This is the new 2020 mercedes-benz CLA and it’s. The new baby, Mercedes Benz, except it isn’t, really the baby Mercedes Benz, because that’s. The a-class, which I’ve, already reviewed. Instead, the CLA is intended to be sort of a sporty daring, baby, mercedes-benz for people who want something a bit more exciting than the a-class, and today I’m going to review it.
I’ve borrowed this CLA from Fletcher Jones motorcars, which is the gold standard of mercedes-benz dealerships located here in Newport Beach in Orange County in Southern California. Now Fletcher Jones obviously has all of the latest mercedes-benz models and they’ve.
Recently gotten the new CLA, which is just starting to go on sale nationally. So let’s talk CLA now the original CLA launched for the 2014 model year and it was a big deal when it came out. A new entry-level Mercedes Benz, positioned below the c-class, with a starting price of under $ 30,000.
But then earlier this year, Mercedes Benz debuted a new model below the CLA. The new a-class, which I reviewed and I was surprisingly impressed with – and that meant that the CLA had to change, and so it has the CLA is now no longer the entry-level model, but rather a cooler, more exciting alternative for drivers who want something more interesting than The a-class the CLA has swoopy ER, sporty-er, styling and mercedes-benz calls it a coupe, even though you know it has four doors.
The CLA also outperforms the a-class. The clas base engine has 208 horsepower, which is 20 more than the a-class, but the extra power and the swoopy styling comes at a price. The CLA starts around $ 5,000, more expensive than an a-class and as a starting price of around 37 thousand five hundred dollars with shipping, and today I’m gonna find out what it’s like first, I’m.
Going to take you on a tour of the new CLA and I’m, going to show you all of its interesting quirks and features. Then I’m gonna get it out on the road and drive it and then I’m, going to give it a Doug score and for more of my thoughts on the new CLA click, the link below to visit autotrader.
com, slash Oversteer, where I’ve, also rounded up a list of the most expensive, older mercedes-benz models currently listed for sale on auto trader. Alright, I’m gonna start the quirks and features of the CLA with probably its biggest quirk, and that would be the fact that it is yellow, really bright.
New York City, taxi cabs, speed, bump warning paint, school bus, Big Bird yellow, which is unusual because you go to a mercedes-benz dealership these days and most cars are gray, silver white, occasionally dark blue, but this one is yellow.
Now you might be wondering what does mercedes-benz charge extra for this color? After all, we’re in a world where car colors have become tremendously expensive. Porsche will charge ten thousand dollars for a dark blue that looks slightly different from some other dark blue.
So what does it cost to get a Mercedes painted bright, yellow? The answer is nothing. It’s, free, look at the window sticker and you can see that Sun yellow is no charge. It doesn’t cost you a penny extra to get your CLA painted to resemble a banana.
Nevertheless, I suspect we won’t, be seeing too many yellow ones, and since I’m on the outside of the CLA, let’s. Talk styling. Now the overall profile of the new CLA looks a lot like the old one. So much that, at a quick glance, you probably won’t even know that anything’s changed, but there are some big differences and one of them is up front.
The old front end is gone. The new one, far more closely resembles the new mercedes-benz CLS, which has a nicer, more expensive car. This has that kind of baby CLS look to it in the front, and I think it helps sell the fact that the CLA is in fact the sporty-er more exciting version of the a-class and it’s.
The same story around back the rear. End of the CLA has also changed considerably. The license plate is lowered down and the general overall look makes this car seem like a baby version of the CLS or even the AMG GT 4-door, which is a really excellent and very expensive car.
The new rear end styling, definitely modernizes the CLA, and it gives it sort of the baby expensive Mercedes look and since I’m around back a couple of interesting things back here, one of which is the backup camera.
You look back here and you don’t, see one that’s because it pops out of the Mercedes, then star. You shift into reverse and this little star logo on the trunk, pops open and the backup camera points down, and then it shows you what’s behind you? You go back into drive and it folds right back flush with the trunk, so the backup camera isn’t just sitting there looking ugly it’s only out when it’s in use.
Now. The really interesting thing here is the mercedes-benz star is also the trunk opener. You walk up to this car, it’s, unlocked you push the top of it and then you can use it as a handle to open up the trunk and that’s.
How you get into the trunk of the CLA anyway, you open up the trunk, and the first thing you notice is it’s? Surprisingly large? This is sort of the compact little mercedes-benz model, but this trunk is very, very big.
It’s, really good packaging. If you want to carry around a lot of cargo, you can do it in your CLA and next up. We move inside the new CLA, and the first thing you notice when you get in here, is that the interior is radically updated compared to the outgoing model.
In fact, the interior in here is pretty much identical to what you have in the new a-class, and that is a good thing. In fact, a great thing, my biggest complaint about the old CLA was the interior quality.
It was the cheapest Mercedes and it felt like the cheapest Mercedes on the inside. That is no longer true. The interior has been dramatically dramatically improved for the new CLA. Now a few examples of this improvement.
For one thing, the center control stack in the old car was this ugly plastic thing looked terrible that is gone replaced by these buttons and dials that are far far nicer. Looking the steering wheel in the old CLA really looked old-school, not very nice, gone again replaced by this new steering wheel.
That is far better and looks far nicer and just the overall appearance and materials in the interior. Far far nicer, there’s. No cheap plastic staring at you in any obvious places. Everything is much better.
Take a look, for example, at the door panel on this aluminum trim. It looks like something you would see on a car that cost twice what this one does. Everything is just way’we improved in the interior and speaking of interior improvements.
The climate vents are nicer in the new CLA. I never thought the old ones were that bad, but the new ones are better mostly because they have a cool hidden feature. If you’re sitting on the passenger side and you increase the climate control temperature, the passenger side, climate vents turn red because it’s getting warmer.
If you decrease the temperature, they turn blue because it’s. Getting cooler – and this same happens on the driver side, you increase the temperature, the driver side, vents turn red if you decrease, as they turn blue.
I think this is one of the coolest little hidden easter eggs. They absolutely did not have to do this, but it’s. A good example of increased attention to detail, but the biggest improvement in the new CLA of all the improvements is undoubtedly the technology.
The new CLA uses MBU X, which is mercedes-benz, new infotainment system. The new a-class uses it too, and it is truly fantastic. There are many things I like about it. I’m, going to start with just how controllable it is.
A lot of new infotainment systems have a touchscreen which is nice. Some have little controls in the center console, which is fine. This has both of those you can use it as a touchscreen. If you prefer – or you can use the controls in the center console, if you prefer that they are completely redundant, nothing is saved for one or the other, so you just used whatever makes you feel more comfortable and you can also use various controls on the steering Wheel to also move around in the infotainment system, if you prefer that so you have three different ways of controlling it and you can talk to it.
Take a listen, hey, Mercedes. How may I help you? I’m cold. I’m setting the temperature on the driver side to 71 degrees. You can also say a lot more than that once the car is like registered and connected to Mercedes Benz, but I’ll.
Leave that for the first owner to do, but it’s, a situation. You can even say I’m hungry and it’ll pop up a list of restaurants, so there are many different ways to control this system. That is really fantastic.
You’re, not locked into just a touchscreen or just controls. You can pick, but the benefits of mb UX go well beyond its controllability. It’s, also just insanely intuitive, for example. Here I am on the home screen and you can see several different areas.
You have navigation, radio settings, that sort of thing and the cool thing is right below all the main icons. You have two little minor icons for the most used features in each section. That way, you can just drop down to one of the smaller icons and click on it without having to go through all sorts of different menus.
For example, here we are on the Comfort section now you could click that and go through various different menus and screens or just use one of the shortcuts on the bottom. That takes you to seat controls and ambient light controls.
Since those are the comfort items you would use most frequently and then we move on to another fantastic feature of nbu X, and that would be the themes all right check this out. This car has so much you can configure.
You can configure the screens the climate controls, the ambient lighting color, the stereo and on and on, and it just gets to be too much so instead of configuring everything individually, you can just select a theme and it will configure all of it around the theme.
For example, choose experience and it makes the car as sporty as possible. The gauge cluster goes into their sporty look and it pulls up the tachometer. The infotainment system pulls up your engine information, your current horsepower and that sort of thing and the ambient lighting turns yellow, which I guess is the sporty color.
Now again, if you wanted to do all this stuff on your own, you’d, have to go through various different menus to change the infotainment, the gauge cluster, the lighting, but with a theme it all happens instantly and the coolest part is you can Make your own themes check this out.
You go over to create a theme, and the first thing it lets you choose is what radio station or audio you want to have pulled up. When you select your theme, you can also change what appears in the gauge cluster.
Then you go to the next screen, you can choose what infotainment screen shows up when you turn on your specific theme and then it allows you to choose what background image you want tied to your theme and then you can name it and now every time you Go to your theme, all of that stuff pops up at once, so you don’t have to select it individually.
Another cool feature this car has is something called traffic sign Assist as you’re driving along the car, will monitor the road and read speed limit signs, and then it will tell you the current speed limit right here in the gauge cluster, which is Really really useful: if you’re driving along you’ve forgotten what it is it’s, always there now the cool thing is.
It will also alert you if you’re going over the speed limit and you can configure how those alerts are delivered to be visual. Only it can be visual and audible, so it’ll beep at you. If you’re going too fast, or you can just turn it off, if you don’t want to be alerted when you go over the speed limit, and you can also adjust the threshold at which it alerts you, you can have It let you know the moment you exceed the speed limit or you can have it wait until you’re 5 miles an hour over now.
Next up, I want to move on to MBU X’s navigation system because it’s, really really fantastic, a large fullscreen system, high resolution and very responsive to your touch. You can move your finger around and it moves almost as quickly as Google Maps or whatever app you use in your smartphone.
I really really like it, but a lot of automakers are now coming up with very quick to respond navigation systems. One thing that sets this apart is the ability to enter a destination on the keypad. You can wait the address where you want to go on the keypad.
You can see. I’ve written an A, and the screen has recognized that I’ve written an A I’ve written a B, and the screen has recognized that I’ve written a B and you can just write A full address that way now a lot of cars offer that feature, but the cool thing here is: you can write full words check this out.
I am now writing out the word something you can see. I’m going through each letter and I’m, not pausing, to give the system time to realize what I’ve typed in. But then, when you finish, you look up at the system and it reads the entire word.
So you can enter full words for your destination entry, no more waiting for each individual letter to be recognized, and that means you can type in a destination in like 3 seconds, and then the navigation system will start sending you there pretty cool now.
The other thing I really love about MBU ex is the fact that the gauge cluster screen behind the steering wheel is also tremendously configurable and very intuitive. Now, at the top of this screen in the middle, you have the clock, the outside temperature and the speedometer.
Those things are fixed, they can’t, be changed, they’re, always there, but everything else is up for grabs for you to configure the screen. However, you prefer so over on the left. It doesn ‘ T have to be the speedometer.
You can also select various different vehicle functions. If you’d, rather see something else because remember, the speedometer is always fixed in the middle of the screen in the middle. You can also scroll through various different menus that show other pieces of information you can choose which one you want best and over on the right you don’t have to have a tachometer there.
Again, you can scroll through various different things, including the navigation map, can show up right there in the gauge cluster screen. Now. The only drawback I see to this gauge cluster screen is the fact that you can’t have a full screen map in there.
The biggest it can get is the size of one of those circles over on the right, but, unlike in some other car infotainment systems, the navigation map is very close by directly to the right of the steering wheel in the middle and not too high on the Dashboard or too low to easily be seen so, even though you can’t put it fullscreen in the gauge cluster, it’s really close, and it’s almost as good, but anyway, moving on from the infotainment system.
Although that is the big story in the new CLA, because it’s, such a great system, Mercedes, has developed, but there are other interesting quirks and features in this interior, starting with the cupholders which are kind of nifty.
You can see right now. They just look like cupholders, but if you press this little black button at the top, you can see this little piece extends upwards. That is intended to allow you to put a smaller drink in the cup holder and still make sure it won.
‘t fall over and that way you can vary the size of the drink you put in the cup holder and it won’t spill. Now. Another cool thing right next to the cup holders at the very bottom of the centre, control stack, you have a wireless charger, you put your phone on it and it charges nothing particularly interesting, but I like the fact that there’s.
This little like handle that comes out from the car that keeps your phone in place. So if you go over a big it won’t shoot out of that wireless charger; instead it stays nice and snug thanks to that handle and next up.
Another interesting item in this interiors the fact that they turn signal stock and the gear lever stock are now basically the same. Obviously, the turn signals on the left. The gear lever is on the right, but it is the same exact size and shape that’s.
Interesting to me, because it’s crazy. How much the gear selector has been de-emphasized in modern cars. When I was a kid, it was this giant thing in the middle of all car interiors. Now it’s, just a little plastic thing, no bigger than the stock you used to put on your turn signal and next up.
Another item worth pointing out in this interior. I really don’t like the way mercedes-benz. Does the heated seat button, so you can see over on the door panel. You have a heated seat button next to a blank switch that’s.
Where the ventilated seat button would be, if you had gotten it, but you didn’t, and so it always sits there and reminds you that you got one nice seat, climate control feature, but not both. I wish they could figure out a way to eliminate that blank switch on cars that don’t have ventilated seats.
It does not look good with that said. One button related item – I absolutely love in here is the ease with which you can turn off auto start/stop, that’s. The feature that automatically turns off the car at like a traffic light.
If you’re stopped in order to save fuel the button to turn that off is right in the center control stack right below the engines. Start/Stop button very easy. Some people don’t like this feature they like to turn it off and some automakers bury the control for it deep in some menu.
But in this thing it’s. Just a simple button. You can press if you don’t want it on and one other item. I love in this car is the camera system. The sticker price on this particular CLA is only right around $ 50,000 and in the realm of the mercedes-benz that’s very much at the low end.
Usually they make you pay more for features like a really good camera system, but not in this car. This has it all. You can see wide angle in the front wide angle in the back. It has very high resolution cameras, top-down 360 view.
It has basically every camera feature you could possibly want, and it’s nice to see that in kind of a middle optioned, basically entry-level, mercedes-benz and next up. We move on to the backseat of the new CLA, where you have three across seating.
You have three seats back here to outboard seats and a middle seat like you have in most sedans, but the first thing you notice when you climb back here, is that it’s, pretty tight in the back seat of the CLA, no question about It this is a small car with a slopey roofline, and it is kind of tight back here I can manage sitting back.
Here is a somewhat tall adult, but it is not tremendously comfortable for my knees or for my head. If you want more space, the a-class offers a little bit more, but if you really want more space back here, you ‘
Ll want a c-class with that set. A couple of interesting items worth mentioning back here. One is that if you pull down this panel at the back of the front center console you can see, there are two USB C ports for rear passengers, which is nice very useful for charging devices if you want.
And finally, the last thing worth mentioning back here is that I really like the look of the rear seats. They’re very sporty. They have this Alcantara seat Center. They have almost a sport seat, look to them with this red stitching and it really kind of helps to delineate the CLA and it’s.
Sporty ER feel and presence from the a-class, which is intended to be more of a mainstream vehicle. And next up, we move under the hood in the CLA 250 and you can see it’s engine a 2-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder.
That makes 208 horsepower. Now I mentioned before, the CLA has more horsepower than the base a-class, the a 220, but it’s worth noting that they share the same engine. They both have this 2-liter turbo 4-cylinder, but the a 220 has 188 horsepower.
The CLA has 208 to kind of emphasize its sporty nature, and so those are the quirks and features of the new mercedes-benz CLA. Now it’s time to get it out on the road and see how it drives alright driving the new CLA.
The really impressive thing here is the interior and the new technology, which is just trim the MB? U X, probably the best infotainment system in the car industry right now, yes, better than Tesla, just based on its ease of use.
How intuitive it is, how controllable it is in multiple ways, really really impressive and, of course, because it also includes the gauge cluster situation and it’s. Amazing that mercedes-benz is rolling out this feature in some of their less expensive models.
Cla class. Have it before a lot of the more expensive mercedes-benz? Do it definitely feels a lot peppier than any class? In fact, it’s surprising to me, because it only has 20 more horsepower than the a-class, but it feels considerably faster.
It’s just got a lot more pet. Surprisingly quick throttle response, which is not something I usually say about turbo for cylinders that have about 200 horsepower. Usually they’re. They’re slow to respond to anything, but this one is pretty good nice comfortable ride in here, right surprisingly, well, actually better than I expected it to one thing I’m really impressed with with this car.
Specifically, is the price tag? This one is only fifty thousand dollars and that’s, a lot of money, obviously, but the average new car is thirty, seven thousand dollars – and this strikes me as far better than the average new car – not just a little better, not just ten thousand Dollars better but way way better.
It has excellent new tech, it has a great brand name. The mercedes-benz name is still obviously really strong. It feels like a luxury car to drive it’s, reasonably peppy, given all the stuff. This thing includes back in the day you had the basement or Sade’s.
You didn’t, get navigation. You didn’t get heated seats. You didn’t. Get this really nice stitched leather. All these safety features, this thing is just kind of I mean in them in the Mercedes realm anyway.
It is a massive bargain. Steering and handling is OK. It’s, actually a little lazier than I expected. The steering precision is not like a sports car or to me even like a sporty car. The AMG models are far better, even the sort of fake AMG, the 43 cars you know intending to be the sporty version of the entry-level Mercedes.
It does a decent job with the styling. It does a decent job, in my opinion, with the acceleration, but I’m, not really feeling it with the handling. Briefly, in my mind, this is a great car and I think it’s.
Very comparable to the a-class – and I think it very much is worth considering if you’re, looking for like a nice luxury car for not much money and you no longer have to put up with having a very basic crappy, interior and horrible tech.
You can now get a nice luxury car for not much money. Personally, I probably would rather have the a-class. I just don’t find the differences to be that substantial between the two cars, the CLA is great.
If you’re. Looking for the sporty, this would be styling, the better look, but now that the a-class exists it’s cheaper and it’s, pretty similar with a lot of the similar technology. But both are pretty good when you’re in the world of entry-level luxury cars.
Mercedes-Benz is definitely building the best ones right now, and so that’s. The new mercedes-benz CLA. This is an excellent car, although, with the arrival of the new a-class, the CLA s, market position has narrowed considerably.
Still, if you want a cool Mercedes without spending big money for a really expensive Mercedes, this might be your ticket, and now it’s. Time to give the CLA a Doug score, starting with the weekend categories in styling, the CLA 250 looks nice enough.
A good improvement over the last one and it gets a six out of ten. Acceleration is good for the segment to zero to 60 and 6.2 seconds, and that gets it. A three out of 10 handling is normal for this segment, not quite as sporty as the design might suggest, and it gets a 4 out of 10 fun factor is average.
It’s actually fairly normal to drive. It gets a 3 out of 10. Cool factor is also ok. These are cool, but they’re known to be the entry-level Mercedes. So it’s, not especially head-turning, and it gets a 4 out of 10 for a total weekend score of 20 out of 50 next up are the daily categories and features.
The CLA is loaded with some really impressive tech, and it gets an 8 out of 10. Comfort is normal for this segment. It gets a 7 out of 10 quality same deal pretty normal inside and it gets a 7 out of 10 practicality is average, no better.
Thanks to a small backseat and it gets a 5 out of 10 finally value, and I think this is a good value. It’s, pricey for an entry-level car but cheap for a well-equipped Mercedes, and it gets a 6 out of 10 for a total daily score of 33 out of 50 added up in the dug score is 53 out of 100, which places it here Against other entry level, luxury models, including a few SUVs, the new CLA beats out the 8th class as the CLA has a slightly higher weekend score and the CLA scores, respectively, against even some more expensive models like the BMW 330i in the Tesla Model.