2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

Rating6.6

Ranked #18 in Compact Sedan

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Starting MSRP 

$37,850 - $39,850

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Key Spec of 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250
fuel economy

-

fuel type

premium unleaded

horsepower

221 hp @ 5500 rpm

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The market is gaining traction for so much newness amid this pandemic that it has compelled the auto industry to change as per this changing landscape. And Mercedes-Benz is making that mark with its all-new 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 which retains the brand’s legacy and rich history to date. 

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Latest Updates

  • Apr' 18, 2022 : The Fastest Front-Wheel Drive Cars Available As Of 2022 Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Luxurious touch

Rear legroom could have been improved

No major upgrades

Performance prowess

Interior is loaded with technology

Over All Rating

6.6

Out of 10

Pricing and Features6.00
Engine and Performance6.00
Fuel Economy5.00
Interior7.00
Exterior7.00
Safety8.00
Competition7.00
Notable Rankings

#18 in Compact Sedan

#25 in Sedan


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$37,850 onwards

  • Dual-Zone climate control
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Keyless entry
  • Led headlights
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Simulated leather upholstery


Colors and Styles

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 in Jupiter Red color
Jupiter Red

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The CLA 250 does not share its privacy with any other in the segment and comes as a special edition with an initial price tag of $38,900 which may increase to $40,900 as we prefer the AWD. The luxury of this beauty is up against rivals like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A3, and Lexus ES 250. A piece of highly armed machinery with an exotic ambiance is subtle but will be challenged heavily by the aforementioned till the point of no return.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Rear Angle View

Features

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is akin to its other siblings as per its class and is expected to achieve that respect in its peers most probably. The CLA 250 has been equipped with a 2.0L inline-4 turbo engine with an ECO Start/Stop system feasibility. It gets an MBUX Multimedia System with 8-speaker audio set to keep echoing your favorite tracks. The exterior appearance is highlighted by the presence of the 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels which are hugged by the P225/45R18 All-Season Tires. One can even experience the available Mercedes Me Connect Selective Service Internet Access and Voice Recognition Gesture that have been bestowed alongside.

Trim

CLA 250

MSRP(FWD)

$38,900

MSRP(AWD)

$40,900

Key Features

ECO Start/Stop system

 

2.0L inline-4 turbo engine

 

18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels

 

Chrome diamond-block grille

 

Heated and ventilated front seats

 

MBUX Multimedia System

 

Audio Theft Deterrent

 

Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Apart from the interactive interior, the readiness and alertness are also worth praising as it fits in the Audio Theft Deterrent and Turn-By-Turn Navigation unit for its autonomous safeguarding and mobility tracking. There are multiple packages as well from which it can be given a little touch-up for an overall upgrade which include the AMG Line, AMG Line with Night Package, Premium Package, and Exterior Lighting Package. For improving the safety insurance one can even avail of the Driver Assistance Package with which assists like the Route-based Speed Adaptation, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, and PRE-SAFE PLUS can be incorporated into the cabin.

Which Trim should you buy?

No trim translates to no confusion but drive layout preference is there for the CLA 250. One has to choose between an FWD and AWD. Although the dynamics are already up to the mark and there is hardly anything left to achieve in this machinery, the standard FWD will do the necessary groundwork for you. The comfort and easy seating have been perfectly catered to and are very much practical on all fronts. So, it is advisable to save those dollars and go for the FWD. This gives you an opportunity to choose the Driver's Assistance Package from the leftover dollars.

Engine and Performance
6.0/10

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 comes equipped with a 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 which is capable of churning out a power of 221 hp @ 5,800 RPM and a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM. It is then mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission from where the power is either transferred to the front wheels or all wheels depending on the drive layouts.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Engine Bay

Moreover, the turbo is properly tuned with the engine because of which it has negligible turbo lagging and as a result of all these small improvements, it hits the 0-60 mph mark in just 6.3 seconds while a quarter-mile is covered within 14.9 seconds. The package even allows you to read a top speed of 130 mph on the speedometer.

Model

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2021 Audi A3

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Lexus ES 250

MSRP

$38,900

$33,300

$35,700

$39,900

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

AWD

Transmission

7-speed automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

(hp @ rpm)

221 hp @ 5,800 RPM

184 hp @ 4,400 RPM

228 hp @ 5,000 RPM

203 hp @ 6,500 RPM

Torque

(lb-ft @ rpm)

258 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

221 lb-ft. @ 1,600 RPM

258 lb-ft. @ 1,450 RPM

184 Ib-ft @ 5,000 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.3

7.1

6.1

8.6

Quarter mile (seconds)

14.9

15.4

14.5

14.6

Top speed (mph)

130

130

130

131

Their weightage in this domain is quite a case as each one of them is just at one another's tail with a parallel top speed but it is the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe who manages to impress us a little more with an impressive corresponding acceleration dominance. The ability to do the pick up from standstill to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds puts it on the podium along with the same peak oddity in the quarter-mile coverage. Thus, it is a mirror image of its own shadow of what is there on the paper, and that too with a relatively lower price tag. Both the other competitors feel underpowered in comparison in the 60mph run, however, the Lexus and Audi cover-up considerably in the quarter-mile run clocking 15.4 and 14.6 seconds, respectively.

How well does the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 handle?

One of the definite charms of the all-new CLA 250 is its handling ability. It is extremely content and satisfactory in this department with no loophole at all. The packages and standard aids supplement the statement as it has an Electronic Stability Program working in conjunction with the ATTENTION ASSIST which is a unique introduction in the market. 

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan In Acceleration Mode

The narrative does involve High-strength/low-alloy frame structure as well which is light and resistive to collision impact at the same time. The adaptability and autonomy in the braking unit are an added advantage that you don’t see everywhere. Last but not least is the Electronic Traction System which ensures no wheel slippage and it becomes even more effective when coupled with the AWD layout.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Braking Performance

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 seems to get the pairs of 12.6” rotors in the front and 11.6” rotors in the rear which work together with the ABS to bring the luxury to a halt within a travel distance of 121 ft which is the highest among the rivals yet impressive for high-speed maneuvering.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Wheel

The other features like the Adaptive braking technology, Active Brake Assist, and Electric Parking Brake have also been provided for ease and assurance. These features can further be enhanced with the Active Emergency Stop Assist and Active Speed Limit Assist in the additional packages.

Models

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2021 Audi A3

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Lexus ES 250

Brake rotors: Front (inches)

12.6

12.3

12.3

12

Brake rotors: Rear (inches

11.6

10.7

11.4

11.1

Curb weight (lbs)

3,362

3,197

3,534

3,780

60-0 (Feet)

121

117

120

110

Though the CLA 250 is at par with what you will need during sudden hard braking yet rivals have better figures with them to bolster their status. Specifically, the Lexus ES 250 with its 110 ft braking travel leads the pack. It is then followed by the A3 and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe in the same order with minimal gaping. The Lexus braking unit is the most efficient despite having the highest weight transfer. So we would rate it way above others but others can be considered for high-speed highways.

Fuel Economy
5.0/10

A turbocharged pack with a 2L I-4 is not just a performance phenomenon but a comparable economic repository of higher return per mile as well. With it, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 gives you a mileage of 25 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highways, and an overall mark of 29 mpg. With a standard 13.2-gallon fuel tank, the range coverage can be reached up to 472.5 miles at the max. Though it is not the highest among the rivals, one can’t complain as the variation is significantly low only.

Model

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2021 Audi A3

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Lexus ES 250

MPG (city)

25

26

24

25

MPG (Highway)

35

35

33

34

MPG (Combined)

29

29

28

28

Fuel Capacity (Gallon)

13.5

13.2

13.2

15.9

Range (City/highway/Combined)

337.50 / 472.5 / 391.5

343.2 / 462 / 382.8

316.80 / 435.6 / 369.6

397.50 / 540.6 / 445.2

The best among all is the Lexus ES 250. Just like its braking efficiency, it continues its streak in this department also. A higher mileage with a bigger fuel tank is indicative of the class-leading figures. The range of more than 540 miles is so attractive that the closest one against it lags behind it by more than 65 miles. Thus, it is by far the most practical luxury among the competitors. On the other hand, we would like to see more from the BMW as it is way too underappreciated for now.

Interior
7.0/10

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is simply the best in class as it has all the premium feel along with comfort and convenience. The richness begins with a bunch of upholstery trims including the Neva Grey, Black MB-Tex with Red stitching, and Macchiato Beige MB-Tex. The 3-position memory functioned 8-Way Power-Flexing with heating and ventilation as an option costing $950 further enhances your cozy posturing.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Front Row Seats

One is even entitled to use the Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning and SmartKey inside the cabin that has been bestowed as tech-complexity superiority. As far as accents around doors and dashboard are concerned, one can choose between the standard Aluminum with longitudinal grain and optional Natural Grain Black Linden wood as per his/her taste.

Model

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2021 Audi A3

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Lexus ES 250

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.5/55.1/41.8

36.5/54.8/41.2

39.8/55.5/41.4

37.5/55.9/42.4

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

35.7/54.0/33.9

36.1/53.0/35.1

35.7/53.1/34.4

37.8/54.3/39.2

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

11.6

12.3

15.1

16.7

The seating arrangement is quite satisfactory inside the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 for the first row as it is a no-compromise layout with spacious legroom and headroom but the same seems to divert when we buckle up for the rear as it can fit no more than children there. Even the cargo seems to be a little less than the segment leaders like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Lexus ES 250 that have trunk volumes of 16.7 and 15.1 cubic feet. The Lexus has an edge over all the rivals in terms of better snuggling irrespective of age group and thus making it the most practical one among them. 

Some of the features are:

  • SmartKey
  • Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Natural Grain Black Linden wood trim accent
  • 3-position memory function for seats
  •  8-Way Power-Flexing

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is home to so many features that this storyline might not be enough to cover them all. It features a 7-inch touchscreen multimedia display and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster with optional 10.25-inch variants for both of them in the Premium Package which may be as expensive as $1200.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Infotainment System

After that, we have 3 years of Mercedes Me connect services, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto available as normal. The realm goes on to include the Mercedes-Benz User Experience and Voice Control which are altogether another level aspects. The service of the MB Navigation and Speed Limit Assist can also be availed of in the Multimedia Package which charges you some $1,295 for its presence. 

Some of the features are:

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • 7-inch touchscreen multimedia display
  • 3 years of Mercedes me connect services
  • Mercedes-Benz User Experience
  •  Voice Control
Exterior
7.0/10

If $38,900 is on the line and that too for a brand that has proven to be of high stature for all these years in design philosophy then worry no more as one is destined to be pleased when the Cosmos Black metallic-accented 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 hits the map with its starking 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheel setup.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sedan Front Angle View

This does not end here as we can continue to be craving additional packages like the AMG Line and AMG Line w/Night Package in both of which we get Chrome diamond-block grille as standard. The projector beams on the front add dimension to its luxury appeal and can be upgraded to Adaptive Highbeam Assist in the Exterior Lighting Package. Thus, it is a complete replica of its interior enrichment.

Model

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2021 Audi A3

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2021 Lexus ES 250

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,362

3,197

3,534

3,780

Length (in.)

184.6

175.7

178.5

195.9

Width (in.)

72

70.7

70.9

73.4

Height (in.)

56.7

55.7

55.9

56.9

Ground Clearance (in.)

4.3

6.3

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (in.)

107.4

103.8

105.1

113

One of the lightest and certainly well within the boundary limits, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is stable in both handling and aerodynamic perspectives. And it is further reassured with other tech-aids like the Electronic Stability Control and Autonomous Emergency Braking. As far as comparison is concerned, the others are relatively more compact but that void hardly makes a difference on the bigger picture. Moreover, all of them are equally adorned with tech-assist exclusively. So, in this specific domain, we prefer to be indifferent and gauge them on the same block.

Some of the features are:

  • 18" Multi-Spoke Alloy
  • Chrome diamond-block grille
  • Rear spoiler
  • Cosmos Black metallic-accented exterior styling
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
Safety
8.0/10

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is pretty impressive with its artillery of safety and driver’s assistance aids. The bin has been decorated with the Blind Spot Assist Blind Spot, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and eCall Emergency Sos System. The in-road stability is taken care of by a couple of Driveline Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control. Not just the surroundings but the inside cabin are deluged with features like the mbrace Connect, BabySmart Child Seat Sensor, and baggage of airbags. One even gets the Active Brake Assist and optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist once invested in it. 

Some of the features are:

  •  eCall Emergency Sos System
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Assist Blind Spot
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Active Brake Assist
Competition
7.0/10

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 vs. 2021 Audi A3 

The CLA 250 and Audi A3 are some of the most popular in the segment and that is why we could see a pattern of similarities throughout the spec sheet. They are on the same scale for every parameter right from the seating spaciousness to mileage return.

 2021 Audi A3

In addition to that, they are matched in their handling dynamics. The only place where the CLA 250 is superior is in its performance curve which gives it a slight edge and makes it a first choice over the latter.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 vs. BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

Both the rivals have their capabilities outstripping each other in different sectors. Like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has better performance at a relatively lower price tag because of which it tends to struggle when it is a matter of fuel economy.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

On the other hand, the CLA 250 outshines it in the mileage return. Thus, one of them is more performance-inclined and the other is more economy-oriented. Hence, we leave it to the owner as per his/her preference.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 vs. Lexus ES 250

The Lexus ES 250 is a more practical choice as it has better fuel economy, braking efficiency, and cabin spaciousness. On the other hand, the CLA 250 feels more premium and powerful.

Lexus ES 250

In terms of handling, they are quite comparable with no major variation between them. But it is that sheer practicality and decent cabin feel which keeps ES 250 a little ahead in the wishlist over the CLA 250.

Final Verdict

If we could see all the sectors, it is a must-buy option. One gets that premium and exotic ambiance along with comfortable long hauling. The performance is also an exhilarating one to experience. The fuel economy is pretty decent with respect to its performance dynamics. Thus, we would recommend going for it and that too with the FWD variant as it would be more cost-effective than the AWD.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$39850

body style

4dr Sedan

engine type
displacement

121 cu in

horse power

221 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1800 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift Manual

dimensions
length

184.6 in

wheelbase

107.4 in

width

72 in

curb weight

3483 lbs

Height

56.7 in

Ground Clearance

4.3 lbs

capacity
passenger volume

37.6 cu ft

cargo volume

11.6 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy
city/combined/highway

23/29/33 mpg

highway range

547.6 mi

warranty
basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.


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Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 5 year Cost To Own


Cash Price(MSRP)
$47,319
5 Year Cost To Own
$67,802
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $67,802
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Depreciation$5,776$5,102$4,220$4,650$4,036$23,784
Insurance$1,658$1,706$1,797$1,774$1,920$8,855
Fuel$1,826$1,830$1,853$1,976$2,003$9,488
Maintenance$467$1,506$995$2,719$3,225$8,912
Repairs$39$49$-7$1,167$1,838$3,086
Financing Interest$2,956$2,410$1,763$1,142$403$8,674
Taxes and Fees$3,950$309$310$250$184$5,003
Total Cost-To-Own$16,672$12,912$10,931$13,678$13,609$67,802
Read more about Cost-To-Own »