2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review


Pros & Cons

  • Generous list of standard features
  • Athletic handling instills confidence
  • Luxury badging without the premium price
  • Potent performance from the AMG CLA 45
  • 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
Other years
Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for Sale
List Price Estimate
$25,644 - $29,504

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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 models

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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

Most helpful consumer reviews

What a car
Allan Cimino,05/26/2020
AMG CLA 45 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Bough this car not expecting, the ride and tech on this car. Handles the road, like it was born to be there. Classy looking and great aerodynamics. Loud riding, i guess from run flat free tires, noisy.


Our experts like the CLA-Class models:

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.

More about the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Overview

The Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is offered in the following submodels: CLA-Class AMG CLA 45, CLA-Class Sedan. Available styles include CLA 250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), CLA 250 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and AMG CLA 45 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 375 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250 4MATIC is priced between $29,995 and$36,295 with odometer readings between 10400 and34844 miles.
  • The Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250 is priced between $29,990 and$32,995 with odometer readings between 17177 and55381 miles.

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Which used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for sale near. There are currently 15 used and CPO 2019 CLA-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $29,990 and mileage as low as 10400 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

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Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 6 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,744.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,248.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $15,152.

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
Check out Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class lease specials