2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA is an entry-level compact luxury sedan, and the least expensive vehicle in the brand’s lineup with a starting MSRP of $32,700. The CLA is marketed by Mercedes-Benz as a coupe due to its swoopy silhouette that echoes the larger four-door CLS. Overall, it’s a nice looking car both inside and out, however it lacks the substance some shopper might expect from the brand. With a front-wheel-drive based platform, the CLA offers less stability at the limit and when accelerating relative to the rear-wheel-drive platforms in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.

Pros: Taught Handling, Great Styling, Efficient, Performance Trims Available

Cons: Tight Cabin, Lacks Some Expected Standard Features, Firm Ride, Road Noise

Looks Best In: Mountain Grey exterior/Nut Brown interior

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Competition: Audi A3, Lexus IS, Volvo S60, Volkswagen Golf GTI, BMW 3 Series

Summary: The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a fun-to-drive car, however the price quickly escalates after adding in features like automatic climate control and heated seats. The CLA45 AMG is a sporting variant that offers an engaging driving experience. With its small interior and unrefined highway driving experience, the CLA is not as ideal a companion for long hauls as its rivals the Audi A3 and BMW 3 Series. However, for a slick and stylish city runabout the CLA offers prestige and panache for shoppers looking for an upgrade over a high-end trim level of a mainstream mid-size sedan.

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[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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Brian Rogers

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