Tall drivers will face similar problems with the upcoming BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, as BMW also went the way of the “four-door coupe” with this model. The Audi A3 is a traditional sedan, but the CLA still offers more boot space (though, Audi has more legroom). The Acura offers the same headroom as the ILX CLA, but more legroom and trunk space. It is also worth noting that for the price of the CLA you can get a furnished midside sedan from a major brand, with a lot more room than any of these cars.
At least the CLA’s interior looks more sophisticated than the average Toyota. The material is definitely a step down from other Mercedes models, but it is of a premium quality. Both of the CLA models we tested felt very comfortable keeping in mind the sporty character of the car, with more cushioning feel in the CLA 250 on those seats and additional support on the AMG CLA 35. We loved the interior, especially the distinctive round air vents and independent horizontal screens. In our view, it is better than the odd compact screen used in more expensive Mercedes cars.
The single screen, which Mercedes designers call a “skateboard”, works on a traditional infotainment touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster. Mercedes drawings have come a long way. The default gauges are more straightforward than those found in Mercedes’s flagship S-Class a few years ago. The text uses Mercedes’s distinctive writing style, giving everything a unique identity without compromising clarity.
The display runs the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, which was introduced in the A-Class. That means you’ll get the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a voice assistant that (officially) responds to the prompt “Hey, Mercedes” (only) “Mercedes” will suffice, we found.
Voice assistants in cars can surprise us, but we can see ourselves using it every day. When we needed to replace SiriusXM terminals or adjust climate control, we found ourselves saying “Hey, Mercedes” instead of hitting the touchscreen. Voice recognition is not correct (even vague terms like “Mercedes” will activate it spontaneously), but this is enough to make CLA’s touchpad controller redundant.
When it comes to infotainment control, the CLA offers plenty of options. The touchscreen is responsive and easy to use, and is enhanced with shortcut buttons for important menus. Like other Mercedes models, the CLA logically arranged steering wheel control.
Both CLA models we felt deserve the Mercedes Triceps Star in terms of ride quality and overall improvement. The AMG form is legally faster. But the CLA also fails to stand out from the crowd.
All CLA models feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a seven-liter dual-clutch transmission. The CLA 250 is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, while the AMG CLA 35 is all-wheel drive.
The AMG CLA 35 uses the same engine as the CLA 250, but with modifications that increase the output to 302 hp and 295 l. The Audi S3 – AMG’s closest competitor – can crowd out 288 hp and 280 lb-ft. The Merc is ten seconds faster than Audi at zero to 60 mph, working in 4.6 seconds.
On the road, the AMG CLA 35 does not sound as fast as the number indicated. AMG may have built its reputation on hot and fast rods, but the CLA 35 is too afraid to compromise its superb proportions for fun. We also excluded cooling. We see that the situation will improve when the Stiffer AMG CLA takes 45 roads.
The CLA 250 has enough power to exploit its flaws in traffic (we can see it after running it during the end of the morning rush in Phoenix) and it absorbs the bumps well, but it is noticeable. Is not eligible. This is a problem. It is a Mercedes, and its owners expect it to feel special.
Coming to the United States as the first line of Mercedes compact cars, the first-generation CLA lowered the barrier to entry into the luxury luxury brand. In terms of technology, the rebuilt Mercedes-Benz CLA 2020 is a much larger upgrade than the previous generation. Yet it is still not as confident as before.
This is because Mercedes now has another four-door compact, A-Class. Both cars are built on the same platform, and feature the same technology. The differences are mainly due to the design – and the price. Mercedes incorporated the A-Class as an opportunity to increase the price of the CLA. The base CLA 250 model starts at $ 37,645. This is $ 4,150 more than the base A-Class, and $ 3,600 more than the 2019 CLA.
Like the previous generation, Mercedes 2020 calls the CLA a “four-door coupe”. This is a category that was invented by Mercedes with the larger CLS class, and refers to four-door cars with a design that is more elegant than the larger sedan. The CLA highlights this difference.
The main difference between the CLA and its A-Class sibling is at the rear. While the A-Class features a square rear, the CLA has a more streamlined version common to the two-door coupe from Mercedes. There is also a three-quarter rear view where the lower roof line of the CLA is visible. When riding in this car from the front, it is easy to confuse the CLA with the A-Class, because apart from these two major design changes, it basically is.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but tape measurements show that the CLA’s most expressive design comes with a slight penalty on interior space. While the 2020 CLA is slightly larger than the previous model, this lower roof means that you get less headroom in the A-Class. However, CLA provides more luggage space. Overall, the CLA appears to balance form and function well.