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2019 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2019 Mercedes Benz CLA Class?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2019 Mercedes Benz CLA Class? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Mercedes-Benz has several pricey luxury sedans in its 2019 lineup. If you're looking for a more inexpensive option, consider the entry-level 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. This small luxury sedan's striking exterior design and premium interior are bound to leave you impressed. Strong fuel economy is another key attraction. While the base CLA 250 model is fun and responsive, some drivers will want the high-output AMG CLA 45 model. Does the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class place well against the competition?

What's New for 2019?

Mercedes-Benz has loaded the powerful AMG CLA model with more standard equipment. No notable changes were made to the base model.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2019 Mercedes Benz CLA Class – The Pros

1. Respectably Quick Car

Although you have access to a more potent model, the base 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has ample pep. Its boosted four-cylinder engine pushes out a tad more than 200 horsepower. A 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds makes the CLA-Class almost as quick as a V6-powered Lexus GS 350. You'll find the CLA 250 to be especially snappy around town. If you want to further sharpen up the sedan's performance, select the Sport mode.

2. Handles More Like a Sports Sedan

Despite being touted as an entry-level luxury car, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class drives more like a sports sedan. A poised suspension helps the CLA-Class to feel very athletic. You can really have fun on a bending road. Most cars in this price range don't handle as sharp. For folks who desire a softer ride, Mercedes-Benz offers an adjustable suspension. Drivers will also appreciate the sedan's tight turning radius.

3. Fast and Powerful AMG CLA 45

While the base 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class brings some fun to the table, serious performance junkies will desire the AMG CLA 45 model. It comes equipped with a specially tuned engine, which manufactures 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Testers have clocked the AMG CLA 45 with a 0-60 time as low as 4.1 seconds. Some other performance upgrades are also found on this exhilarating model, including a sport exhaust system and a torque-vectoring differential for enhanced body control.

4. Good Fuel Economy

All versions of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class have to be fed premium unleaded gas. Nevertheless, gas mileage is good for a vehicle of its performance caliber. According to the federal government's test data, the CLA 250 will return an inspiring 24 mpg in traffic and up to 37 mpg on the highway. Even the beastly AMG CLA 45 model can deliver 23 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the open road.

5. 4Matic AWD System

The sedan's standard FWD system will confidently handle most weather conditions. However, choose the optional 4Matic AWD system if you live in a snow-prone state. Mercedes-Benz engineered the 4Matic AWD system to seamlessly engage all four wheels. Advanced sensors help determine when there's a loss of grip. The greater control on slippery surfaces is well worth it. However, there's also improved traction when rounding curves.

6. Four-Door Coupe Styling

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class looks just as stunning as some of the more expensive Mercedes-Benz models. It's a four-door coupe that always makes a powerful statement on the road. A big Mercedes emblem within the grille adds to the sedan's cool appearance. Most people will find even the base CLA-Class to be one hot-looking ride. However, an attention-grabbing set of 19-inch alloy wheels and sportier exterior trim are found on the AMG CLA 45. Jupiter Red, Lunar Blue, and Cosmos Black are some of the galactic colors.

7. Fun and Well-Equipped Car for Less Than $35,000

Prices for the new CLA-Class start at just over $33,000. This is an amazing deal for a German-engineered luxury sedan. It's a lot more fun than a basic family sedan. Even if you choose not to circle any options, the CLA 250 comes load with enough goodies to appease luxury car buyers. Some of the key features include Mercedes-Benz's COMAND infotainment system, eight-way power front sport seats, and selectable drive modes.

8. Helpful Safety Features Come Standard

Although the optional Driver Assistance package rewards you with some extra safety technologies, the 2019 Mercedes CLA-Class already comes standard with some great driver-assist technologies. While the forward collision mitigation system triggers your brakes if a collision is deemed imminent, the drowsiness monitor makes sure you don't doze off while at the wheel. Meanwhile, Mbrace automatically contacts emergency personnel in the event of a crash.

9. Good Cargo Space

There's more than 13 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, which is good for a small luxury sedan. Many of the CLA-Class' rivals don't provide as much storage space. You will also appreciate the overall design of the trunk. A big opening makes it easier for drivers to load stuff.

10. Looks and Feels Like a Genuine Mercedes

Despite having one of the lowest MSRPs in Mercedes-Benz's lineup, the new CLA-Class still has the look and feel of a Mercedes-Benz. It's interior quality is superb for an entry-level luxury sedan. Most of the interior materials are quite elegant. Even the steering feel has a premium character.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2019 Mercedes Benz CLA Class – The Cons

1. Short on Backseat Room

In comparison to some of today's other luxury sedans, the CLA-Class feels a bit tight on the inside. While passengers sitting in the front are unlikely to have any issues, those riding in the back must sacrifice a great deal of headroom. A sloping room also makes accessing the rear seat a bit difficult. Expect the 2019 Audi A3 to be a bit roomier overall.

2. Standard Headlights Could Be Better

If cost isn't a big concern, your best bet is to upgrade to the available LED headlights. The IIHS gave the sedan's base headlights a "Poor" rating. When traveling on a dimly lit road, visibility may not be as good. While this issue isn't likely to impact drivers who spend most of their time in urban areas, it should definitely interest the folks who live outside of the city.

3. You May Not Like the COMAND Infotainment System

While some drivers rave about Mercedes-Benz's COMAND infotainment system, others borderline hate it. Some drivers have complained about the interface's confusing layout. You also may not like the placement of the controller knob. To avoid having any regrets, the best approach is to test the interface before deciding to buy a new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

4. Transmission Not Smooth At Low Speeds

If you happen to be traveling on the highway, you'll have no issues with the sedan's dutch-clutch automatic transmission. However, a few issues may arise at low speeds. Some drivers have found that it's slow to shift at times. While the transmission may not be a deal breaker, it's something to watch out for during your test drive.

5. Rides Harsher Than Most Luxury Sedans

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a sporty persona. While its handling is outstanding, some drivers may prefer a softer ride. When you drive over seems in the highway, expect to experience some roughness.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

You can compare the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class to the new 2019 Audi A3. Drivers really like the A3's comfy ride and array of standard features. Although the Audi A3 has a compact design like the CLA-Class, it provides just a bit more space.

The all-new 2019 Volvo S60 is also a strong contender. It has a similar starting price. However, you'll find a lot more passenger room inside the Volvo S60. Although the S60 doesn't feel quite as explosive off the line as the AMG CLA 45, it is quick.

Bargain hunters should check out the 2019 Acura ILX. Acura gave it an attractive MSRP of less than $26,000. Its A-Spec appearance package looks great. However, don't expect the ILX to be as fun as the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.


If you like the prestige of driving a Mercedes-Benz, the new CLA-Class should make you smile. All versions of the sedan have a high fun factor. Although the CLA hasn't received a redesign lately, it's styling still looks fresh and exciting. However, there are some things that may turn you away from the 2019 Mercedes CLA-Class. A low-slung roof makes the CLA-Class less inviting for families. Furthermore, be wary of this luxury sedan's stiffer than average ride.

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