Reasonable base price for a Mercedes-Benz; decent fuel economy; safety features; enthusiastic acceleration and handling; AMG model's performance
So-so interior materials; tight back seat; outward vision not ideal; pricey options
Although still a relative newcomer, the 2017 CLA already sports a mid-generation refresh with tweaks to the styling of the nose and tail, along with new designs for the alloy wheels. The interior has also received some attention -- the touchscreen is larger by an inch, the instrument gauges have been redesigned, and there are new seat covers and trim pieces. A rearview camera is now standard. Joining the options list is a hands-free power trunk lid, LED headlamps and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The official name for the higher-performance version is the 2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45.
If your budget allows, go for the CLA45 -- it really is a standout machine. If not, get the CLA250, and be discerning when selecting the options. With any CLA, the blind spot monitoring system is a worthwhile investment.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class starts out with the CLA250 ($33,325), which comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels (a Sport package adds 18-in alloys and an aero body kit), push-button start, power adjustable front seats with driver's-side memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-in infotainment display with the Comand interface, Bluetooth and leatherette upholstery (called MB-Tex, which sounds suspect, but it looks and feels good).
The CLA45 AMG ($50,875) adds all-wheel drive, an AMG-tuned suspension, 18-in wheels, upgraded brakes, a stronger engine, a performance exhaust system and various AMG styling touches.
Options are plentiful and pricey. They include LED headlights, keyless entry, parking assistance, Harman Kardon audio, navigation, voice control, heated seats, panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power trunk lid, real leather upholstery and a Smartphone Integration package.
The CLA250 can be ordered with a sport-tuned suspension, while the CLA45 is also eligible for 19-in wheels, carbon-fiber accents, sport front seats and a Dynamic Plus Package that includes a limited-slip front differential, AMG-tuned adaptive suspension, a Race mode and a top speed of 167 miles per hour. An AMG Dinamica package also brings faux suede around the steering wheel and on the dash.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2017 Audi A3 -- Audi's smallest sedan is a bit short on power (except for the high-performance S3), but it's perky enough. Its interior is also nicer than the CLA's.
2017 BMW 2 Series -- If four doors aren't really necessary, consider the sharp-handling and well-appointed 2 Series, one of the best performance bargains out there.