2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA Introduction

First launched as a 2014 model, the still-striking CLA sedan is billed as a “four-door coupe” by Mercedes-Benz. Compact in size but strong in finesse as well as luxury fittings, the CLA makes some near-luxury rivals from Audi and BMW look almost subdued.

Two new equipment groups, Premium and Convenience, are now included with the performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 edition, which also gains 19-inch multi-spoke AMG wheels. Otherwise, apart from a new Denim Blue body color for the 4-cylinder model, little has changed for the 2019 model year.

As before, two versions are offered: CLA 250 and AMG CLA 45. In the CLA 250, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine develops 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mating with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acceleration to 60 mph is accomplished in 6.8 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the CLA 250, but 4Matic all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. The 4Matic system is front-drive oriented, but can send as much as half of engine power to the rear wheels.

The CLA 45 unleashes a 375-horsepower rendition of the 2.0-liter turbo, cranking out 350 pound-feet of torque. An AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission, also 7-speed, sends all that energy to an AMG Performance 4Matic system. Reaching 60 mph takes just a hair over 4 seconds.

Despite being marketed for several years, the CLA has never been crash-tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the latter agency has given the CLA a Superior score for frontal collision avoidance, providing optional equipment is installed. Headlights, in contrast, were rated Poor.

Standard safety equipment includes forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking, a driver attention monitor, and a rearview camera. Additional safety features are offered as options, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, LED headlights, and parking sensors.

Options for the CLA 250 include a panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system, parking sensors, and 18-inch wheels. Recaro seats can enhance the experience in a Mercedes-Benz CLA 45.

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