon Logic7 sound, an AMG steering wheel, 19-inch wheels (18s are standard), active park assist, adaptive cruise control, and red-painted brake calipers.

CarsDirect Tip

Priced at $49,500, the CLA45 AMG obviously lacks nothing of consequence when it comes to performance, but it's no better equipped than the rest of the CLA-Class when it comes to luxury. That makes the Premium and Interior packages almost essential, given the AMG edition's exclusivity. All those available options can raise the price considerably, of course. Naturally, most CLA-Class buyers will bypass the AMG model in favor of a CLA250, which starts at $32,050.

Get your price on a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG »

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Rear Quarter

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