2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45
- Generous list of standard features
- Potent performance from the AMG CLA 45
- Athletic handling instills confidence
- Luxury badging without the premium price
- Engine and transmission are slow to respond at low speeds
- Ride can be rather stiff
- Rear seats are confining
- Some interior elements aren't up to luxury car standards
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which CLA-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating3.5 / 5
The Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star is one of the most recognizable luxury badges in the world. The fact that acquiring one typically sets you back a hefty sum has been well established, but that's not necessarily the case with the 2018 CLA-Class. For about the same price as a non-luxury sedan, you can get a lot of Mercedes charm and quality. And for a lot of shoppers, that could be enough.
If it were the only sedan in its class, we'd be inclined to agree. But there are some similarly priced vehicles out there, and they don't have the same drivability, comfort and space issues that the CLA does. As a result, we suggest checking out those European rivals before signing on the dotted line.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan is offered in CLA250 (208 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) and a higher-performance AMG CLA 45 (375 hp, 350 lb-ft) trims. Both models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The standard CLA250 is front-wheel-drive, but all-wheel drive (Mercedes' 4Matic) is available as an option. All-wheel drive is standard with the AMG CLA 45.
Standard feature highlights for the CLA250 models include 17-inch wheels, automatic wipers, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery (MB-Tex), eight-way power front sport seats with memory functions, and 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through.
On the technology front, you get an 8-inch infotainment screen, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, forward collision warning and mitigation, a drowsy driver monitor, the Mbrace emergency telematics, and an audio system with
a CD player, HD radio, two SD card slots and two USB ports.
Upgrading to the AMG CLA 45 adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and running lights, unique styling and aerodynamic flourishes, a sport exhaust system, upgraded brakes and transmission, a torque-vectoring differential, a sport steering wheel and simulated suede upholstery inserts.
There are a few main option packages to look out for. These include the Premium package (keyless ignition and entry, a hands-free trunklid, blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats and satellite radio); the Convenience package (auto-dimming mirrors and a universal garage door opener); the Interior package (leather upholstery, upgraded dash and door trim, and interior ambient lighting); the Multimedia package (a navigation system, voice controls, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration); and the Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning and intervention).
Many AMG-based styling elements are available on the CLA250. Other notable add-ons include an automated parking system, an adjustable suspension, a panoramic sunroof and a 12-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD)
Since this test was conducted, the current CLA-Class has received some revisions, including a retuned-suspension, a minor interior and exterior styling update, extendable front-seat thigh supports and a new infotainment screen. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's CLA250, however.
Noise & vibration4
Ease of use4.5
Getting in/getting out2.5
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite CLA-Class safety features:
- Active Brake Assist
- Warns of an impending front collision and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't react.
- Blind Spot Assist
- Displays a warning triangle in the mirror if a car is in your blind spot and beeps if you activate a turn signal.
- Attention Assist
- Uses many sensors and other data to tell if a driver is getting fatigued and suggests a rest stop.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 for Sale
If you've been pining for a Mercedes-Benz with the same longing as Janis Joplin, the 2018 CLA-Class may be your easiest way to get your fix. It costs about the same as a nicely equipped family sedan and delivers a decent amount of refinement. Understandably, it's not quite as nice as other Mercedes vehicles, partially because those models have received the latest interior treatments and features, but buyers should be satisfied for the price.
Standard feature highlights for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 include 17-inch wheels, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, MB-Tex simulated leather upholstery, an 8-inch infotainment screen, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system, a rearview camera, forward collision warning and mitigation, a drowsy driver monitor and the Mbrace emergency telematics. The AMG CLA 45 adds a more powerful engine, all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, unique styling and aerodynamic flourishes, a sport exhaust system, upgraded brakes and transmission, a torque-vectoring differential, a sport steering wheel and faux suede upholstery elements.
Mercedes offers most of the CLA's optional features in packages. Key features to consider include keyless entry and ignition, blind-spot monitoring, heated front-seat leather upholstery, a navigation system, smartphone integration, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Among other entry-level luxury sedans, the CLA250 comes in second behind our class favorite, the Audi A3, which is similarly priced but quite a bit nicer to drive. The Mercedes gets a slight edge for price and feature content over the stalwart BMW 3 Series, but the advantages for performance and refinement may be well worth the added outlay. Check out the competition and all of Edmunds' resources to get the right fit for your tastes and budget.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 Overview
What do people think of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 CLA-Class AMG CLA 45.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 here.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45?
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45s are available in my area?
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 Listings and Inventory
Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45.
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Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 and all available trim types. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.