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Mercedes-Benz
CLA-Class
2019
Go
Neil Cumins
Automotive Editor - August 16, 2018

Expert Rating

2.9 (Fair)
MPG
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:

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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.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class OVERVIEW

Continuing the trend of four-door coupes pioneered by the CLS, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a svelte-looking sedan. It’s stylized as the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Coupe, while the AMG CLA 45 Coupe is the high-performance range-topper.

What's New for 2019

Unchanged from last year, the CLA-Class is available with two engines and a choice of rear-wheel drive or Mercedes-Benz’s electronically-controlled 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Prices start at $34,095 (all prices include the $995 destination charge), though it’s easy to get carried away adding options.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The CLA range can effectively be grouped into two categories. There’s the standard 250 Coupe, which is available with all-wheel drive for a $2,000 premium. Then there’s the thunderous AMG performance version. Both models are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engines, but the AMG powerplant is handcrafted to produce almost twice as much power as the standard model.

Even so, the CLA 250 is no slouch. Its 208-horsepower engine pumps out 258 pound-feet of torque, propelling it to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. The 4MATIC model shaves a tenth of a second off its zero-to-60 time, but a greater benefit is the superior roadholding in greasy or wet conditions. The rear-wheel-drive CLA 250 returns an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway, and 29 combined. Fuel economy for the 4MATIC variant drops to 24/32/27 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Having been extensively modified by Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division, the AMG CLA 45 generates 375 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. It retains the seven-speed automatic transmission of its siblings, while an AMG Speedshift mode ensures greater driver involvement. The EPA hasn't measured the AMG CLA 45's fuel economy yet.

CLA250

For its $34,095 starting price ($36,095 for the CLA 250 4MATIC Coupe), the CLA is reasonably well equipped. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, an eight-speaker stereo with an HD radio, and cruise control. Keyless start and 14-way power memory front seats add touches of luxury to the cabin, while creature comforts include ambient interior lighting and rain-sensing wipers. The eight-inch touchscreen also contains a rearview camera.

An extensive options list starts with a panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof ($1,500), illuminated front door sills ($500), and LED headlights and taillights ($850). Leather costs $1,600, while dash and door trims are upgradeable to aluminum for $150 or either black ash or burl walnut wood trim for $325.

The $2,400 AMG Line Exterior pack adds AMG styling details, a chrome grille, and 18-inch AMG twin-spoke wheels, through which perforated front brake discs and painted calipers are visible. Ticking this box also enables you to add the $300 Night Package, which brings gloss black exterior and wheel accents. The $2,300 Multimedia Package brings navigation, voice control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – the latter bundled together in a separate connectivity pack for $350. The Premium Package ($1,800) adds blind-spot monitoring, hands-free trunk access, a surround-sound audio system, heated front seats, and keyless entry and start, while the Convenience Package ($400) includes a compass, HomeLink garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirror. Finally, the Driver Assistance Package ($1,500) adds lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

CLA45 AMG

Specification differences between the standard CLA and the AMG are surprisingly few and far between, despite the latter’s $54,095 starting price. Larger 19-inch tires hide bigger front and rear brake discs, but elements like leather seats and rear parking assistance remain options. The sport front seats do at least gain heating elements, and there’s blind-spot monitoring on the move. Mercedes’ ATTENTION ASSIST constantly measures 70 driving parameters to determine signs of drowsiness on long journeys.

A host of AMG-branded accessories are on offer. Buyers can secure an AMG steering wheel and black interior trim for $850 via the AMG DINAMICA Interior Package. The $1,650 AMG "Red Cut" Exclusive Package adds leather upholstery, red seat belts, and a textured upper dashboard and door trim, while the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package brings a sport suspension, a limited-slip front differential, an improved top speed, and a RACE mode for $2,800. The Driver Assistance Package and Multimedia Package return unchanged.

This money could arguably be better spent on modern-day essentials like smartphone integration ($350) or Garmin’s MAP PILOT navigation system ($625).

CarsDirect Tip

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4MATIC delivers a winning balance of performance and year-round practicality. You’ll probably want to raid the options list to bolster the standard specification, though a few sensible choices should also help to protect future resale value.

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

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