2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Overview

Brandon Turkus
Automotive Editor - July 20, 2017

Mercedes-Benz made big waves when it introduced its smallest, most affordable car, the CLA-Class. With an accessible starting price just north of $30,000, an elegant, attractive style that apes one of the brand’s most aspirational products – the CLS-Class – and a pair of engines capable engines, it’s little surprise sales have been so robust.

What's New for 2017

The CLA-Class was lightly updated for 2017, adding new front and rear fascias, updated wheels, a standard rear-view camera and automatic emergency braking, and a reworked infotainment display. Smaller changes include a new paint and upholstery shade, as well as standard interior trim for both the CLA250 and CLA45 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

As the smallest four-door Mercedes, the CLA-Class’ standard range of four-cylinder engines isn’t a big surprise. But these tiny 2.0-liter, turbocharged mills are no slouches. In most all but the most basic models, these engines send their power to the road through a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

Being a Mercedes, there’s a healthy array of optional equipment. The bulk of gear, though, is represented by a trio of separate packages. With prices ranging from $1,500 for the Driver Assistance Package (adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist) to $1,800 for the Premium Package (blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, heated front seats, and satellite radio) to $2,300 for the Multimedia Package (navigation and the COMAND infotainment system), a very well equipped CLA250 is available for under $40,000.


Available with either front-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive, the base CLA250 uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder to generate 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard. 60 miles per hour arrives in a relaxed 6.9 seconds.

Naturally, the base engine returns helpful fuel economy – the EPA estimates the CLA250 will return 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway for 29 combined mpg. Moving to the 4Matic variant drops those figures to 23 city, 32 highway, and 27 combined.

Prices start at $33,695, while the optional all-wheel-drive system pushes the price up by $2,000, which is an average premium.


Blessed with the most powerful production four-cylinder on the market, the CLA45 AMG is a grown-up version of the insane (but deceased) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Its angry little 2.0-liter packs 375 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, which it gets to a standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed, AMG-spec, dual-clutch transmission. 4.1 seconds after setting off, 60 mph hour arrives. Not much later, 155 mph pops up and the electronic limiter steps in to halt the fun (the $2,800 AMG Dynamic Plus Package elevates the top speed to 167).

In such a furious car, fuel economy takes second place to outright performance. The CLA45 AMG returns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city, 30 highway, and 26 combined.

Easily the most expensive CLA available, the 45 AMG starts at $51,395.

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