2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

2020 MODEL
$36,650 - $38,650
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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 17, 2020
Kiran Menon's image

Kiran Menon

Content writer

Being renowned for producing luxurious automobiles. Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker, has pitched the CLA coupe for those who want a three-pointed star, but don’t want to cough out the big bucks. Launched back in 2013, the CLA was well received, to the extent that Mercedes-Benz called it their best launch in 20 years. Selling more than 100,000 units on its debut it indeed proved a warm reception.

The 2020 CLA coupe is a 4 door midsize-luxury sedan that has gotten meaner, more powerful and has better computer wizardry than its predecessor. The latest CLA starts at $36,650 which is $3,000 more than the 2019 model but has updates that justify the bump in the price. Does the all-new 2020 CLA coupe represent what Mercedes is? should you shortlist it or should you avoid it? Read our in-depth review to find out.

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Proper Luxury car for the price.

A whole lot of standard features.

Well crafted interior.

Refinement levels have been improved significantly.

Enhanced driving dynamics.


Sloping roof eats into the rear headroom.

Cargo area got smaller than its predecessor.

Higher load lip could make loading cargo a challenge.

What's New?

Introduction of MBUX infotainment system

Updated engine with slightly more power

Interior styling upgrades

Updated exterior design


vehicle bio

base price



4dr Sedan

passenger capacity


top speed

130 mph



engine type


121 cu.in.


221 hp @ 5800 rpm


258 lbs.-ft. @ 1800 rpm


7-Speed Dual Clutch


frame type


suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)




107.4 in.


184.6 in.


72 in.


56.7 in.

curb weight

3362 lbs.

ground clearance

4.3 in.


passenger volume

37.6 cu ft.

cargo volume

11.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.


zero to 60 mph

6.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

13.8 sec.

fuel economy


24/37/29 mpg

highway range

547.6 mi.


basic warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

roadside assistance

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

Pictures & Videos

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review video
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior video


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Cosmic Blue Metallic color 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Denim Blue Metallic color 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Jupiter Red color 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Night Black color 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Sunglow Yellow color
Cosmic Blue Metallic

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




Engine And Performance


Fuel Economy












Trims and Configurations


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250

CLA 250

221 hp @ 5800 rpm
Premium unleaded
29 combined

$36,650 - $38,650

Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
CLA 250 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $38,650 MSRP (24/29/37) 221 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
7-speed auto-shift manual all wheel drive 5
CLA 250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $36,650 MSRP (24/29/37) 221 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
7-Speed Dual Clutch front wheel drive 5

Expert Review


Overall Rating

The CLA is an A-class sedan that started its journey towards becoming a C-class but hasn’t quite reached there. The CLA is Mercedes’ take on an A-class sedan with a sloping roofline. Slapping in the coupe nomenclature, Mercedes has come up with a 4-door midsize coupe lingering around $35,000 mark. Powering the CLA coupe is a force-fed 2.0L Inline-4 engine that makes a modest 221 hp. If you find this depressing there’s always an AMG on offer. Yet to be priced but still round the corner. 

Keeping the rivalry alive is the Audi A3, BMW 3 series and the Honda Accord. With the Former 2 a fairly obvious guess, the latter comes with a pinch of Japanese ingenuity. All but the Honda offers the ‘Luxury brand feel’. Let’s take an in-depth look into the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 and see how the baby Merc fairs against its competition.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Third Quarter View
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Side View



Engine and Performance


Fuel Economy










2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Features


The baby Mercedes comes in variants namely, CLA 250, CLA 250 4MATIC, CLA 35 AMG, and CLA 45 AMG. A lot of equipment comes as standard for 2020, which is good news. Given that the previous model year had you optioning most of the features. You can still option a lot for the CLA with packages ranging from basic de-chroming to an arsenal of driving aids. Some of the Packages are:

  • Exterior lighting package (includes Intelligent light system with adaptive headlights) - $900
  • Parking assistance package (Includes 360-degree camera system with parking assist features) - $1,090
  • Driver assistance package (Includes active steering assist, active blind-spot assist, and other driving aids) - $2,250
Trims Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 (FWD) Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 (4MATIC)
MSRP (FWD) $36,650  -
MSRP AWD - $38,650 
Key Features Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) with new-generation Voice Control.  Adds/Upgrades to CLA 250 FWD
  18” wheel rims 4 MATIC all-wheel-drive system
  7” Digital Instrument Cluster and 7” touchscreen Multimedia Display Sport Seats with integrated headrests
  Panorama Roof Active Brake Assist
  LED Headlamps Adaptive cruise control
  Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 18” AMG wheel rims
  New-generation Touchpad and Dual-Zone climate control HVAC Hill-Start Assist and brake HOLD function
    Crosswind Assist

All the trims use the same 2.0L turbocharged in-line 4 but, with varying state of tune. The CLA 250 produces 221 hp while the CLA 35 makes 302 hp. Top of the line CLA 45 with proper AMG treatments gets a 382 hp motor mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Which trim should you go for?

Go with the CLA 250. Optioning it with the driver assistance package and the parking assistance package will make it ideal. With a lot of standard kit on offer it definitely begs to be the sweet spot in the model range. Fancy having adaptive headlights? You’ll have to option that out which is a bummer. If you find the 250 plebeian then why hesitate, go with the full blown AMG CLA 45, it’ll not disappoint. Finding the AMG CLA 45 expensive? go with the toned down CLA 35, which is relatively cheaper but provides equally good levels of thrill.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Engine and Performance


The engine that powers the 2020 CLA is a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4, which prefers gasoline as its favorite jungle juice. Only one engine is offered for the lineup but it makes a modest 221 hp in the CLA 250 and a whopping 382hp in the top of the line AMG variant. The range of abilities this engine offers is surprising.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has 2.0L turbo Inline-4 Engine 

This engine only comes with an automatic transmission, a 7-speed dual-clutch unit for the lower variants and an 8 speed unit for the AMG. The torque figures stand at 258 lbs-ft, offering grunt from as low as 1750 rpm. 


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord







2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain FWD FWD RWD FWD


7-speed DCT automatic

7-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed automatic

10-speed automatic 

Power (hp @ rpm)





Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)





As you can see the competition overwhelms the baby Merc. With a sigh of relief provided by the Audi. the BMW just coasts along with an easy win. But one thing to note would be the Bimmer’s price, a whole $4,000 more than the Mercedes. Honda comes in second with almost similar performance figures to the BMW. A round of applause to the Japanese for having the best power to price ratio.

How well does the 2020 CLA coupe accelerate?

The Merc posts healthy figures for a sub $40,000 car. With the 221 horses, it gets from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 secs. It takes 14.8 secs for the baby Mercedes to trip the lights. Commendable performance stats for a 5 seater midsize sedan. electronically the 2020 CLA is limited to 130 mph if you pin the throttle hard.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class hits 0-60 MPH in 6.2 sec

The car prefers gulping premium gasoline and it chugs out 5.1 tonnes of C02 via its tailpipes. Offending set of news to the tree-huggers out there. Bear with the flow guys, change is progressive, not sudden.


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

0-60 MPH (sec)





Quarter Mile (sec)





Top speed (MPH) 130 130 130  130


2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 emissions @ 15k mi/yr)





Decimating the competition would be the BMW 3 series, being the only one to put up a 0-60 time in the mid 5s. The Audi A3 narrowly manages an edge over the Merc by one tenth of a second. The Audi being significantly lighter got the advantage. The Honda Accord is the least performing and the most polluting out of the bunch. Lets just conclude with the fact that the CLA can haul but, to a respectable degree.

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How good is the ride and handling of the 2020 CLA coupe?

The CLA offers a very comfortable ride. The steering responses seem direct enough, earning it a decent pat on the back. As you move along the transmission offers effortless shifts, making the commute that much more luxurious. Building the revs with some spirited driving brings trust in the chassis, but the engine becomes stressed with an audible scream, which is very unpleasant. 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front View

Given that not everybody is a hooligan to hold gears longer, and drive around with tires squealing all the time, the car has appreciable if not better refinement levels. The turning radius of the car is small and gives good confidence while parking and executing U-turns. When pootling around at city speeds the car feels as refined as any C-class or an E-class, dare we say?

What about the brakes offered on the 2020 CLA coupe?

The standard brakes offered on the CLA are steel discs with ventilation on all 4 wheels. Go for the AMG line and it gets cross-drilled and ventilated brake rotors up front and normal discs at the rear. Managing braking duties upfront are 13” discs and things at the rear are dealt with using 12.6” rotors of the same material.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class' Front Brakes are 13 in.

Equipped with Anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), electronic stability program (ESP) and a host of electronic nannies, the car will assure a hassle-free halt in even the scariest of scenarios.


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Brakes Rotors Front (in)





Brake Rotors Rear (in) 12.6 10.7 11.8 11.1

Curb Weight (lbs)





60-0 MPH (ft)





Braking is almost identical for all. The Audi A3 being the lightest of the lot manages to shed speed the quickest. The only one to record a distance under 120 ft. The rest of the bunch post nearly similar distances with the CLA getting a halt sooner than the rest. A very diplomatic answer would be that you’ll be stopping pretty quickly regardless of the vehicle. 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Fuel Economy


For those who worry about the environment and of course the polar bears, will be pleased to know the Mercedes has passed all that what the EPA has thrown at them. The CLA with its 13.5-gallon fuel tank gets a combined fuel rating of 28 mpg. Force-feeding the engine has done the trickery. Rewinding back to the early 90s, such a number would be borderline impossible for a 221 hp engine.


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway) 35 36 36 35
MPG (Combined) 28 30 30 28

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)





Range (City/Hwy/Combined) (mi)





Looks like the BMW 3 series with its larger fuel tank and 30 mpg combined, gets the most miles without a refill. The Honda Accord comes in second and the Merc falls last. Overall the better package in this test is the BMW 3 series. The second best is the Honda Accord, followed by the Audi A3. The CLA 250 comes in last, Mercedes has to up their game in this respect. Give it a bigger fuel tank or in the words of Jeremy clarkson, more POWER!!

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior


As you step inside, the interior of the 2020 CLA coupe is filled with a mix of leather and Alcantara, to emphasize the sporty characteristics. Red stitching and piping are lavishly used inside the CLA. The massive Touch screen displays dominate the interior with turbine-like air vents assisting it. the center console hosts a sliding cubby space with modestly deep cupholders, moreover, the center console also houses the touchpad which can be used to control the MBUX system. to be honest it is a very intuitive infotainment system.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class Front View

Fit and finish have improved tremendously from the previous generation. Now the cabin genuinely feels premium, unlike its predecessor which felt like a cheap department store. plus the seats are offered with slightly better bolstering to grip you tight when those G forces hit you while cornering hard.


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Seating Capacity





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





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





The extra wheelbase that it gained is put to good use. The interior head/legroom has increased noticeably. However, the sloping roofline eats into the rear headroom. Couple that with the rear seats which are placed quite deep, the overall experience at the back is not comfortable for long journeys.

What are the infotainment features offered inside the 2020 CLA?

The 2020 CLA has a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system and has a 7 inch digital instrument cluster. The Mercedes Benz User Experience (MBUX) comes as standard for this generation and has a host of innovative features ranging from voice recognition to augmented reality assisted navigation. The user interface is simple and the screen offers crisp and sharp graphics. The infotainment screen is very responsive and can be used via touch, a physical controller or using the steering wheel mounted buttons. Some of the standard infotainment features are as follows:

  • Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)
  • Voice control with natural language understanding
  • "Hey Mercedes" keyword activation
  • 7-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 7-inch touchscreen multimedia display
  • Touchpad controller
  • Steering wheel touch control buttons
  • Five USB-C ports
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Hands-free bluetooth interface
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • HD radio receiver

How much cargo can you fit inside the 2020 CLA coupe?

The sleek looks not only eats into the rear space but also takes the boot capacity far south. Fancy thing is that rear seats can be folded down from the boot itself, which could help get more space. Also the seats split 40:20:40 which can help you load long skies if you so wish to take the CLA as your skiing companion. 


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 328i

2020 Honda Accord

Cargo Capacity (ft3)





It can be evidently concluded as to how trunk space is not the forte of the CLA. Honda by sporting the fastback design manages a second. The BMW only scores a 0.3 cu.-ft edge over the Honda but it was enough for the win. Audi comes in third with an incremental margin over the Mercedes.

Interior Features

The interior of the 2020 CLA has been revised from the much dated 2019 CLA's interiors. The notable interior features include:

  • MBUX infotainment system which activates with "Hey Mercedes" voice command.
  • Ambient lighting with 64 different color options.
  • Dual-zone climate control. 
  • Heated seats.
  • Panoramic sunroof.
  • steering wheel mounted controls
  • Turbine style air vents
  • 4 way adjustable steering column
  • Power front seats with 3-position memory
  • Auto dimming inside and driver-side rearview mirrors
  • Sporty front seats
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Interior

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Exterior


Indeed, the 2020 CLA is a looker. To be honest, we weren’t a big fan of the last generation’s styling. The 2019 CLA had hideous proportions and the styling never matched the silhouette of the car. things have changed drastically, for the better thankfully with the 2020 CLA coupe.  

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class Front View

With proportions in sync with how it should on a coupe, the CLA with its smaller dimensions looks more appealing than its elder sibling the CLS, dare we say? to be honest the 2020 CLA  just became one of most attractive propositions under $40,000.


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Curb Weight (lbs)





Length (in)





Width (in)





Height (in)





Ground Clearance (in)





Wheelbase (in)





In comparison to its rivals, we much prefer the looks of the CLA. The reason being its sloping roofline. Honda has gone with a fastback design with the Accord which is not bad but unique rather. Others sport the age-old sedan shape, which might be the taste for some but, hey, why not experiment? Its 2020 let your imaginations fly.

Exterior Features

Some of the notable exterior features include:

  • Sloping roofline.
  • Muscular hood with power dome-like creases.
  • Air curtain on the bumpers to direct airflow along the sides.
  • Frameless doors.
  • The three-pointed star functions as the exterior boot release.
  • Back-up camera cleverly integrated into the trunk release.
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Exterior

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Safety


Yes indeed. With all the safety tech that you can think of (Most of them being optional) the 2020 CLA offers great levels of safety and assurance. If on an unlucky day you decided to wedge the car between two trees, you may be pleased to know that you could come out unharmed. If you’re very unlucky you could end up in a ‘grave’ situation. Who are we to predict eh?, anyways here is the list of standard safety tech on offer in the 2020 CLA coupe:

  • Active Brake Assist
  • Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call
  • Blind Spot Assist with Exit Warning Assist
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Aluminum and high-strength steel body structure
  • 7 airbags
  • Adaptive braking technology
  • Advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Competition


Mercedes-Benz CLA vs BMW 3-series

No doubt the BMW as seen in our comparisons has triumphed the Merc. However, Mercedes has pulled out a genuinely nice car. Given that the BMW 3 series is a good $4,000 more the Merc feels the bargain. If performance is your USP then it is the BMW, without doubt.

2020 BMW 3-series

Mercedes-Benz CLA vs Audi A3

The Audi is significantly underpowered when up against the Merc. Comparing both of them, the CLA is the better car, given its more powerful, looks better and has better driving dynamics. Audi A3 is $3,000 cheaper than the CLA. For the extra money, the Merc has a lot to offer.

2020 Audi A3

Mercedes-Benz CLA vs Honda Accord

This is an easy win for the Merc, how? Honda overwhelms the Mercedes in every aspect but one. The brand. The three-pointed star has a level of charisma that cannot be rivaled by the ‘H’ from Japan. The Accord is cheaper to own and is more powerful, but it’s not a Mercedes. That statement speaks for itself, does it not?

2020 Honda Accord

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Final Verdict

The baby Mercedes has now officially become a part of the clan. It has become the entry-level car that Mercedes intended. CLA with its improved driving dynamics, updated interiors and increased refinement levels, the Mercedes CLA coupe is more than just the moniker. Easily justifying its $36,000 asking price, the 2020 CLA is the cheapest way to own a luxury coupe that performs as good as it looks.

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