2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG CLA 45

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the M2 Competition and the AMG CLA 45 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.


The M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG CLA 45’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M2 Competition for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the AMG CLA 45.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.


The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (405 vs. 375) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 350) than the AMG CLA 45’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 is faster than the AMG CLA 45 (automatics tested):



Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

9.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

2.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

3.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the AMG CLA 45:

M2 Competition


Front Rotors

15.7 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the AMG CLA 45 (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 235/35R19).

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M2 Competition is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the AMG CLA 45.

The M2 Competition Coupe handles at 1.01 G’s, while the AMG CLA 45 pulls only .96 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.


The M2 Competition is 8.5 inches shorter than the AMG CLA 45, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The M2 Competition has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG CLA 45.

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The AMG CLA 45’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The M2 Competition uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The AMG CLA 45 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the M2 Competition is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the AMG CLA 45. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.


While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M2 Competition detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M2 Competition also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

On extremely cold winter days, the M2 Competition’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.


The M2 Competition was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The AMG CLA 45 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The AMG CLA 45 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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