Quick Drive | Quick Review: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic Coupe

*Disclaimer: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic Coupe courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Hoffman Estates. Check them out here.*

It’s not surprising that the entry into the world of Mercedes-Benz doesn’t come cheap. Even looking at their cheapest “coupe” comes as a cost. That said, Mercedes has been redesigning many of their vehicles, and the CLA coupe was one of them. I was interested to see just how different the CLA was compared to the old one, and if it’s worth taking a test-drive.

Looking at the CLA, it finally looks like a smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The one that I looked at had Sun Yellow paint. Although this makes it a striking vehicle, after further thought, it’s a little too strong. If you want colorful paint, blue or red will work much better. Part of the exterior image included both the AMG Line and Night Package. These make the CLA look bolder with AMG styling and black elements. For a CLA, the AMG Line or any AMG styling package makes your CLA stand out even more, but they can be expensive. 

Not surprising, the trunk is a bit small and the rear-seats were small. This being a coupe, having some cramped rear-seats means having two instead of three. The place to be is in the front. Throughout, the CLA had the Black Leather. Standard, the CLA comes with a panoramic roof, a rearview camera, 3-zone climate control, and LED headlights. Options abound, my CLA had the Multimedia Package and Premium Package. These almost make the CLA a technology powerhouse! Multimedia Packages include the MBUX HeadUnit High, MB Navigation, and Augmented Video. Premium Packages have a 10.25” Center Display and Digital Instruments.

Other options included a Heads-up Display, Heated and Ventilated Seats, and Burmester ® Surround Sound System. All of these make the CLA a true Mercedes-Benz. The digital dials are amazing. The infotainment system are touch screens and can be utilized with a touchpad. I would recommend using the touchpad while driving. The navigation can be seen in the digital dials and feels similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. Utilizing the climate controls are easy to use because they are physical buttons. This car did come with wireless charging, but the USB connections are all USB-C which is needed to connect your phone to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

My drive was a full five-minutes with four left turns and top speeds of 55 MPH. The 2.0-liter I4 makes 221-horsepower, 258 lb-ft, and all-wheel-drive. A 7-speed dual-clutch should help the CLA 250 4Matic get to 60 MPH in 6.3 seconds. Since I did 55 MPH, that didn’t exactly happen. The engine felt strong and felt similar to an Audi A3 45 TFSI. While driving, I was able to modify the seats so the bolsters coddled me while I was going around some bends. The roads I drove on were single-lane, so I wasn’t able to try out the Blind Spot Assist. This CLA came with the Illuminated Star, one of the most stupid and pointless symbols of brand snobbery. While driving, I tried the “Hey Mercedes” voice options and it worked for everything from the radio to navigation and even turning on the ventilated seats. 

The fly in the ointment for this car was the price. The regular CLA 250 4Matic starts at $38,000. As per the pricing sheet: The AMG Line was $1,950 and the Night Package cost $400. Multimedia Packages are $1,150 while the Premium Package costs $1,100. Black leather adds an additional $1,450. Various stand-alone options such as the heated and ventilated front seats, head-up display, blind-spot assist, and 19” black AMG wheels swelled this price to almost $52,000! 

Time for the verdict: should you take the CLA 250 4Matic for a test drive? Absolutely. Compared to its rivals, the CLA has become the frontrunner to test for a compact luxury vehicle and would test-drive it first. It’s a beautiful and stylish vehicle that’s really built for four people. The tech helps the CLA showcase that it is finally a powerhouse. Remember that this is German luxury so the options and packages can get the CLA well over $50,000.  If you’re looking for a compact luxury four-door coupe, go to your local Mercedes-Benz dealership and check one out. 


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