Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $57,665 (Base MSRP: $37,645)
Seating Capacity: 5-passenger
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a rearview camera; a crosswind assist system; an electronic stability control system; a hillstart assist system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and rain sensing windshield wiper
Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a 7-speed automatic transmission; front wheel drive; a panorama roof; power front seats with a three- position memory; a dual zone automatic climate control system; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; leather-like seats; rear seat center armrest with cupholders; sport seats with integrated headrests; new generation touchpad; split folding rear seats; heated power side mirrors; and a 7-inch infotainment screen
Other Trim Levels:
CLA250 4Matic AWD
AMG CLA 35 AWD
AMG CLA 45
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: AM/FM/HD
Android/Apple CarPlay: Standard
Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard
USB Connectivity: Standard
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged /221-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/33-hwy
What’s New: The second-generation CLA has been reworked inside and out.
The all-new stylish CLA is available in a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. In the Mercedes-Benz world, 4Matic is the term the German automaker uses as a synonym for all-wheel drive. In fact, in a world of rear-wheel drive vehicles, the CLA is the only car in the brand’s portfolio that is outfitted with a front wheel drive system.
Moreover, the vehicle is powered by a variety of powertrains: a new 220-hp, a 302-hp and a 382-hp engine. The engineering team used a 4-cylinder turbo engine for each of these powertrains in its AMG packages.
The vehicle, which is available with 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, can also be optioned out with the brand’s adaptive dampening system, which allows the driver to switch back and forth between comfort and sports, which can change the driving experience.
And for the first time, Mercedes-Benz has added a number of features to the CLA to transition the vehicle towards being closer to a self-driving vehicle. Those high-tech features range from an optional active distance assistance distronic to an active emergency stop assist system to an active lane change assist system to an active keep lane assist system.
But: When adding on options, the vehicle can become pricey. We recommend holding off on adding options.
Moreover, we found the vehicle to be extremely underpowered for a price tag approaching $58,000. Despite the addition of the AMG styling and the vibrant Sun Yellow exterior color, the CLA250 4Matic only spewed out 221-horsepower. That’s a lot of money for such an underpowered vehicle.
Added to that, depending on trim, one might find that the ride and handling capabilities to be quite firm.
On the other hand, there is a CLA35 sedan available that produces 301-horsepower. However, pricing for that vehicle starts out near $48,000.
However, we advise buyers to proceed with caution, when adding options. It doesn't take long to push the pricing into the range of a number of its non German luxury makes ... that offers more features and horsepower, but costs substantially less.
Competition: Acura ILX; Audi A3; BMW 2-Series; Jaguar XE; and Lexus IS