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Mercedes-Benz CLA review

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0
” Stylish alternative to a boring saloon or hatchback “

At a glance

Price new £32,235 - £51,130
Used prices £16,720 - £34,384
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Insurance group 23 - 39
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Fuel economy 36.7 - 56.5 mpg
Range 416 - 628 miles
Miles per pound 5.4 - 7.2
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • Plenty of kerb appeal
  • Agile yet composed to drive
  • Impressive interior design
  • Top-spec models get pricey
  • Some interior quality issues
  • Access to rear seats compromised

Written by Jake Groves Published: 28 July 2022 Updated: 1 February 2024


Now in its second generation, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is as hard to pin down as ever – is it a saloon, a coupe or both? Or neither? In reality, trying to categorise a car like this is a pointless exercise. If it works for you, and you like the way it looks, then does it really matter? We’re assuming it does work for you, and that’s why you’re here.

Having said that, it’s worth bearing in mind the alternatives to this car – after all, it wouldn’t do to have a shopping list of one. Not when there are so many good cars out there. Closest to the CLA in concept is the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe which looks very different from the other models in the 2 Series lineup. You’d possibly also consider the new Audi A3 Saloon or perhaps the stylish Peugeot 508 Fastback. A recent update to the CLA in 2023 hopes to keep you interested.

The most baffling comparison might be with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon which looks rather similar to the CLA – the latter’s more dramatic roofline isn’t that obvious unless you put the two side-by-side. Compared with the A-Class saloon, the CLA Coupe is a sleek and stylish-looking car, with a low roofline and frameless side windows.

The CLA benefits from petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid models – all of which use an automatic gearbox. There are performance versions modified by Mercedes-AMG called the CLA 35 and CLA 45, offer substantially more punch from their 2.0-litre turbocharged engines.

With this impressive model range and plenty of scope for personalisation, this CLA looks very tempting indeed. The big question is whether it’s worth the additional money over an A-Class saloon and should it go to the top of your shopping list when there are more practical options on offer.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Mercedes-Benz CLA including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it’s like to drive – and, most importantly, whether we recommend buying one.