In addition to the CLA’s already striking interior, the CLA45 gets plenty of sporty touches such as a pair of AMG sports seats, an AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel with touchpad controls and AMG-specific graphics for the digital instruments, which include a Supersport mode with a large central rev counter.
The driver’s seat has plenty of adjustment and combines with plenty of steering wheel reach and rake adjustment to enable drivers of all sizes to find a comfy posture. Mercedes is yet to announce full specifications, but electric seats are certainly available – although we’ll need to wait to find out if they’re standard.
You also get a bundle of bespoke AMG software for the car’s MBUX infotainment system. This can show engine and gearbox oil temperatures, engine output, record lap times and has a G meter to show handling and acceleration forces. It can even log eighty separate feeds of data so you can analyse your on-track performance. It’s something we doubt any buyers will actually use more than once, and like having a dive watch rated to 200m, it’s more about bragging rights than anything else.
To display this array of information, the A45 gets twin 10.3in screens, one sitting in front of the driver instead of traditional instruments, with a touchscreen to its left. Both have sharp graphics and the ‘virtual’ instruments are highly configurable yet remain easy to read at all times. You control them via a small touchpad on the right of the steering wheel, a system that can seem fiddly at first but is something you do get used to.
As for the infotainment, it can be controlled via the central touchscreen, a laptop-style touchpad between the seats or another small pad on the left of the steering wheel. It’s a good system with logical menus, but we can’t help but think the RS3’s rotary dial-controlled system is easier to use on the move.