Review - Mercedes-Benz CLA

By Alexi Falson on 13 Jun 2022
image for Review - Mercedes-Benz CLA The Mercedes-Benz CLA Class is one of the most affordable entry-points into the three-pointed star range, which begs the question of whether or not it’s any good.

Going up against the likes of the BMW 2 Series, Audi A3 and the Jaguar XE, the Mercedes-Benz CLA has its work cut out in establishing a foothold in the premium medium-sized sedan market, so just how well does it hold up against its competitors? Let’s find out.

Starting Price: $63,400

OnlineAuto Savings: $6,171

Mercedes-Benz CLA (200) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Model CLA
Series C118 MY22
Variant 200
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1332
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5500 / 1620
Cylinders T4
Torque 250
KW 120
Fuel tank size 43.0
Fuel usage specs 5.7 / 0.0
CO2 130
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Mercedes-Benz CLA car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mercedes-Benz CLA range kicks off from $63,400 for the entry-level CLA200, which is flanked by the CLA250 4Matic at $71,600. From here, the range moves to the CLA35 4Matic which is priced at $85,900, while the range-topping CLA45 S 4Matic is priced at $112,000. 

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs. 

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What Features Does the Mercedes-Benz CLA Have?

The entry-level CLA200 comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and receives automatic LED head and tail lights, keyless entry & start, paddle shifters, wireless smartphone charging, dual-zone climate control, 64-colour ambient interior lighting, a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB+ radio and a nine-speaker sound system. 

Opting for the CLA250 adds a panoramic sunroof, remote engine start function and rear privacy glass.

Upgrading to the CLA35 AMG adds a set of 19-inch alloys, an adaptive suspension system, AMG steering and brake package, as well as an AMG exhaust and power-adjustable heated seats. 

Finally, the range-topping CLA45 AMG S receives 19-inch black alloy wheels, a surround-view camera, drift mode, AMG brakes, Matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a 12-speaker Burmester sound system. 

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloys 

  • Automatic LED head & tail lights 

  • Keyless entry & start 

  • Wireless smartphone charging 

  • Reversing camera with front & rear parking sensors 

  • 64-colour ambient lighting 

  • Dual-zone climate control 

  • 10.25-inch digital driver’s display 

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto & DAB+ 

  • Panoramic sunroof (CLA250) 

  • Remote engine start (CLA250) 

  • 19-inch alloys (CLA35 AMG)

  • Adaptive suspension (CLA35 AMG)

  • AMG steering and brake package (CLA35 AMG)

  • Power-adjustable heated seats (CLA35 AMG) 

  • Surround-view camera (CLA45 AMG S)

  • Drift mode (CLA45 AMG S)

  • Matrix LED headlights (CLA45 AMG S)

  • Adaptive cruise control (CLA45 AMG S)

  • 12-speaker Burmester sound system (CLA45 AMG S)

Mercedes-Benz CLA Colours 

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is available in a choice of nine colours, including Polar White, Mojave Silver, Night Black, Digital White, Mountain Grey, Cosmos Black, Sun Yellow, Denim Blue and Jupiter Red. 

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

While it might be one of the babies in the Mercedes-Benz range, it takes just a few moments behind the wheel of the CLA Class to realise just how impressive the package is. 

The CLA rides on a short wheelbase platform that makes it a perfect option for those looking for a sleek and stylish sedan in an agile package that is a pleasure to drive around town. 

Power is supplied by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder in the CLA200 pushing out 120kW of power and 250Nm of torque, while the CLA250 receives a 2.0-litre turbo petrol pushing out 165kW of power and 350Nm of torque, both of which put power to the ground via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. 

Both of these engines are smooth and sophisticated around town, and while they’re not performance engines, they’ve got a heap of push on offer to get you up to speed quickly. 

For those looking for a bit more power, the CLA35 AMG 4Matic pushes out 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque which makes it a genuine performer, while the range-topping CLA 45 AMG S produces a massive 310kW of power and 500Nm of torque, making it supercar-quick. 

Whichever engine you opt for, the CLA’s platform feels smooth and sophisticated around town and on long-distance journeys, while the lightweight steering rack makes it easy to navigate tight quarters and squeeze into car parks around town. 

While the suspension is on the firm side, this also translates to added stability on most surfaces, but it is something to take into account if your commute involves some rough surfaces on B-roads. 

Overall, though, the CLA Class is a fabulous little sedan that provides buyers with an attractive entry-point into the Mercedes-Benz range and will leave very few buyers feeling shortchanged. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The CLA Class shares its underpinnings with the Mercedes A Class, which means that some might be put off by its somewhat compact proportions. 

In reality, though, the front of the CLA’s cabin is outstanding in terms of both space and practicality, offering a comfortable and spacious cockpit for even the tallest of drivers, which benefits from a fully-adjustable driving position and means there’s no problems when it comes to head room or shoulder width in the front of the cabin. 

The dashboard is headlined by a trio of metallic air vents, while the high-definition 10.25-inch infotainment system and digital driver’s display are positioned in a seamless and stylish design that makes the cabin feel undeniably sophisticated. 

Practical elements up front include storage in the door bins, storage inside the sizable folding armrest, a pair of cupholders in the central tunnel and a covered sliding storage area behind the gear lever that accommodates loose items and smartphones. 

Move to the rear of the cabin and you’ll find that the CLA’s stylish sloping roof design has somewhat impacted rear occupant headroom, which can prove problematic for adults sitting in the rear of the cabin.

There’s no issues in terms of legroom for rear passengers, but the lack of headroom is something to take note of if you have a growing family. 

On that note, the rear of the CLA Class’ cabin features a pair of ISOFIX anchors on either side of the cabin, in addition to three top tether mounts for bulky and rear-facing child seats. 

Moving to cargo space, in the rear of the CLA you’ll find a boot with 460L of luggage space which is actually quite impressive for a vehicle of this segment, and makes for a surprisingly family-friendly package when it comes to boot space. 

Is it Safe? 

The Mercedes-Benz CLA has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, scoring 96% for adult protection, 92% for child protection, 91% for pedestrian protection and 76% for its active safety technologies. 

As standard, the CLA range is packaged with a rear-view camear with front and rear parking sensors, an active bonnet design, nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance, safe exit monitoring and driver attention alerts, making it feature-packed when it comes to safety equipment. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The Mercedes-Benz CLA200 is rated at 5.7L/100km on a combined cycle, which increases to 6.7L/100km in the CLA250, while the CLA35 AMG is rated at 7.5L/100km on a combined cycle. 

The performance flagship, the CLA45 AMG S is rated at 8.9L/100km, which means that the entry-level C200 is remarkably fuel-efficient for the segment, while opting for the lightning-fast AMG variants adds significantly to fuel use. 

Our Verdict: Is the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class Worth it?

As a complete package, the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class is a wonderful entry-point into the world of luxurious motoring, and with a number of variants across the range, there are a heap of options for buyers and their budget requirements. 

While the speed of the CLA45 AMG S is undeniably intoxicating, if you’re looking for a sleek and sophisticated daily commuter, the entry-level C200 and the C250 are great options that come feature-packed and are powered by a smooth and fuel-efficient engine that is an absolute pleasure to drive. 

As a result of all this variety within the range, we can’t help but recommend that you add the CLA Class to your shortlist of premium midsize sedans. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited KM warranty 

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. Four engines available 

  4. 460L of boot space 

  5. Fuel economy ranges between 5.7L - 8.9L/100km 


  • Luxurious and well-appointed cabin 

  • Smooth engine & transmission combination 

  • Great infotainment system 


  • Sloping roofline eats away at rear passenger headroom 

  • Firm ride quality on rough surfaces

OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10

Mercedes-Benz CLA Competition

Mercedes-Benz CLA

BMW 2 Series
Audi A3
Jaguar XE


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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