The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is now a right proper Benz. If you thought the old one was nice but waited until now to get one, you did the right thing.
I was never a fan of the 2013-2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA. Beyond the styling and available shooting-brake (not for us sadly), whenever I reviewed one, I always came away thinking that the car did not deserve the three-pointed star on its fascia. This applied to the AMG CLA 45 too.
Now however, Mercedes-Benz has brought it’s a game. The new 2020 CLA is based on the excellent new A Class and other than the fact that the old and new CLA look alike and share a column-mounted shifter, the cars are very different.
The 1st generation CLA was immensely popular and affordable. The new 2020 CLA 250 4MATIC (only version available at first) will likely be more expensive and then there’s the arrival of the A Class to contend with too. And let’s not forget the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé…
Should you then consider the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA? Read on.
Why you should buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA:
- Although the old CLA was attractive, the new car has beautifully matured and looks far more upscale. As well, all CLAs will only sport the AMG line body kit in Canada.
- Not only is the outer shell properly evolved but the cabin has now moved into real Mercedes-Benz premium territory. The craftsmanship and materials are just about S Class worthy.
- The standard twin 7-inch screens which grow to 10.25 inches as an option with accompanying MBUX are a tech junkie’s dream.
- The standard 221-horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine and a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and 4MATIC AWD make for a spirited driving machine.
- The new platform allows for a controlled, comfortable and refined driving experience. Steering, brakes and handling are all ideally tuned.
Why you should not buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA:
- The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, despite having grown slightly in size, remains snug chiefly for rear passengers.
- The most annoying feature of this car is the shifter – not it per se but how it works. Shifting between “D” and “R” is slow and often the gear change fails to occur, leaving the transmission in “N” and the driver needlessly revving the engine.
- The A 220 4MATIC could be a problem especially if the CLA 250 4Matic retails $6,000 or $7,000 more for a little more power.
- The Mercedes-Benz has no intentions to bring over the shooting brake to North America – they’re mean.
It is difficult to conclude properly without knowing the final price tag for the car but we are convinced Mercedes-Benz Canada will keep it reasonable. With a number of products sharing its components (A and B Classes), Benz’s economies of scale should translate into a sticker price that will continue to seriously undercut the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé.
What’s more, a Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC is on the way which should, once more, be more affordable the basic versions of the others. And then, although nothing is yet official, we should see a new AMG 45 before too long.
The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is now a real Mercedes, with a good chassis, an upscale interior and a drive to match. There are no good reasons not to consider this car unless you need a new one now as it will only hit showrooms later this year. Depending on your budget, I’d look into the Sportback.