2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class First Look Review: Subtly Tweaked And Electrified

Mercedes-Benz discontinued the A-Class sedan in the USA recently, leaving the CLA-Class as the German automaker's entry-level sedan offering in the States. The A and CLA were always an odd couple and in a marketplace overrun by crossovers, it made little sense that Mercedes was fielding not one, but two subcompact sedans, especially since the A-Class with its smaller trunk was actually less practical than the swoopy CLA. So now, balance has been restored to the universe and while the new 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan and rivals such as the Audi A3 and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe are fighting for a slice of an ever-shrinking pie, the 2024 CLA's mid-life update should keep it in contention. In a move that will delight US AMG fans, the new lineup sees the introduction of the blistering 416-horsepower CLA 45 S, finally giving local buyers the same flagship that's been available in Europe for years. We review the AMG models separately, but customers interested in the standard CLA will appreciate the new mild-hybrid system, an upgraded infotainment interface, and some mild styling alterations.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Models

See trim levels and configurations:

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

See all Trims and Specs

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Mercedes-Benz

When Is The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Coming Out?

After our spy photographers spotted the disguised facelifted model in the wild early in January, Mercedes teased us with a photo before coming out with all the information and the official press images on January 18, 2023. Although we now know what the CLA looks like and we've read the specifications, the automaker has not provided a firm release date for the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in the US, or when sales to the public will start, except for saying that it will arrive in US dealerships "later in 2023". Having already been revealed in January, we'd be surprised if it's not in the first half of the year and the indications are that we can expect a spring launch.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Price And Competition

The price of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has not yet been announced and will be made public closer to the on-sale date of the car. We expect the single CLA 250 model to clock in at an MSRP of around $41,000-$42,000, plus another $2,000-odd for the optional 4Matic AWD system. There aren't many rivals in the premium compact sedan class and the two most obvious ones are the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. Other potential rivals with premium aspirations that might be cross-shopped in this class include the similarly priced but larger Genesis G70 and the lower-cost Acura Integra.

New Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Exterior And Colors

The CLA previously had access to a palette of ten colors, with the typical grayscale choices that are usually offered on German sedans, as well as a few extroverted choices in the vivid Sun Yellow, Patagonia Red, and Rose Gold. There was a notable absence of blues, but the list of colors the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class will be offered in for the 2024 model year now includes two new ones that will redress the imbalance: Starling Blue and the CLA-exclusive Hyper Blue. The manufacturer has not said whether these two colors replace any of the old ones or whether any colors will disappear from the palette, so we'll just have to wait and see.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 1 Mercedes-Benz

In terms of its exterior design, the facelift is not major, but anoraks will notice the reshaped front bumper, air intakes, and apron, the redesigned LED headlights and taillights, new front LED DRLs with a C shape, the new star-pattern radiator grille that is made up of little Mercedes-Benz stars instead of the old chrome dots, and a reshaped rear bumper and diffuser. Other than these changes, the exterior remains largely the same as before, though the obligatory new wheel designs up to 19 inches in diameter are present as one of the CLA's mid-life enhancements. AMG models get their own changes, among which is an AMG-specific front end. You will see that the two exterior photos with dark backgrounds further down show these styling features on a CLA 35.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Dimensions

The exterior dimensions of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-class have not changed and it is the same size as before. It is possible that the revisions to the front and rear bumpers may have added or removed a tenth or so of an inch, but there will be very little in it and the 2023 model's length of 184.6 inches, its width (without the mirrors) of 72 inches, its wheelbase of 107.4 inches, and its height of 56.3 inches should all remain largely unchanged. What would likely be a little different is its weight because the addition of the new mild-hybrid system must surely have added a few pounds. We won't know how much until Mercedes has released the official specs but given that the performance figures are the same as the old car, it can't be much.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Engine And Performance

Despite a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class still produces the same outputs as before - 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. What has changed is the shapes of those power and torque curves and Mercedes claims that up to 13 hp more is available lower in the rev range thanks to the hybrid assistance, even though the peak outputs remain unchanged. A belt-driven starter-generator recovers energy while driving, supplying both the 12-volt electrical system and the 48-volt mild-hybrid system with electricity. Reportedly, it's quite similar to the hybrid system used in some other new Mercs like the SL 43, which is derived from F1 technology.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2 Mercedes-Benz
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 3 Mercedes-Benz

As before, power is transmitted to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 4Matic AWD is optionally available. Claimed performance remains as before as well, with the exact same time of 6.3 seconds for the sprint from 0-60 mph as last year's CLA 250, in either FWD or AWD guise. Mercedes has not provided a top-speed figure for the revised CLA yet but it will probably be limited to 130 mph if the new CLA again wears all-season tires as it did before.

Gas Mileage

Given the mechanical changes, we are most interested in the 2024 CLA-Class' gas mileage, but that's the one area on which Mercedes has so far remained mum, so we can only speculate. The old non-hybridized CLA achieved 29 and 27 mpg on the combined cycle in FWD and AWD guise, respectively, in line with the figures of the BMW 228i Gran Coupe, which is also not hybridized and which returns 28 mpg (RWD) and 27 mpg (AWD). These figures are worse than a mild-hybrid contemporary such as the Audi A3 which achieves 32 mpg (FWD) and 30 mpg (AWD). We expect the new CLA to at least match the Audi's figures to make adding the mild-hybrid system worth the effort.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior And Cargo

The interior and seats of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class are inviting and modern, with smart MB-Tex/microfiber upholstery partly made of recycled materials as part of Merc's drive to become a carbon-neutral automaker. There are various new materials available for the interior trim, such as open-pore wood and carbon. The CLA is starting to give away its age by not having a large portrait-style center infotainment screen like the latest Mercedes models; instead, it has the two-across landscape screens that we know from the smaller Mercs, but they're bigger now. Instead of seven inches, both the digital gauge cluster and infotainment touchscreen now measure 10.25 inches and run the latest MBUX software that brings with it wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Classic, Sporty, and Discreet themes for the displays, the latter only displaying the most essential information.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 4 Mercedes-Benz
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 5 Mercedes-Benz

There is an additional USB-C port and all USB ports are now illuminated. The "Hey, Mercedes" voice assistant's abilities can be expanded via subscription, and also on the options list is a Burmester audio system with Dolby Atmos. Driving assistance has been enhanced too, and the Driver Assistance Package benefits from a lane-keeping-assist function that is now more easily controlled via steering-wheel controls, while a next-generation Parking Package is standard, offering 3D, 360-degree camera-assisted parking and supporting longitudinal parking too. The accompanying interior shot with the red ambient lighting above is of a CLA 35, not a normal CLA.

The interior and trunk space of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class might not be class-leading, but average in this class, and while front passengers have plenty of space, the second row is tight with only 33.9 inches of legroom and 35.7 inches of headroom due to that sloping roofline. Its cargo space is 11.6 cubic feet. These figures compare favorably to those of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, which offers marginally more second-row legroom inside. Thanks to its more conventional shape, the Audi A3 still beats both for rear-seat space, though it lacks the glamor of the CLA's elegant body. You can't have both, it seems.

2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 6 CarBuzz
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 7 CarBuzz

Check other Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Styles

To Top