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2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Mercedes-Benz is raising the profile of its four-door coupe. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA class is bigger, more capable, better equipped and more high tech. That's a good package for those who expect luxury to come with all the latest automotive possibilities.

The coupe is offered as the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, 4Matic CLA 250, and AMG CLA 45 versions. All new, the AMG CLA 35 is sure to attract attention. Twelve colors are on tap to suit more lifestyles and personalities.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has stretched and widened. This means a bit more room inside, always a good thing. The dashboard looks completely different thanks to the new free-standing entertainment display. This system has been updated in many ways to provide better interaction. New capabilities take it beyond what other touch screens can do.

Extensive safety technologies are even more exciting. Most shoppers will be able to afford the package, too. There's so much assistance that many drivers will experience true semi-autonomous driving for the first time. Whether it's parking, cruising, changing lanes, or stopping suddenly, this car can do it with a minimum of driver help.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class – The Pros

1. Mercedes-Benz User Experience

The CLA now offers a free-standing widescreen display and touchscreen. A new computer has made it much more powerful, outdoing automotive rivals. This results in excellent graphics, brilliant screens, and intelligent software.

Improved Voice Control can learn from you as it interprets natural language instead of a set list of commands. It starts with a simple 'Hey Mercedes'. For smartphone users, the interactions will feel familiar and simple. A new interior assistant functions let you change the temperature or turn the reading light on and off in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

The 7-inch digital instrument cluster is fully customizable as is the 7-inch media display. Drivers will feel like they have a Widescreen Cockpit, since these two are under a shared glass cover. A new touchpad makes it easier to control. There are five USB-C ports and an available wireless charger.

2. MBUX AMG Experience

An AMG-specific console touchpad controls a 10.25 touchscreen display. This shows the AMG Track Page, telemetry data, and driving program visualizations. The screen knows that a hand is approaching. It recognizes if it is coming from the left or right. Motions simplify the radio and media menu operation. The four-camera system can fade in and out as directed, allowing the driver to quickly select the front, rear, right or left view. Likewise, the navigation view can fade if the hand approaches to make a change.

Mercedes-Benz has added built-in Touch Control buttons on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class steering wheel. These can be used to regulate everything from cruise control to the infotainment system functions. If you choose the AMG steering wheel, special buttons make it even easier to control. A round controller activates the AMG drive program.

2. Making More Out of Navigation

New augmented video can help with navigation in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. There's also a speed limit assist. The CLA can use map and navigation data to enhance its active driving assistance. Route-based speed adaptation uses map information in real time. This remarkable system is looking ahead and making decisions based on inclines, speed limits, and more.

3. Semi-Autonomous Possibilities

Mercedes-Benz doesn't do things halfway. The driver assistance package is a case in point. With this system, you have nine active features. This includes emergency brake assistance for forward collision dangers and rear cross traffic dangers. Steering assistance is both active and evasive. Lane keeping, lane change assist, and blind spot monitoring both have assist functions.

Systems are watching all around the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class. Radar and cameras can look up to 1,640 feet ahead. When you want to leave more of the driving to the car, you can feel safe, knowing that so many systems are working on your behalf.

4. Sportiest Driving Characteristics in its Compact Mercedes-Benz Generation

Mercedes-Benz engineers have improved the standard engine. The powertrain generates 13 more horses for a total of 221 horsepower. This remarkable four-cylinder engine cranks out 258 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 miles per hour. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission helps the 2-liter Inline-4 Turbo capture and maintain velocity.

Speed is an essential part of this car's sporty design, but its athletic driving characteristics are due to its new architecture. The wide track permits greater wheel travel. A lower center of gravity reduces wind resistance. Between these two factors, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class can handle the road like never before.

5. Newest AMG-enhanced Mercedes-Benz

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 35 is the newest way to enjoy AMG capability. The engine has been improved to deliver 302 horsepower. Variable all-wheel drive moves that torque to the four wheels as needed for speed.

Adaptive damping switches among three modes, according to the driver's choice. Without intervention, however, the damping system reacts in milliseconds, constantly adapting to road conditions. This enhances agility and ride comfort, and it should make the vehicle more responsive to driver commands.

6. Ultimate Performance

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG compact sports car is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 35. Dominating its segment, the CLA 35 has a new M139 2-liter engine. Generating 382 horsepower, this turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the most powerful to be offered for series production.

The electronically limited top speed is 155 miles per hour. The CLA 45 has been clocked at 4 seconds when doing the zero to 60 miles per hour sprint. An exclusive Race-Start function lets this car zoom from stationary to sprinting with maximum acceleration.

7. Unique 8-gear Dual-Clutch Transmission

CLA 45 coupes utilize a new AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission. This eight-gear automatic is paired with fully variable AMG Performance 4Matic-plus. Mercedes-Benz all-wheel drive benefits from AMG Torque Control. Power is pushed to the rear axle on a wheel-specific basis.

Top traction is achieved while still maintaining speed. This is accomplished with dual multi-disc clutches, one for each rear wheel. Drivers will love the Drift mode.

Torque is rated at 354 pound-feet. Mercedes-Benz has employed torque shaping to make more of every pound-foot. In the lower speed range, dynamically increasing torque improves throttle response. With a maximum of 7200 rpm, this engine has a free-revving character like few rivals.

8. Panoramic Roof

While the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class doesn't come in a convertible style, it has an amazing panoramic roof. This lets in light and air. It's the perfect way to expand the cabin size without changing this sporty car's footprint.

9. Parking Assistance

Although this is a smaller vehicle, Mercedes-Benz still recognizes the need for a Surround View System. This keeps an eye on every inch around the perimeter. In addition to these cameras, there is an Active Parking Assist. This system can do the work for you, pulling into or out of a parallel or perpendicular space.

10. 64 Choices of Ambient Lighting

The CLA now offers an ambient lighting system with 64 choices. This adds even more personalization to the remarkable cabin. That's just a sample of the ways that it offers luxuries that allow this smaller MB to live up to its brand name.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class – The Cons

1. Clunky Downshifts

While handling is good, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic isn't as smooth as it should be. Upshifting doesn't always respond as fast as momentum would suggest. Downshifting can result in a more clunky response. This may bother drivers especially in the lower ranges as you slow for stopping traffic, for instance.

2. Occasionally Noisy Ride

The ride is louder than many luxury buyers will like, but this is fairly typical of the class. Rough pavement, for instance, will amp up the outside noise level. Still, the overall ride quality of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is good enough to make travel pleasant.

3. Busy Digital Assistant

Like Siri and some other systems, the Hey Mercedes digital assistant is more sensitive than it needs to be. It may respond when you aren't talking to it. This can be annoying if it happens too often during a conversation.

4. Small Seats

Despite all of the upgrades and luxuries, the CLA Class is small. The narrow front seats may not feel good to all body types. The sloping roofline looks good outside but restricts back-row headroom. Backseat legroom is still not enough for long-legged adults.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

Even with the raise in price, the CLA Class is definitely hard to beat. It's not just the affordability of the base pricetag. It's all of that driver assistance that comes in an affordable package that is under $2,000. The autopilot functions are as good as you'll find at Tesla or any other luxury maker.

Still, the 2020 Acura ILX can save almost $10,000 and still have luxury car cache. Unfortunately its style, material quality and performance are so-so.

The 2020 Audi A3 is less expensive than the CLA Class, and it looks good doing it. You'll miss the MB autopilot package, however.

Jaguar XE models cost more than the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, but driving enthusiasts will argue that the punchier performance and Jaguar handling is worth it.

Always handsome, the CLA Class has improved to the point of deserving its Mercedes-Benz name. The pricetag is still relatively affordable compared to the more prestigious Mercedes-Benz vehicles. If a person wants refinement and top technology, they will certainly appreciate this package.

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