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Base model shown as 2020 CLA 250 Coupe
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA CLA 250 Coupe - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Lots of standard select features
  • Energetic, confident handling
  • Reasonably priced
  • AMG CLA 45 offers excellent performance

While it's one of the more affordable Benz offered, the marvelous design of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA consistently turns heads. It's so popular, the brand is launching a similar A-Class based on its design for its 2020 lineup, so you will find that this car fits the bill when it comes to design.

Buyers in search of a top-quality car were underwhelmed with the CLA 250 when it debuted in 2013. The ride was rough, the engine and transmission sluggish, and the interior was a bit lacking. Since then, the latest CLA has made some great improvements that make it a more enticing option in the entry-level luxury sedan category.

It might not be the most powerful in its class, but the base CLA is quite energetic. The boosted four-cylinder engine has an output of 200 hp, and it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is on par with the V6 of the Lexus GS 350. The CLA 250 is the perfect car for driving around town, and you can amp its performance up even more with Sport mode.

How It Drives

While the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is meant to be a luxury car, driving it has a sporty feel. The suspension offers a fun ride, particularly on winding roads. The handling of this new car is particularly sharp for its class with its adjustable suspension and tight turning radius.

For those who value performance, the AMG CLA 45 model is a hot topic. Equipped with a specially tuned engine that has a 375 hp output, the AMG CLA 45 can go from 0 to 60 mpg in 4.1 seconds. The other performance features on this model like the sports exhaust system and intentional torque targeting make this an incredibly fun ride.

When it comes to fuel economy, the Mercedes-Benz CLA does require premium unleaded gas. Still, gas mileage is for this vehicle is good considering its performance level. Government test data states that the CLA 250 offers 24 mpg in traffic and up to 37 mpg in highway driving, and the AMG CLA 45 manages 23 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the highway.

CLA's all-wheel-drive system prepares you for any weather condition. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is a great bonus if you live in an area prone to snow. The Mercedes-Benz version of an AWD system manages to effortlessly engage all four wheels.

Using advanced sensors, the AWD system helps detect low traction. The CLA's AWD system helps your car maintain control on slick surfaces. Enhanced traction also helps when it comes to rounding steep curves.

While Mercedes-Benz does offer a Driver Assistance package for the CLA-Class, the standard vehicle already comes equipped with loads of great safety features.

Although the optional Driver Assistance package rewards you with some extra safety technologies, the 2019 Mercedes CLA-Class already comes standard with some great driver-assist technologies. While the forward collision mitigation system triggers your brakes if a collision is deemed imminent, the drowsiness monitor makes sure you don't doze off while at the wheel. Meanwhile, Mbrace automatically contacts emergency personnel in the event of a crash.

There are over 13 cubic feet of trunk space for your stuff which is on par or exceeds that of other vehicles in its class. The design of the trunk with the larger opening makes it easy to load things into the vehicle.

As an affordable Mercedes-Benz, the A-Class gets a good grade. It's sleek exterior, the wise use of technology and solid performance make Mercedes-Benz CLA a compelling choice for luxury fans and those seeking a family hatchback alike.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Exterior Design

The Mercedes-Benz CLA isn't as big as it looks. It looks a lot like the bigger CLS-Class of sedans but it's smaller. It's also called a coupe style.

The CLA 250 has clean lines, a low stance, and narrow tires with a floor slip resistance rating of just 0.23. This beats that of Prius. It's a sharp looking vehicle, particularly with the available night package, which adds glossy black exterior accents and 18-inch AMG wheels.

The CLA 250 also offers a wide, panoramic glass sunroof. When it's open, the ride doesn't feel too different from a convertible with all the light and air allowed into the cabin. When it's closed, the sunroof provides plenty of light for a more pleasant driving experience.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Interior Design

Given the CLA's styling, the car has a more youthful audience who don't mind that there's not much room in the back seat area. From the front seat, the CLA is pretty impressive. The designers used quality materials in its cabin, and everything is put together well.

There's not a lot of plastic in the CLA's interior and when you consider the price of the vehicle, that's okay. The seats are comfortable with good padding and support. There's not an abundance of room in the front but it does put everything within easy reach.

The center console with the 8-inch infotainment display and the solid steering wheel are easy to use and are the centerpiece of the cabin.

What Technology Comes With Mercedes-Benz CLA?

The COMMAND infotainment center included with the CLA-Class gets mixed reactions. To some, it's easy to use and easy to sync with smartphone applications. For others, the system is confusing, and some operations are hard to read.

Testing the interface beforehand might be the best option. There's available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with a simpler layout.

What Safety Features are Included with Mercedes-Benz CLA?

This model has a number of controls that help keep the driver safe while on the road. These features are mostly sensors that alert the driver to any potential dangers. The CLA comes standard with a lot of solid safety features like:

  • An Active Brake Assist that alerts you of any potential front collisions and brakes for you if you don't react
  • A Blind-Spot Assist that alerts you if a car is your blind spot and if you try to change lanes
  • An Attention Assist that uses sensors and other information to detect a sleepy driver so it can provide alerts and suggest resting

Driving the Mercedes-Benz CLA

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 uses front-wheel drive, which is different from the rear-wheel drive that is used by most of the brand's lineup. The change is slight, and for those who need a vehicle for handling the elements or sharp curves, the all-wheel-drive 4Matic is pretty nimble.

Reviews say the four-cylinder engine is slow to respond in the beginning, but once it's up and running, it's quite energetic. Using Sport mode, the engine's low-end torque goes to work to make it a fun, effective drive. The steering is sharp, and cornering is great.

Should You Buy the New Mercedes-Benz CLA?

If you're a fan of the brand but have a budget, the CLA is definitely worth a closer look. While there are several comparable options available in the same price range, the CLA-Class is a lot of fun to drive. With the offer of solid performance and luxury features, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is a vehicle worthy of serious consideration.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA


  • Good safety features
  • Energetic handling and navigation
  • Reasonable price
  • High performing AMG CLA 45 trim level


  • Slow engine and transmission response at lower speeds
  • Stiff ride
  • Cramped back seat area
Model History

The German maker decided to offer an entry-level premium car in the U.S. and in the end, decided on a sleek, four-door sedan. Introduced on the auto show loop as a concept coupe in 2012, the Mercedes-Benz CLA was greatly anticipated. The Mercedes-Benz CLA debuted in 2014, using the CLS base design as inspiration for the new offering.

The CLA presents the upscale essence that people expect from Mercedes-Benz but also offers a sporty vibe. The U.S. models were powered by four-cylinder engines with an option of power output. The Mercedes-Benz CLA is available as either a front-wheel-drive or an all-wheel-drive.

The AMG version of the CLA-Class offered a handcrafted engine with a 355 hp output. Equipped with the 4Matic all-wheel drive, the CLA 45 AMG offers unique exterior styling and high-performance braking.

In 2016, the CLA 45 AMG got an increase to 375 hp, and in 2017, there were slight front and rear styling changes along with a minor update to the interior.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA


Body Style
2.0L I-4 Turbo
221 hp
7-Speed Dual Clutch
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Bluetooth
  • Cruise Control
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Monitors
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.0L I-4 Turbo
  • Transmission: 7-Speed Dual Clutch
  • Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
  • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode and Sequential Shift Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 3.46 Axle Ratio
  • 62-Amp/Hr Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • 115 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 13.5 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Polished Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
  • Wheels: 18" Multi-Spoke
  • Tires: P225/45R18
  • Extended Mobility Run-Flat Tires
  • Tires: All-Season
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st And 2nd Row Sunroof w/Sunshade
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Metal-Look Bumper Insert
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent and Metal-Look Bumper Insert
  • Chrome Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Grille w/Chrome Bar
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Rear Fog Lamps
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: MBUX Multimedia System -inc: media interface, 7" display and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls, Radio Data System and External Memory Control
  • 8 Speakers
  • Audio Theft Deterrent
  • Window Grid Antenna
  • HD Radio
  • 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Turn-By-Turn Navigation Directions
  • Front Bucket Seats -inc: Power Driver Seat w/Memory, 3-position memory, Power Passenger Seat w/Memory, 4-Way Lumbar Support
  • Front Seats w/Power 4-Way Driver Lumbar
  • 12-Way Power Driver Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Power 4-Way Lumbar Support
  • 12-Way Power Passenger Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Power 4-Way Lumbar Support
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Mercedes me connect Selective Service Internet Access
  • Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Proximity Key For Push Button Start Only
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
  • Cruise Control
  • Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Piano Black Console Insert and Aluminum Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert
  • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
  • MB-Tex Leatherette Seat Trim
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • Memory Settings -inc: Driver And Passenger Seats and Door Mirrors
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate and Windows
  • Smart Device Remote Engine Start
  • Tracker System
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Smartphone Integration
  • Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Redundant Digital Speedometer
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Digital/Analog Display
  • Fixed Front Head Restraints and Fixed Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Perimeter Alarm
  • 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • eCall Emergency System Emergency Sos
  • Active Brake Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
  • mbrace Connect
  • BabySmart Childseat Sensor and Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA (4)

CLA 250 Coupe
MSRP Starting at
CLA 250 4MATIC Coupe
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA CLA 250 Coupe:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating