The 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and the 2021 Genesis G70 are completely different cars, but they’re both smile-makers too.
In many ways, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and Genesis G70 appeal to two different parts of your subconscious. The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 makes your heart race (seriously, it’s bonkers), while the Genesis G70 is logically sorted and elegant. We did find a few factors imbued within these vehicles that do compete, but just a few.
The 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45
Sporting one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines sold in the United States, the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 produces 382 horsepower and 354 lbs-feet of torque. Officially built by AMG, the rowdy 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is mated to a Speed-Shift, DCT eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. All of that power is managed by a 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
It loves to fly from 0-60 mph – rapidly. At sea level, times have been recorded at a tick over four seconds. In the Rocky Mountains, where air density issues challenge combustion, we averaged about 4.7-seconds. Impressive. The suspension setup is downright remarkable when hammering through corners. It hunkers down, sticks like molasses to asphalt, and stops on a dime. I’ve driven sports cars with less aggression.
The best part is, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 seems happiest when being pushed – hard.
All of this performance makes for a firm ride, and a noisy one at that. Day to day driving might hammer the nerves of a timid soul. While the steering wheel may be amazing for hard-core drivers, the bazillion buttons may bother some.
Inside, the AMG CLA 45 is sporty, athletic and a bit obnoxious. The seats are firm, with little give too. Still, it is fairly frugal for a rocket, with an EPA average of 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
The 2021 Genesis G70
I don’t always agree with other automotive journalists, but many agree that the Genesis G70 is one of the best vehicles in its class – period. Power comes from a smooth, 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V6. This powerplant makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The twist goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Like the AMG, this Genesis comes with AWD.
This is one of the few sedans I’ve driven that manages to have a relaxing ride, until performance bravado is needed. At the drop of a hat, the G70 can keep up with (if not surpass) German rivals. It’s communication with the driver is almost BMW-like, with outstanding reflexes. Just not quite as athletic as the AMG. It’s a remarkable mix of understated luxury and smile-inducing performance.
I do wish the in-house-built eight-speed automatic transmission was a little quicker when driven in anger. Also, the G70 does NOT like to be launched hard. Try as I might, I couldn’t get it to rev high before launching. Still, it’s a damn good driver, one that gets an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, and 27 mpg highway.
What do they have in common?
To some, both are a tad polarizing, especially the AMG in yellow. I think they are both handsome, but the AMG can look droopy at some angles, and the Genesis still looks bland to some. The new styling of the Genesis appeals to me quite a bit, and its the best looking front end of all Genesis vehicles. It just is. Thus, in the styling department, they have little in common.
One thing that springs to mind – dreadful back-seat space. Despite being completely different configurations, Genesis and Mercedes managed to create a back seat that is nearly unusable if tall passengers are up front. Cargo space isn’t great either. As you’ll see in the video, these cars are more about the driving experience – not passenger convenience. Also, keep an eye out for the pricing of both vehicles. While both do have less expensive brethren, some prices are eyewatering.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to be looked at, with something that gives you high-performance pleasure, the Mercedes-Benz is the way to go. Otherwise, the Genesis proves to be a remarkable all-around luxury sport sedan.
Enjoy the video below: