2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG CLA 45

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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Safety

The Jetta GLI has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Jetta GLI has a standard backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Jetta GLI’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Jetta GLI and the AMG CLA 45 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Jetta GLI comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The AMG CLA 45’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

The Jetta GLI’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the AMG CLA 45’s (10 vs. 5 years).

There are over 71 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Jetta GLI’s warranty.

Reliability

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the AMG CLA 45’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 1 place higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Jetta GLI gets better fuel mileage than the AMG CLA 45 (25 city/32 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen Jetta GLI higher (7 out of 10) than the Mercedes AMG CLA 45 (3). This means the Jetta GLI produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the AMG CLA 45 every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

The Jetta GLI has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the AMG CLA 45; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Chassis

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG CLA 45.

Passenger Space

The Jetta GLI has .3 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 10.3 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG CLA 45.

Cargo Capacity

The Jetta GLI has a larger trunk than the AMG CLA 45 (14.1 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Jetta GLI Autobahn keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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