2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45

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2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

What’s new

  • AMG CLA 45 comes with more standard features for 2019
  • Part of the first CLA generation introduced for 2013

Pros

  • Generous list of standard features
  • Athletic handling instills confidence
  • Luxury badging without the premium price
  • Potent performance from the AMG CLA 45

Cons

  • Engine and transmission are slow to respond at low speeds
  • The ride can be rather stiff
  • Rear seats are confining
  • Some interior elements aren't up to luxury car standards


Which CLA-Class does Edmunds recommend?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 comes with a long list of standard features and packs more performance than the average driver will ever need. We suggest skipping the Multimedia package to get the stand-alone Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration instead. The Premium package is worth the extra expense for the heated seats, keyless entry and ignition, and blind-spot monitoring. The AMG CLA 45 should only be considered if performance is a priority.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Up until this year, the CLA was the most affordable vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Now there's a new A-Class on the way that takes over that position, while the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA continues much as it has for the last six years.

When the CLA 250 debuted in 2013, we were far from impressed. It was plagued by lazy responses from the engine and transmission, a needlessly harsh ride quality, and some interior elements that were disappointing for a Mercedes-Benz. Over the years, the CLA has received some updates and improvements, but these still aren't enough to make the CLA a truly enticing pick for an entry-level luxury sedan.

Overall, we think the new A-Class is a better pick for an affordable Mercedes-Benz. It has a sleeker-looking interior with more of Mercedes' latest technology, plus more refined performance. You might also want to check out Audi's A3 as another option.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class configurations

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan is offered in CLA 250 (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 CLA 250 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 CLA 250 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 monitoring system, 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, simulated suede upholstery inserts and a 12-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system.

There are a few main option packages to consider. 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 CLA 250. Other notable add-ons include an automated parking system, an adjustable suspension, a panoramic sunroof and the Harman Kardon audio system. For 2019, the Premium and Convenience packages are included as standard equipment on the AMG CLA 45.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD)

Since this test was conducted in 2014, the current CLA 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 CLA 250, however.

Driving

With its strong four-cylinder and quick-shifting transmission, the CLA 250 offers enough performance to impress owners of the larger C-Class. Unfortunately, that same transmission can be quirky in typical driving.

Acceleration

With its 208-hp four-cylinder and a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic, the CLA 250 gets up to speed effortlessly, especially from 20 mph on. In our testing, the CLA covered 0-60 mph in a respectably quick 6.4 seconds.

Braking

Even in heavy traffic, the CLA's brakes are linear and easy to modulate. We recorded a panic-stop distance of 121 feet from 60 mph, which is an average distance for this class of car.

Steering

The CLA 250's steering is nicely weighted; it's neither too heavy nor too light. Turn-in is sharp, and there's enough articulation for easy parking. The steering, however, doesn't give you much feel for the road.

Handling

The CLA 250 has enough poise and control to feel stable on a twisty road or highway off-ramp curve.

Drivability

The CLA's transmission can be slow to react to your commands, like when making a three-point turn. It also allows rollback, and at times its operation makes it feel like the engine is revving too much.

Comfort

The CLA 250 falls in between the expectations of a sport sedan and a luxury car. This may be a less expensive Mercedes, but it sure doesn't feel entry-level in terms of its suspension capabilities or the cabin's noise suppression.

Seat comfort

The CLA's seats offer nice bolstering, but they have a short cushion that lacks thigh support. Mercedes' faux leather feels exceptional and durable but lacks ventilation. Prepare to feel sticky.

Ride comfort

A mixed bag. The CLA 250 (before the suspension retune) handles potholes and breaks in the pavement with zero drama but gets jostled by seams in the highway and pulled around by grooved pavement.

Noise & vibration

In true Mercedes fashion, the CLA 250 is quiet at all speeds and does an admirable job blocking out ambient road noise.

Interior

The CLA has traditional Mercedes-Benz interior design in that it isn't flashy, but it surprises with its ease of use. Limited rear-seat access and space, plus lackluster visibility, hurt the CLA's score in this category.

Ease of use

The CLA's interior is deceptively simple and remarkably easy to use, with a large infotainment screen, clear gauges, and an easy knob- and button-based climate control. The gear-selector stalk is love-it-or-hate-it.

Getting in/getting out

Front-seat access is a non-issue with wide door openings and a reasonably high seat. Rear-seat access is hugely problematic. Because of the sloping roof, there just isn't enough head clearance.

Roominess

The CLA's interior feels tight. It's not unpleasant but cozy. The rear seats have good legroom, but they severely lack headroom.

Visibility

The rearview camera is a near necessity due to the CLA's poor rear visibility. You can thank that sloping roofline. Driving this car definitely requires proper mirror adjustment.

Quality

Meticulous types will be able to find some bits on the CLA that wouldn't cut it on the C-Class. But most everything you touch — from steering wheel to stalks, switches, the COMAND controller and the seats — feels like a Mercedes.

Utility

Smart interior packaging allows for more storage options than in some rival sedans. The trunk is well-shaped with a large opening and benefits from standard split-folding rear seats to fit larger objects.

Small-item storage

With the shifter relocated to the steering column, the center console is freed up to house more bins and cupholders. There's plenty of them to hold all of your personal effects.

Cargo space

The trunk is decently proportioned, with a large opening and shrouded hinges. Total capacity is 13.1 cubic feet. The standard split and folding rear seats and a center pass-through will help when things get tight.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

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Features & Specs

MSRP
$53,100
MPG
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
375 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 features & specs

Safety

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.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. the competition

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

2018 Audi A3

2018 Audi A3

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. Audi A3

The Audi A3 receives one of the highest Edmunds evaluation scores, not just in this entry-level luxury sedan class, but on the whole. It artfully balances sporting performance with comfort, and the interior lives up to the luxury badge. The rear seats are a little cramped, but not as much as the CLA's. The A3 betters the CLA in every significant metric and, quite frankly, this should be your benchmark.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & Audi A3 features

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. BMW 2 Series

The BMW 2 Series ranks just as highly as the class-leading Audi A3, but it is a two-door coupe, not a sedan. Given that the back seats in the Audi, the Mercedes or the BMW are limiting, we consider the 2 Series a worthy competitor. The 2 Series is a joy to drive, whether you go with the base 230i or the powerful M240i. It's more sporty than the Benz, yet it's also more comfortable.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & BMW 2 Series features

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. Volvo S60

The S60 is the newest entry-level luxury sedan and benefits from Volvo's latest renaissance. We like it for its elegant and understated design, its wide variety of powertrains and numerous safety features and innovations. As with other cars in Volvo's lineup, the infotainment system can be a little tough to operate at first, but with some time it can be intuitive.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & Volvo S60 features

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 for Sale

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More about the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 Overview

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 is offered in the following styles: AMG CLA 45 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).

What do people think of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 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 2019 CLA-Class AMG CLA 45.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 featuring deep dives into trim levels including AMG CLA 45, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. 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 2019 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 2019 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 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45s are available in my area?

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 Listings and Inventory

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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 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 45 and all available trim types: AMG CLA 45. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2019 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 2019 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.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials