Since its introduction in 2013, the recently-born CLA-class has been an undoubted success in sales. The German car maker likes to remind to all the potential customers that this is the class for the tight budgets, which is a good way to sell a Mercedes.
While sales are increasing every year that goes, Mercedes decided to bring a slight refreshment to this outstanding class. The changes are quite minor but attention-worthy. These will be almost exclusive on the visuals. The design will enjoy few tweaks in order to modernize what was already modern. Engine and transmission remain the same.
The CLA-class received almost zero complaints in the past few years. All the way around, it has been loved by many and praised by the specialized media. Having this in mind, we can consider that Mercedes is a company genuinely worried about quality. Making unnecessary improvements could be a risky bet. Sometimes the outcome is the degradation of an amazing product. We doubt this is one of those unfortunate cases.
Let’s take a deep look at the features and changes.
Powertrain and Specs
The CLA-class will pack the same powerplants as always. For the CLA250, we are getting a turbocharged 2.0 L 4-cylinder denominated as the M270 by the maker. This engine will be capable of producing up to 208 hp. On the other hand, the CL45 powered by AMG will pack the exact same turbo 2.0 L 4-cylinder which can generate 375 hp and 350 lb-ft.
The CLA250, which is cheaper, will come with a front-wheel-drive transmission as standard while the 4MATIC will be available as well. The CLA45 will enjoy the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive as standard.
An interesting change for this upcoming CLA-class is that an automatic emergency-braking system will come as standard now, being called as the Active Brake Assist. The same for the rearview camera, which was an expensive option in previous presentations.
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Form and Comfort
Here is where the CLA-class made the most notable changes (or improvements, depending on the taste). The designing team at Mercedes had the objective of simplifying things in the front fascia. Now we see a cleaner design with less unnecessary detailing. Also, the changes aim to create a similarity with the debuting E-class.
The front end delivers a serious feeling. It is impossible to guess that this is an affordable car when you see it coming. The standard headlights are sexy but the full-LED ones are available as a superior option. On the CLA45, the black detailing provided by AMG makes the fascia even more intimidating. In the meanwhile, the front on the CLA250 is way more elegant, mainly thanks to the diamond-dotted grille.
On a side, the lines are almost the same while the wheels are debuting a new design. Back in the rear end, the taillights are slimmer and more horizontal than before. The diffuser is appealing on both CLA250 and CLA45. Also, it’s important to know that the CLA250 could look almost identical to the CLA45 if the buyer selects the AMG design package. This pack brings improvements for the bumpers and lighting elements.
Inside the cabin, both variants differ a lot. The CLA45, as expected from an AMG model, is way sportier. The bucket seats, just like the rest of the interior, feature a red detailing. This exciting coloring is present in several elements, like the seat belts and the air conditioner outlets. The CLA250 is still premium but lacks excitement. An 8-inch touchscreen is placed on top of the center console in both variants.
The Bottom Line
The CLA-class offers two amazing variants for different types of drivers. While the CLA250 aims to a more conservative, elegant user, the CLA45 powered AMG delivers excitement. Fortunately, both models had been characterized by their affordability.
Official prices have not been announced yet but we can assume, based on past years’ models, that the CLA250 will start around $33,000.