2020 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2019 Mercedes AMG CLA 45

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic Type R deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic Type R’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The AMG CLA 45’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Civic Type R 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Civic Type R 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the AMG CLA 45. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the AMG CLA 45 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic Type R’s warranty.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Civic Type R uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The AMG CLA 45 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Civic Type R has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Civic Type R stops much shorter than the AMG CLA 45:

Civic Type R

AMG CLA 45

70 to 0 MPH

142 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic Type R has larger tires than the AMG CLA 45 (245/30R20 vs. 235/35R19).

The Civic Type R’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the AMG CLA 45’s 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Type R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 19-inch wheels are available on the AMG CLA 45.

The Civic Type R offers an available 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.

Suspension and Handling

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The Civic Type R’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the AMG CLA 45.

The Civic Type R 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 Civic Type R executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the AMG CLA 45 (24.3 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 24.9 seconds @ .79 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Honda Civic Type R may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG CLA 45.

The Civic Type R is 5.3 inches shorter than the AMG CLA 45, making the Civic Type R easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Civic Type R has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 8.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG CLA 45.

Ergonomics

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The Civic Type R’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The AMG CLA 45’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Civic Type R has a standard rear wiper. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Civic Type R owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Civic Type R will cost $9955 less than the AMG CLA 45 over a five-year period.

The Civic Type R will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic Type R will retain 54.81% of its original price after five years, while the AMG CLA 45 only retains 51.35%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Civic Type R will be $24302 less than for the Mercedes AMG CLA 45.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

The Civic Type R 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 Civic Type R was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The AMG CLA 45 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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