The Mercedes CLA250 is a sporty 4-door coupe version of the Mercedes Benz A-Class. The 1st generation CLA-Class was introduced in 2013 before it got a mid-cycle refresh in 2016. The 2nd generation of the CLA was introduced in 2019 and is still being made. However, Is Mercedes CLA250 a good car?
The first generation of the CLA250 is not on par with the rest of its competition and that is why it is not really the best. The second generation of the CLA250 is much better as it now is a clear class leader and therefore is a really good car.
The CLA250 is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with more than 200hp which makes it a fairly fast car. The engine is efficient, smooth, and sophisticated. The design of the CLA250 is also much better than the 2nd generation, especially on the inside where the differences between these two generations are night and day.
The CLA250 is also a relatively reliable car, but there are some issues worth talking about such as the engine, the transmission, the cooling system, the equipment, and the electricals. The 1st gen CLA is affordable, but it still makes more sense to buy the 2nd gen model. Practicality is decent, but nothing to brag about.
Mercedes Benz CLA250 – The powertrain
The CLA250 is being powered by a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 209hp or 218hp for the 1st generation model or 224hp for the 2nd generation model. These engines are relatively similar between both generations because Mercedes didn’t feel the need to upgrade an engine too much because it was already a really good engine.
Both the 1st generation and the 2nd generation of the CLA250 are predominantly RWD cars, but you do have the ability to go for a 4MATIC AWD version. The CLA 250 also gets the Mercedes proprietary 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that is both smooth and seamless.
The 1st generation of the CLA250 can return up to 35MPG while the 2nd generation is very much the same. The 2.0L engine found in the CLA250 is a really good engine and it offers more power than the 2.0L engines in Audi and BMW do, at least before stepping into BMW M and Audi S/RS territory.
Mercedes Benz CLA250 – Design and chassis
First-generation of the CLA250 looks nice, but the post-facelift 1st gen looks much better. Some people don’t like the way the first CLA looks because they deem it to be overstyled. The current CLA250 looks much better as it incorporates much cleaner design lines throughout the car. The interior is much better with the current CLA as the 1st gen CLA interior was lackluster even when it first came out.
When it comes to the driving experience, the current CLA250 also bests the first-generation model because it takes corners a lot better. As far as comfort is concerned, both of these have got it, but the current CLA is, once again, a cut above the 1st gen CLA.
Mercedes Benz CLA250 – Reliability and common issues
Reliability is not really something the 1st gen CLA is known for and that is partially why so many people deem it to be a lower quality product compared to its competitors. The 2nd generation of the CLA is an upgrade on all fronts, including reliability. Either way, both need maintenance, otherwise, they will fail.
The most common CLA250 issues are associated with the engine, the transmission, the cooling system, the electronics, and the equipment. If you are interested in buying either of these, be sure to go for one that has all of the maintenance and service records readily available.
Mercedes Benz CLA250 – Value and practicality
Value-wise, the 1st generation of the CLA has depreciated quite a bit and many people are interested in buying one. The 1st gen CLA can be a good purchase, but only if you get a good deal, and if you go for an example that has been properly taken care of. The 2nd generation of the CLA is much more expensive but is also much more of a car.
Practicality is not where any of these score their points because they are small and they certainly do lack interior space for taller adults. Trunk space is also relatively compact and due to the car’s design, loading heavy and wide items is also difficult. Visibility is good, but the car sits really low so getting into the car is not the easiest thing in the world.
Is the Mercedes CLA250 a family car?
It depends on the family. It’s safe to say that the CLA was never positioned as a family car because that is obvious the moment you lay your eyes on the car. It is a car designed for younger people and those who prefer style, even over substance in the case of the 1st gen CLA. If you have a young family, the CLA can cut it without any issues.
However, if you have an adult family, it’s going to be a really tight squeeze in the CLA. The A-Class hatchback actually offers considerably more space and it does not feel as claustrophobic as the CLA does, at least not in the second row of seats.
Should I buy a Mercedes CLA?
If you are after a stylish German sports compact sedan, the CLA is likely in the top 3 choices on your list. The reason why is simple, it is a Mercedes that looks great, drives great, and makes you feel like a million dollars. However, the time has shown that the 1st generation of the CLA is not the best while the current CLA is much better.
Therefore, if you are interested in one, go for the 2nd generation model as it is a better car from every perspective.
Is the Mercedes CLA-Class better than the Mercedes A-Class?
The Mercedes CLA-Class shares the majority of its parts with the A-Class which means that these two are effectively the same. The CLA is the more stylish, more desirable version while the A-Class is the more practical and more affordable version.
The question here is do you prefer style and driving dynamics over practicality and value. If you think about that hard enough, you will know which one of these two is the better car for you.