2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class


2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review: The Miss Congeniality Of Small Luxury Sedans

While the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is the premium brand's most affordable vehicle, it's just as suave, contemporary, and laden with luxury features as any high-end Mercedes. Powering the coupe-styled 4-door sedan is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine with outputs of 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This isn't all that much to play with, but it's enough to move the small sedan with a bit of gusto. The second-generation CLA-Class sedan acquired some much needed cosmetic alterations for a sharper and more avante-garde aesthetic this year. With its new contemporary design, exquisite interior and extensive list of creature comforts and conveniences, the 2021 CLA-Class is better than it has ever been and compares nicely alongside its competitors - the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. Even in the lightweight bracket, competition is fierce, and the CLA isn't as quick as its rivals, even if it is more luxurious inside. For those who value style over substance, it's a winner, but does it have enough to win over the other side?

Read in this review:

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2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 CLA-Class?

There have been some changes for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class but none of them are major. The list of updates is a subtle one, with new additions including blind-spot monitoring and 64-color ambient lighting as standard, while the MBUX Interior Assist is now a standalone option.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive exterior aesthetic
  • Stunning and well-built cabin
  • Awesome infotainment setup
  • Impressively fuel efficient
  • Numerous safety features
  • Weak four-cylinder engine
  • Transmission isn't as smooth as we'd like
  • Poor reliability expectations

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2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
CLA 250
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

CLA-Class Exterior

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front Angle View 1 Mercedes-Benz
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  • Length 184.6 in
  • Wheelbase 107.4 in
  • Height 56.7 in
  • Max Width 72.0 in
  • Front Width 63.5 in
  • Rear Width 63.1 in
  • Curb Weight 3,362.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Digital White
  • Cosmos Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic
  • Mountain Grey Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Patagonia Red Metallic
  • designo Mountain Grey Magno
  • Sun Yellow
  • Polar White
  • Night Black

CLA-Class Performance

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Rear View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Wheel Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

Both the CLA 250 and 4MATIC are powered by a detuned version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine that's found in the AMG CLA 35. This one's been dialed to produce just 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is commanded by a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and is sent to either the front-wheel drivetrain or all-wheel drivetrain depending on the model. In terms of performance overall, the CLA isn't the most vigorous Mercedes out there. In fact, it's a little on the slow side. The lack of a better option is what holds it back from competing on equal ground with the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series.

  • Engine
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

CLA-Class Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 25/35 mpg
* 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA 250 FWD

CLA-Class Interior

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Central Console Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Central Console 1 Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front Seats Mercedes-Benz
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.8 in
  • Front Head Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.9 in
  • Rear Head Room 35.7 in

CLA-Class Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Central Console 2 Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Dashboard Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Front Seats 1 Mercedes-Benz
  • Trunk Volume
    11.6 ft³

CLA-Class Safety and Reliability


  • 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

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class a good Sedan?

The 2021 CLA-Class sedan is a far better car than its first-generation predecessors, looks-wise and in terms of specifications. Yes, it's inline-4 engine isn't the most thrilling or dynamic offering from the German automaker, but it's all the compact sedan requires to get about pleasantly, and it's impressively frugal. While you won't be going around corners at any truly exciting speeds, the CLA does convey some handling prowess and stability, and it's wonderfully refined on the road, too - something anyone driving it will get to enjoy. Unfortunately, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have subjected the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class to review for an official safety rating, but with its latest enhancements and good selection of driver assists and safety systems, it's more than ready to take on the bustling US roads. There are many alternatives in the 2021 CLA's price range, in the premium and more mainstream classifications, but the CLA is still a very compelling choice by virtue of its premium Merc mien.

🚗What Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Model Should I Buy?

The price of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan comes in at $37,850 for the CLA 250 FWD variant and $39,850 for the CLA 4MATIC AWD variant. These are the only two options you get in the CLA line, so it really comes down to whether or not you need the all-weather traction. As for extras, we'd suggest going for the Exterior Lighting Package and the AMG Line w/Night Package for the upgraded LED lights and sporty cosmetic enhancements. The Premium Package is also a good addition for the 10.25-inch digital driver display and infotainment system touchscreen. The Parking Assistance Package is worth considering, too, just to preserve your new ride's value.

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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Popular Comparisons

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