2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

#28
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$36,650 - $38,650
  1. Home
  2. mercedes-benz
  3. CLA-Class

6.4

Overall Rating

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

INDIGO

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

Updated on: February 5, 2020
Kiran Menon's image

Kiran Menon

Content writer

Being renowned for producing luxurious automobiles. Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker, has pitched the 2020 CLA 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.

See detailed review »

Pros

Proper Luxury car for the price.

A whole lot of standard features.

Well crafted interior.

Refinement levels have been improved significantly.

Enhanced driving dynamics.

Cons

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


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$36650

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

208 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

258 lbs.-ft. @ 1250 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift 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)

63.5/63.1

dimensions

wheelbase

107.4 in.

length

184.6 in.

width

72 in.

height

56.7 in.

curb weight

3483 lbs.

ground clearance

3.9 in.

capacity

cargo volume

13.1 cu ft.

payload capacity

1070 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

23/33/27 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

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

Styles

 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.

Ratings

Features

7.2

Fuel Economy

5.0

Exterior

7.0

6.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250

CLA 250

power
221 hp @ 5,800 RPM
fuel
Premium
mpg
28 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 (24/28/32) 221 hp @ 5,800 RPM, 2 L, Inline 4, Premium
7-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual all wheel drive 5
CLA 250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) Starting at $36,650 MSRP (25/29/35) 221 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
7-Speed Dual Clutch front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.4

Overall Rating


The CLA is an A-class 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. Powering this coupe is a force-fed 2.0L Inline-4 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 Front View
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Side View

7.2/10
Features

 
 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

7.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Features

7.2/10

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) Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 (4MATIC) Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 (4MATIC)
MSRP $36,650 $38,650 $46,900 N/A
Key features Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) with new-generation Voice Control.  4 MATIC all-wheel-drive system AMG-enhanced 2.0L Inline-4 Turbo Engine Handcrafted AMG 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine
  7” Digital Instrument Cluster and 7” touchscreen Multimedia Display Sport Seats with integrated headrests AMG SPEEDSHIFT®DCT 7-Speed  AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission
  Panorama Roof      
    Active Brake Assist AMG Performance 4MATIC AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with AMG TORQUE CONTROL
  LED Headlamps      
    Adaptive Braking Technology  AMG DYNAMIC SELECT 19” AMG Wheel rims
  Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto      
    18” AMG wheel rims AMG Sport Suspension KEYLESS-GO with Hands-Free Access
  New-generation Touchpad      
    Hill-Start Assist and brake HOLD function 3-Stage Electronic Stability Program (ESP) Auto-dimming and Power folding mirrors
  18” wheel rims      
    Crosswind Assist 10.25” Digital Instrument Cluster & 10.25” Touchscreen Multimedia Display AMG line
  DYNAMIC SELECT      
    ATTENTION ASSIST® 64-Color Ambient Lighting  
  KEYLESS-START      
    Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call Service    
  Dual-Zone Climate Control      
  Multifunction Leather Steering Wheel with shift paddles      
  Cruise Control      

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 they 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 this little Mercedes 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. This engine only comes with an automatic transmission. A 7-speed DCT 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. 

Model

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

MSRP

$36,650

$33,300

$40,750

$26,530

Engine

2.0L turbo Inline-4

2.0L turbo Inline-4

2.0L turbo Inline-4

2.0L turbo Inline-4

Transmission

7-speed DCT automatic

7-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed automatic

10-speed automatic 

Horsepower

221 hp @ 5800 rpm

184 hp @ 4400 rpm

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

252 hp @ 6500 rpm

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

221 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1750 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’s the acceleration?

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. 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-Class Sedan 0-60 MPH In Just 6.2 sec

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

0-60 MPH

6.2 secs

6.1 secs

5.6 secs

7.6 secs

Quarter mile

14.8

14.8

14.4

15.9

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

5.1

4.8

4.9

5.3

Decimating the competition would be the BMW, being the only one to put up a 0-60 time in the mid 5s. Audi narrowly manages an edge over the Merc by one tenth of a second. The Audi being significantly lighter got the advantage. The Honda 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.

How’s the ride?

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. Given that not everybody is a hooligan to hold gears longer, and drive around with tire 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?

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Front View

What about the brakes?

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” steel discs and things at the rear are dealt with using 12.6” rotors of the same material. Equipped with ABS and EBD, the car will assure a hassle-free halt in even the scariest of scenarios.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Front Brake is 13 in.

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Brakes F/ R (in.)

13 / 12.6

12.3 / 10.7

12.3 / 11.8

12.3 / 11.1

60-0 MPH (ft)

121

117

123

122

Braking is almost identical for all. The Audi 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 Merc 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

5.0/10

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 a little, such a number would be a wonder for a 221 hp engine.

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Tank Capacity

(gal)

13.5

13.2

15.6

14.8

MPG (city/ highway/ combined)

25/ 35/ 28

27/ 36/ 30

26/ 36/ 30

25/ 35/ 28

Range (city/ highway/ combined*) (miles)

338/ 473/ 378

356/ 475/ 396

406/ 562/ 468

340/ 503/ 414

Looks like the BMW with its larger fuel tank and 30 mpg combined, gets the most miles without a refill. The Honda 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!!

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior

As you step inside, the cabin 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. 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.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class Front View

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Seating capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.5/ 55.1/ 41.8

36.5/ 54.8/ 41.2

40.3/ 55.1/ 42

39.5/ 58.3/ 42.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.7/ 54/ 33.9

36.1/ 53/ 35.1

37.7/ 55.1/ 35.1

37.3/ 56.5/ 40.4

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.

How much cargo can you fit in?

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. 

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 328i

2020 Honda Accord

Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)

11.6

12.3

17.0

16.7

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 CLA has been revised. The notable interior features include:

  • MBUX infotainment system.
  • Ambient lighting with 64 different color options.
  • Dual-zone climate control. 
  • Heated seats.
  • Panoramic sunroof.
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

7.0/10

Indeed, the 2020 CLA is a looker. To be honest, we weren’t a big fan of the last generation’s styling. Utterly horrendous, with hideous proportions, the styling never matched the silhouette of the older CLA. things have changed drastically, for the better thankfully. With proportions in sync with how it should on a coupe, the CLA with its smaller dimensions looks more appealing than the CLS, dare we say? 

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class Front View

Models

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 Audi A3

2020 BMW 330i

2020 Honda Accord

Length (in)

184.6

175.5

185.7

192.2

Width (in)

72

70.7

71.9

73.3

Height (in)

56.7

55.7

56.8

57.1

Ground clearance (in)

4.3

6.3

5.7

5.8

Wheelbase (in)

107.4

103.8

112.2

111.4

Track width (in) F/R

63.5/ 63.1

61.2/ 60.1

60.3/ 61.9

63/ 63.4

Curb weight (lbs)

3362

3197

3589

3362

In comparison to its rivals, we much prefer the looks of the CLA. The reason being its sloping roofline. The Honda has gone with a fastback design 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 car offers great levels of 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
  • ATTENTION 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 v/s 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 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 v/s 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 is $3,000 cheaper than the CLA. For the extra money, the Merc has a lot to offer.

2020 Audi A3

Mercedes-Benz CLA v/s Honda Accord

This is an easy win for the Merc, Honda may overwhelm 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 may be cheaper and 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. With 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.