Matthew Keegan
Contributing Editor - August 31, 2017

Expert Rating

3.5 (Good)
24 City / 33 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class OVERVIEW

Look no further than the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for a compact, attainable luxury coupe-like sedan. It is the only front-wheel drive model Mercedes-Benz sells in North America, with all-wheel drive and performance versions available. Beyond the base model, prices rise quickly for this sporty luxury sedan.

What's New for 2018

Light refreshing accompanies the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. New headlights, bumpers, trim and tail lights enhance the exterior. Inside, a rearview camera is standard. Other updates cover the infotainment screen and the available finishes.

Two new special edition packages roll out. An Ice Edition Package, limited to just 400 units, brings in such features as special exterior paint, AMG trim, AMG wheels, and high-performance headlamps. An AMG Performance Studio Package is available on the AMG CLA 45 line only, adding such features as AMG stripes, yellow accents, special wheels, and AMG Performance Seats.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz offers the CLA-Class as either the humble CLA250 or the fire-breathing CLA45 AMG. Seating is for five, but there's limited leg and headroom, the latter owing to the sloping roofline.

The 2018 CLA250 has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine generating 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this model returns an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. 4Matic all-wheel drive is an available option.

The all-wheel drive CLA45 AMG is the capstone model for the CLA-Class, powered by a handcrafted 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine packing 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. This engine is also paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive, resulting in an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city and 30 highway. On the flip-side, the CLA45 AMG can hit 60 miles per hour in a neck-snapping 4.1 seconds.


The standard CLA250 costs $33,695 (including a $995 destination charge). Add $2,000 for all-wheel drive. This model comes equipped with automatic headlamps, daytime running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Sport front seats and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat dressed in imitation leather mark the interior.

Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, a power tilt and slide panoramic sunroof, 12-color ambient lighting, and a Harmon Kardon audio system. You’ll also find an eight-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio, two USB ports, an SD card reader, and Garmin navigation.

Package options are many and include an AMG Line Exterior Package ($2,400) with AMG body styling, 18-inch AMG wheels, and perforated front brakes with painted calipers. A $2,700 Night Package builds on the AMG pack, adding black accents. The AMG Line Package ($4,000) adds AMG body styling, special wheels, and accents. A $1,650 Interior Package brings in leather upholstery and trim.

Customers can choose a Premium Package ($1,800), adding must-haves like blind spot assist, heated front seats and satellite radio. A $2,300 Multimedia Package upgrades to COMAND navigation and smartphone integration, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A $1,500 Driver Assistance Package brings in such features as adaptive cruise control with emergency braking and lane keeping assist. Individual options include adaptable suspension ($850), parking pilot ($970), blind spot assist ($550), a rear spoiler ($300), and heated front seats ($580).


The performance-focused AMG CLA 45 costs $51,395 (including destination). This model comes with an AMG body kit, including a larger front air dam and splitter, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser on the angrier rear fascia. Also included is the AMG Night Package's gloss black trim.

Other upgrades include LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, and LED tail lamps. This model also has a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, an AMG drive mode select system, performance-oriented all-wheel drive with a torque-vectoring stability control system, a stiffer suspension, a sport exhaust system, and high-performance brakes.

Package upgrades include a $4,000 AMG Performance Studio Package adding new styling touches inside and out, including special wheels. A $1,650 Interior or “Red Cut” Package includes leather upholstery. An AMG Dinamica Interior Package ($850) offers a performance steering wheel and black trim. Special Recaro seats are a $2,250 option (and one we wouldn't recommend unless you're on the petite side). The $1,800 Premium Package brings in blind spot assist, heated front seats, and satellite radio. A $2,300 Multimedia Package adds COMAND navigation and smartphone integration. You’ll also find a Driver Assistance Package ($1,500) and an AMG Dynamic Plus Package ($2,800) with a sport suspension, limited-slip front differential, a raised top speed, and race mode.

CarsDirect Tip

The base model offers an attainable price point and logical introduction to the Mercedes-Benz brand. If performance is not a priority, stay with front-wheel drive and choose the Premium, Multimedia, and Driver Assist packages, and your final price will come in around $40,000.

Get your price on a Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class »

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