2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

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in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$33,100 - $35,100

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: November 28, 2019


The CLA class was introduced in 2014 as an entry-level sedan to cater to the desires of owning a luxury four wheeler. While the most affordable Silver Arrow crown has been passed onto the new A-Class, the CLA packs great performance and host of features for the price range. Having improved over the years, what Mercedes needs today is not just an improvement, but a renovation of this coupe

See detailed review »

Pros

Frugal powertrain

Spacious cargo

Decent engine performance alongside driving dynamics

Cons

Stiff ride quality

Poor interior quality

Cramped seating

Occasional unresponsiveness in transmission

What's New?

The Mercedes Benz CLA 250 remains unchanged since 2017.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$33100

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

208 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

258 lbs.-ft @ 1250 rpm

transmission

7-speed automated manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

60.9/60.8

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

182.3 in.

width

70 in.

height

56.6 in.

curb weight

3274 lbs.

ground clearance

3.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

37.6 cu ft.

cargo volume

13.1 cu ft.

payload capacity

1070 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

24/29/37 mpg

highway range

547.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

48 months. / 50000

corrosion warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

roadside assistance

4 yr. / 50000 mi.



Styles

 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Night Black color  2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Mountain Gray Metallic color  2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Lunar Blue Metallic color  2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Jupiter Red color  2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Cosmos Black Metallic color
Night Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

5.0

Exterior

7.0

5.8

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250

CLA 250

power
208 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
29 combined

$33,100 - $35,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
CLA 250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $33,100 MSRP (24/29/37) 208 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (required)
7-speed automated manual front wheel drive 5
CLA 250 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $35,100 MSRP (24/27/32) 208 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (required)
7-speed automated manual all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

5.8

Overall Rating


Powering the coupe is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine which produces 208 horses and 258 pound feet of torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. It reaches 0-60 in 6.3s and has decent driving dynamics. Comfortable and packed with features, the CLA 250 still has a long way to go to stand out amongst its competition.

Why do we say that? Read further the review where the Silver Arrow takes on the likes of enthusiastic BMW 2 Series and the luxurious Audi A3.


7.0/10
Features

 

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

7.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Features

7.0/10

The CLA 250 starts at $33,100 and comes packing a 2.0L with 4-cylinders powering the front wheels. Mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission, the coupe couples with host of standard features and shares the affordability of a Mercedes automobile with that of the new A-Class. Some noteworthy packages include Multimedia Package at $2,300, Smartphone Integration package at $350, Drive Assistance Package at 1,500, and AMG Line Exterior Package at $2,400.

Trim

Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

MSRP

$33,100

Key Features

14-way power front seats with memory

 

 

 

Split-folding rear seat

 

 

Dynamic Select

 

Central controller and 8-inch color displa

 

3-spoke multifunction steering wheel

 

MB-Tex upholstery

 

We Recommend

The CLA 250 comes loaded with a bunch of features that should be enough to fulfill your feature-thirst. Invest in standalone packages of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to experience better smartphone integration with the infotainment system.

 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Engine and Performance

6.0/10

"With its strong four-cylinder and quick-shifting transmission, the CLA 250 offers enough performance to impress owners of the larger C-Class. Unfortunately, that same transmission can be quirky in typical driving." -edmunds

The CLA 250 is powered by is a turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 engine mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Punching out 208 horses and 258 pound feet torque, the coupe produces enthusiastic-level driving performance and is a lot of fun when driven sportily. The machine impresses when taken as a daily driver or as on the track. Its transmission, while quick and smooth, however is more of a slow-brain in the sense the unit delays its response to your command and occasionally stutters.

Along its rivals, the German CLA 250 sees deficit amongst its competition where the Audi A3 stands lowest in the field. The leader of the segment is the Alfa Romeo Giulia followed by the likes of Volvo S60, BMW 2 series and the rest.

Models

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

 

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

MSRP

$33,100

$32,500

$40,195

$38,195

$40,660

$35,300

$46,235

Engine

2.0L I-4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 cylinders

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 cylinders

2.0L I-4 Turbocharged

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L, Turbocharged, Inline-4 cylinder engine

Transmission

7-speed automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed Automatic

Horsepower

208 hp @ 5500 rpm

184 hp @ 4300 rpm

250 hp @ 5600 rpm

280 hp @ 5200 rpm

241 hp @ 5,800 rpm

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

247 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque

258 ft-lbs. @ 1250 rpm

221 ft-bls @ 1600 rpm

258 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

306 lb.-ft. @ 2000-4800 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm

258 lb.-ft. @ 1450 rpm

269 ft-lbs. @ 1300 rpm

Acceleration

The CLA 250 sprints from 0-60mph in 6.3s and zips the quarter mile in 14.9s. With the field housing similar powertrain, their dissimilar outputs vary due to weight and tuning. Quickest amongst the competition is the Volvo S60 with zipping 0-60 mph in flat 5 seconds followed by the BMW and Giulia. With the CLA, the affordable luxury coupe stands amongst the low-end mix of the brethren.

Models

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

0-60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.1 sec

5.0 sec

5.5 sec

6.9 sec

5.3

6.3 sec

Quarter mile

14.9 sec

14.8 sec

14 .3 sec

14.1 sec @ 100 mph

15 sec*

12.7

15.0 sec

Engine

2.0L I-4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L

2.0 liters

2.0 Liters

2.0L

2.0L i4

2.0L

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A

N/A

TBD

NA

NA

N/A

6.3*

Handling and Braking

The ride quality of the CLA 250 is harsh and its driving dynamics are not necessarily negative as its suspension tuning suggests. While it has a comfortable and posh setup, stray atop bumps and uneven asphalt and you'd feel wobbles around the cabin.

Otherwise the coupe is planted and stable with great handling around curves and chicanes. Its steering feels balanced, neither too heavy nor too light and steers with sharpness. On the other hand, the wheels provide less road feedback.

The disc brakes clasp the 12" and 11" rotors with absolute ease. Easily modulated, its brakes are linear and don't feel mushy. In a panic brake test, the Mercedes takes 121ft. to come to a standstill from 60-0 mph.

Model

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

12.3

13.2

13

13.1

12.3

12.8

Brake Rear (in.)

11.6

10.7

12. 9

12.5

12.2

11.4

12.8

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3274

3197

7303

3521

3583

3411

3500 lbs

60-0 MPH (ft.)

121

N/A

127

124

TBD

113

184 ft*

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Fuel Economy

5.0/10

Housing a decent powertrain, the Mercedes' fuel efficiency is quite impressive with the coupe clocking 24 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on highway and a combined 29 mpg. Drinking the least on the highway, the Silver Arrow joins ranks with its rivals on other estimates where the entire field returns quite decent efficiency irrespective of their output which is quite an impressive task.

Model

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

MPG (city)

24

26

26

24

22

24

24

MPG (highway)

37

35

32

33

32

35

34

MPG (combined)

29

29

29

27

26

28

28

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior

"The CLA has traditional Mercedes-Benz interior design in that it isn't flashy, but it surprises with its ease of use. Limited rear-seat access and space, plus lackluster visibility, hurt the CLA's score in this category."

Getting inside, the interior incorporates ambient lighting, feels cramped but is strikingly well designed. If you're tall, getting in and out the coupe will prove to be a tad difficult for you, while overall visibility also takes a hit. Stitched with MB-Tex upholstery, the Mercedes Benz CLA 250 is capable of accommodating 5 passengers but due to its sloping roofline and a compact coupe design, it falls short of providing ample comfort and space.

Front seating is comparatively better in comfort than the rear. It incorporates 14-way power seating with memory and adjustable cushion length, while the rear seats get split-folding feature for extra luggage space. A 4.5" instrument cluster sits behind the multifunction steering wheel. Now you'd expect a Mercedes quality cabin, especially knowing the marque's status. But prepare to be disappointed in this affordable lineup for the materials and finish inside it is plastic and feels cheap compared to the enormous price tag it carries.

Models

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

4

5

Front Head room (cu.ft)

38.2

36.5

38.6

37.1

40.2

40.1

-

Front Shoulder room (cu.ft)

56

54.8

57.0

55.3

56.7

54.4

-

Front Leg room (cu.ft)

40.2

41.2

41.9

NA

44.5

41.5

-

Rear Head room (cu.ft)

35.4

36.1

37.4

37.1

37.5

36.5

-

Rear Shoulder room (cu.ft)

53.2

53

55.2

55

56.1

53.4

-

Rear Leg room (cu.ft)

27.1

35.1

36.9

36.1

35.1

33

-

Infotainment System

On the dash floats an 8" COMAND infotainment system with no touchscreen capability but controlled by a rotary dial sat on the center console. The system on the CLA 250 is intuitive and easily navigable. In terms of performance, its response times are quite quick with a neat interface. While the system gets laudable comments, its controller would seem otherwise - it feels plastic and cheap - unexpected by a brand such as Mercedes. Unfortunately, the biggest disappointment would be excluding Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which are available in the Multimedia Package or Smartphone Integration Package.

Some standard features included in the system are -

  • SiriusXM Radio with 6-month All Access trial
  • harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system
  • Prewiring for GARMIN MAP Pilot - Navigation System
  • 8" COMAND Infotainment System

Interior Features

Some features included in the cabin are -

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • MB-Tex upholstery
  • Sport front seats with adjustable cushion length
  • 4-way power lumbar support for driver
  • 14-way power front seats with memory

Cargo Volume

All the spacing that should've been available for seating comfort is found in the trunk allowing 13.1 cubic feet of cargo volume. This makes the Silver Arrow playing the second fiddle to the competition leader, the Jaguar XE, followed by the BMW 2 series, and the rest follow with similar volume.

Model

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Guilia

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

13.1

12.3

11.6

13.0

13.2

13.8

16.1

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Exterior

7.0/10

"Both the 2020 CLA250 and 2020 CLA45 feature the sweeping, dramatic design that made them revolutionary so many years ago."

Design and Measurements

The Mercedes CLA 250 has the beauty and curves of the manufacturer's design philosophy. Yet, an ageing design carried forward since the 2017 refreshed styling, the 4-door coupe still retains its beautiful and aerodynamically sleek look all across its gorgeous curvaceous body.

A diamond-block grille greets the front fascia with the chrome accented tri-starred Mercedes insignia. Flanked either sides by large headlights, underneath comes the bumper which houses mesh air intakes with sharp character lines, giving the whole front a serious, no-bullshit yet sort of bland look. Over the hood feature two parallel character lines and a metal Mercedes-Benz monogram sealed on the nose.

Its fenders curve just above the 17" 5-spoke wheels. Body colour character line sits on the side skirts with hard and sharp design element running along the window line. The roofline has a pleasant curve, tapering down elegantly down the back, where the rear finds bulbous LED taillights and dual-tail pipes on either sides.

Model

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3

Volvo S60 Inscription

Alfa Romeo Base

Lexus IS 300

BMW 230i

Jaguar XE

Curb weight (lbs.)

3274

3197

3703

3521

3,583

3411

3500

Length(in)

182.3

175.5

185.6

182.6

184.3

174.7

183.9

Width(in)

70

70.7

77.0

73.7

71.3

69.8

77.4

Height(in)

56.6

55.7

58.3

56.5

56.3*

55.8

55.8

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

N/A

5.9

NA

5.3

5.5

-

Wheelbase (in)

106.3

103.8

112.4

111

110.2

109.9

111.6

Track width (in) F/R

60.9/60.8

61.2/60.1

61.2/62.1

61.3/63.9

60.8/61.6

59.9/61.3

NA

Exterior Features

Included in the CLA 45 are some of the following exterior features -

  • Diamond-block grille
  • 17-inch 5-spoke wheels
  • 4-door coupe design
  • Diamond-block grille
  • 17-inch 5-spoke wheels
  • 4-door coupe design

 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Safety

While NHTSA and IIHS are still to rate the CLA 250, Mercedes have provided their take on safety standards by kitting the coupe with a host of safety features. Some of them are -

  • Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call
  • Active Brake Assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Seat belt technology
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • ATTENTION ASSIST
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • 8 air bags
  • Electronic Traction System
  • Electric parking brake
  • Adaptive braking technology
  • Brake Assist (BAS)

 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Competition

Mercedes Benz CLA 250 vs BMW 2 Series

Built like a sedan, the 4-door Mercedes coupe and the 2-door BMW 2 Series have similar limitation in the rear seats. Keeping that in mind, both the cars are strong rivals where the Beemer is an enthusiastic machine with excellent driving dynamics and also more comfortable than the Mercedes. Priced similarly, the Beemer makes a much better choice here.

Mercedes Benz CLA 250 vs Audi A3

In the entry-level luxury sedan, the Audi A3 is unmatched so the competition here clearly looks to be bordering the losing side for the Mercedes CLA. Its interior luxury as well as spirited driving dynamics alongside a comfortable ride, the A3 faces one common problem with the Silver Arrow - rear seats, but the 4-ringed sedan edges ahead with slightly better seating comfort here. Picking the A3 is a worthy choice.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Final Verdict

Clearly, the affordable Silver Arrow doesn't quite live up to what the term luxury is. Housing a decent powertrain, relatively efficient fuel economy, and a decent boot space, the Mercedes CLA 250 falls short of the standards it has already raised. Its competition offers far better package and you'd be sorted if you ignore this for you're losing out on nothing much.