2019 CLA 250 New Car Test Drive
First launched as a 2014 model, the still-striking CLA sedan is billed as a “four-door coupe” by Mercedes-Benz. Compact in size but strong in finesse as well as luxury fittings, the CLA makes some near-luxury rivals from Audi and BMW look almost subdued.
Two new equipment groups, Premium and Convenience, are now included with the performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 edition, which also gains 19-inch multi-spoke AMG wheels. Otherwise, apart from a new Denim Blue body color for the 4-cylinder model, little has changed for the 2019 model year.
As before, two versions are offered: CLA 250 and AMG CLA 45. In the CLA 250, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mating with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acceleration to 60 mph is accomplished in 6.8 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the CLA 250, but 4Matic all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. The 4Matic system is front-drive oriented, but can send as much as half of engine power to the rear wheels.
The CLA 45 unleashes a 375-horsepower rendition of the 2.0-liter turbo, cranking out 350 pound-feet of torque. An AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission, also 7-speed, sends all that energy to an AMG Performance 4Matic system. Reaching 60 mph takes just a hair over 4 seconds.
Despite being marketed for several years, the CLA has never been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the latter agency has given the CLA a Superior score for frontal collision avoidance, providing optional equipment is installed. Headlights, in contrast, were rated Poor.
Standard safety equipment includes forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking, a driver attention monitor, and a rearview camera. Additional safety features are offered as options, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, LED headlights, and parking sensors.
Options for the CLA 250 include a panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system, parking sensors, and 18-inch wheels. Recaro seats can enhance the experience in a Mercedes-Benz CLA 45..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
CLA 250 ($33,100) comes with the 208-horsepower engine, dual-clutch transmission, front-wheel drive, and 17-inch wheels. Standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth connectivity, pushbutton start, dual-zone climate control, and imitation leather upholstery.
CLA 250 4Matic ($35,100) is similar to the front-drive version, but with Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4Matic ($53,100) upgrades to a 375-horsepower rendition of the turbo 2.0-liter engine. All-wheel drive, an AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission, and a sport suspension are standard. So are 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, blind-spot assist, an aerodynamics package, and heated front seats..