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Mercedes-Benz Cla Guide

Get the best online car shopping experience with expert reviews of the Mercedes-Benz Cla. Read more to learn about the most important features and important factors to consider when researching the Mercedes-Benz Cla.


For decades, German automaker Mercedes-Benz offered its vehicles with two drivetrain configurations: rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. However, in late 2013, the CLA-Class became the first Benz vehicle to have engine power go to the front wheels. The first production cycle ran until the 2020 model year, when Mercedes-Benz redesigned the CLA-Class for a second go-round. Designed as a four-door fastback coupe, the CLA-Class is geared toward customers who want a blend of sportiness and luxury that's relatively affordable.


Abundance of Standard Features

True to its luxury marquee, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has several premium amenities that include synthetic leather upholstery, 14-way power adjustable front seats, Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free phone calling and audio streaming, HD Radio digital tuning, and the COMAN infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen. There are also driver-assistance technologies that include driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, active brake assist, and automatic emergency braking. Go with a model no older than 2017, and you can expect a standard rearview camera.

Powerful Engines

With any given model year, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has presented a pair of turbocharged engines that deliver remarkable acceleration ability. Most impressive during the first production cycle is the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that powered the performance-enhanced AMG 45 model, which has Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system as its standard drivetrain. At its height, the enginewhich had an output of 375 horsepower starting from the 2016 model yearcan make the CLA go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Athletic Handling

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a suspension that's tuned for a tight, exciting ride. Such an attribute is optimized when you change the drive mode to Sport. However, the AMG 45 model improves handling considerably by sending engine power to the rear wheels in addition to the front ones for a more balanced ride.


Ride Quality

Since it's a standard front-wheel-drive car, the CLA-Class has its engine power go to the front wheels. Couple that with the engine placed in front, and you have a vehicle that doesn't quite handle the same way as rear-wheel-drive entries such as the BMW 3 Series.

Rear Seat Room

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a sloping roofline, which cuts into the passenger space in the rear. As a result, the back row can feel cramped. Ultimately, the CLA-Class is not a vehicle ideal for carpooling.

Cabin Materials

Despite the Mercedes-Benz name attached to it, the CLA is designed and marketed as a small budget-friendly luxury vehicle. Understandably, the cabin is not as plush as it could be. A few plastic pieces here and there keep it from exuding a high level of luxury found in its larger siblings, such as the C-Class and the E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Reviews

4.8 OUT OF 5 (122 Reviews)