2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG® CLA 35

MSRP range: $46,900
Edmunds suggests you pay$49,754

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review

  • Generous list of standard features
  • Luxury badging without the premium price
  • AMG CLA 45 trim's impressive acceleration and handling
  • Sharp-looking infotainment system with excellent voice controls
  • Less rear headroom than the entry-level A-Class
  • Mediocre in-cabin storage for small items
  • The Mercedes-Benz CLA is redesigned for 2020
  • New looks, more power and more interior space
  • Addition of Mercedes' class-leading MBUX infotainment system
  • Launches the second CLA generation for 2020

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is a sedan that's styled to look like a coupe and priced to attract new buyers to the brand. As an entry-level luxury sedan, it offers sleek looks and a big three-pointed star on the nose without quite the typical hit to the pocketbook associated with the German automaker. But when it was introduced in 2014, we weren't big fans of the CLA. The stiff seats and poor ride quality, along with the limited cabin space, made it hard to love. But it's been completely redesigned for 2020. It's now more practical and modern, and it's poised to become one of our favorite vehicles in the class.

Underneath this new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA are bones that are shared with the new, even more entry-level A-Class. The CLA also gets the same brilliant infotainment interface and its generally high standard of build quality. It also gains some headroom in the rear seat. The trunk is marginally smaller, but that's the price you pay for sleek styling. What's more, the CLA now offers two high-performance trims (the AMG CLA 35 and the AMG CLA 45) to complement the well-equipped base model. And for buyers who want to customize their car, Mercedes has a long list of available options to choose from.

With this long list of improvements, this new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA stands a much better chance against rivals from BMW and Audi. If you're shopping entry-level luxury sedans, the CLA should be one of your top considerations.

Which CLA-Class does Edmunds recommend?

With the abundant standard equipment on the base CLA 250 and the long list of available options, we think it's a smart choice. It comes standard with the class-leading MBUX infotainment system and safety features, including forward collision mitigation, but you can tack on all sorts of AMG-styled exterior options and upgrades such as navigation or a surround-view camera system.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class models

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan is offered in three trim levels: CLA 250, AMG CLA 35 and AMG CLA 45. The base CLA 250 is powered by turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque) and paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It comes standard with front-wheel drive but is available with all-wheel drive (4Matic). The AMG CLA 35 also uses a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (302 hp and 295 lb-ft) and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch as well. The CLA 45 gets the biggest power bump to its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (382 hp and 354 lb-ft), which is connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive is standard with the CLA 45.

Standard feature highlights for the CLA 250 include dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery (MB-Tex), side-by-side 7-inch infotainment screens, the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience interface (also known as MBUX), Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and forward collision mitigation.

Upgrade to the AMG CLA 35 and you'll get a higher-horsepower engine, a sport suspension, upgraded brakes, and a sport steering wheel. The AMG CLA 45 gets even more power, keyless entry and ignition, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, and blind-spot monitoring.

Several option packages are available depending on trim level. They add items such as leather upholstery, upgraded dash and door trim, a navigation system, heated and ventilated seats, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, and a Burmester sound system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

Average user rating: 3.7 stars
6 total reviews
5 star reviews: 67%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 33%

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    Most helpful consumer reviews

    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    MPG & Fuel
    23 City / 29 Hwy / 25 Combined
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.5 gal. capacity
    5 seats
    Type: all wheel drive
    Transmission: 7-speed automated manual
    Inline 4 cylinder
    Horsepower: 302 hp @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
    Basic Warranty
    4 yr./ 50000 mi.
    Length: 184.8 in. / Height: 55.3 in. / Width: 72.2 in.
    Curb Weight: 3505 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 11.6 cu.ft.

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    $ -
    Build Your CLA
    At a Glance:
    • 10 Colors
    • 4 Trims
    • $37,850starting MSRP


    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

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

    2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    If you're looking for a step up in performance and equipment, the C-Class is another excellent choice from Mercedes. It has more headroom in the rear seat than the CLA, and it comes with some additional standard features. But, as you'd probably expect, it can be significantly more expensive depending on the trim level.

    Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & Mercedes-Benz C-Class features 

    Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. Audi A3

    Sporty, refined and relatively inexpensive for its class, the Audi A3 is one of our favorite entry-level luxury sedans. Much like the CLA, the A3 offers a luxury badge at an affordable price. But if you like its size, you can add a few options to make it feel like your own. But the A3's infotainment interface may feel a bit dated compared to the CLA's MBUX system, so tech-focused shoppers will want to take a closer look before buying.

    Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & Audi A3 features 

    Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class vs. BMW 3 Series

    While it used to be significantly larger than the CLA, the BMW 3 Series is now a much closer competitor when you consider the vehicle's respective dimensions. Fortunately for the CLA, it's much less expensive than the 3 Series. The 3 Series is still an impressive performer and it's enjoyable to drive every day, but the new CLA simply offers a better value at a lower price.

    Compare Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class & BMW 3 Series features 

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class First Impressions

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA First Drive

    Reborn for the Better

    What is it?

    The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA replaces its outgoing and often maligned predecessor, bringing with it all of the praiseworthy attributes of the class-leading A-Class sedan on which it is based. Compared to the A-Class, the new CLA has some of the coupe-like style that Mercedes pioneered and is 0.3 inch wider and 5.5 inches longer.

    In its base form, the CLA 250 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's 33 more hp and 37 more lb-ft than the A 220. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive is available as an option.

    Drivers seeking more performance are covered by the AMG CLA 35 and AMG CLA 45. The AMG CLA 35 makes 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and all-wheel drive is standard. The CLA 45 bumps those figures up to 382 hp and 354 lb-ft. It also adds high-performance brakes, more aggressive visual cues, and a torque-vectoring rear differential that can enhance the car's handling balance when exiting turns.

    Why does it matter?

    The first-generation CLA suffered from awkward engine and transmission responses, a stiff ride, and decidedly downmarket interior materials. This second-generation model exorcises those demons by adopting all of the things we like about the A-Class. We're generally not fans of "four-door coupe" adaptations because of their reduced rear-seat headroom, but this CLA makes far fewer concessions.

    What does it compete with?

    Primary competitors for the new CLA include Mercedes' own A-Class, the Audi A3 and the BMW Gran Coupe. The Volvo S60 is a worthy rival, too, and brings some unique Scandinavian flavor to the German-centric segment.

    How does it drive?

    Not surprisingly, the CLA 250 drives very similarly to the A 220, and that's a good thing. Mercedes claims it will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is 0.8 second quicker than the company's estimate for the A 220. (In Edmunds testing, the A 220 sprinted to 60 mph in only 6.4 seconds, so it's possible the CLA will be quicker than Mercedes' estimated time.) In everyday driving, the CLA leaves the line smoothly and with minimal effort. With a heavier foot on the pedal, a brief delay precedes acceleration before a rather unexpected lurch of power yanks you through the intersection.

    The CLA's engine sounds better than the typical four-cylinder engine, with a pleasant baritone note accompanying a higher-pitched whine. Gear changes are smooth and quick in the default Comfort drive setting and become more abrupt in the Sport mode. The CLA's Sport mode will also firm up the optional adaptive suspension dampers to provide improved handling performance.

    The CLA 250 is well-mannered and easy to drive under typical commute conditions, and it delivers a good amount of performance to entertain more spirited drivers on a twisting road.

    What about the AMG CLA?

    There's also the AMG CLA 35 and CLA 45 if you want even more performance. Mercedes estimates the CLA 35 will reach 60 mph in only 4.8 seconds, and our initial impressions confirm that it is noticeably more athletic. Even better, overall comfort doesn't suffer as a result.

    We haven't been able to drive the CLA 45 yet, but we did drive the CLA 45 S, a European variant that is not slated for U.S. arrival. Though it has more power and torque than the standard CLA 45, both models have the same estimated 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds flat. So it stands to reason that driving the CLA 45 S leaves us with a pretty strong indication of how the American-market CLA 45 will perform.

    Thankfully, it rips. The engine reacts quickly and pounds the pavement with a consistent rush of power, and the transmission clicks off shifts in rapid style. Most impressive is the car's balance on curvy roads. Credit goes to a fully revised suspension by AMG that includes new dampers and an optional adaptive damping system called AMG Ride Control. AMG also added reinforcement plates and braces to the car's body to increase torsional rigidity and handling precision.

    What's the interior like?

    Much like the A-Class, this new CLA gets the latest style and technology treatment from Mercedes. The dash is dominated by a striking pair of displays that stretch from the instrument panel to the center. Both are controlled via the excellent MBUX infotainment system that maximizes feature content while minimizing distraction.

    Materials used throughout the cabin meet expectations for an entry-level Mercedes and exceed them for most other rivals. There are some hard plastic elements, but they're textured to look nicer and placed away from common touch points.

    The driver's seat is mounted just a bit too high for our tastes, but it's comfortable and provides a pleasing combination of support and cushioning. The AMG CLA 35 is eligible for a Performance seat package that comes with aggressively bolstered Recaro seats that are mounted appropriately lower.

    As the "four-door coupe" counterpoint to the A-Class sedan, we expected the rear-seat headroom to be more restrictive, but we were pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. A 5-foot-10 passenger will just barely fit. We'd guess that adults in the rear seat will be fine for a cross-town trip. Smaller occupants will be comfortable for longer-duration drives. Road noise can be somewhat intrusive on rough pavement, but otherwise there's little to fault the CLA for.

    How practical is it?

    Pleasingly, the CLA's more graceful roofline actually increases trunk space to 11.6 cubic feet (compared to 8.6 cubic feet in the A-Class). There are also plenty of spots to store your personal effects, with moderately sized door pockets, bins and cupholders. A wireless charging pad is also available.

    What else should I know?

    We didn't expect to like the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA as much as the top-rated A-Class. Imagine our surprise when we realized we liked it even more. With an increase in power and a larger trunk, the new CLA easily justifies the $4,000 premium on top of the A-Class.

    Edmunds says

    The A-Class is the best in its class, and everything that makes it great is present in the new 2020 CLA. With more power, a larger trunk, a more attractive silhouette and some exciting AMG variants, the CLA is an even better entry-level luxury choice.


    Is the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 CLA-Class both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class fuel economy, so it's important to know that the CLA-Class gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the CLA-Class has 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. Learn more

    What's new in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class:

    • The Mercedes-Benz CLA is redesigned for 2020
    • New looks, more power and more interior space
    • Addition of Mercedes' class-leading MBUX infotainment system
    • Launches the second CLA generation for 2020
    Learn more

    Is the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class reliable?

    To determine whether the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the CLA-Class. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the CLA-Class's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 CLA-Class is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?

    The least-expensive 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $46,900.

    Other versions include:

    • AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $46,900
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?

    If you're interested in the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, the next question is, which CLA-Class model is right for you? CLA-Class variants include AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). For a full list of CLA-Class models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 Overview

    The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 is offered in the following styles: AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 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 do people think of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 3.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. 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 2020 CLA-Class AMG CLA 35.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 featuring deep dives into trim levels including AMG CLA 35, 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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35?

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

    The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $54,165. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $4,411 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $4,411 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $49,754.

    The average savings for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is 8.1% below the MSRP.

    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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35s are available in my area?

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35.

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    Find a new Mercedes-Benz for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $25,619.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 and all available trim types: AMG CLA 35. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 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.

    What is the MPG of a 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35?

    2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG CLA 35 AMG CLA 35 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 7-speed automated manual, premium unleaded (required)
    25 compined MPG,
    23 city MPG/29 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG25
    Transmission7-speed automated manual
    Drive Trainall wheel drive
    Displacement2.0 L
    Passenger VolumeN/A
    Wheelbase107.4 in.
    Length184.8 in.
    Width72.2 in.
    Height55.3 in.
    Curb Weight3505 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 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