Mercedes-Benz CLA (2013 – 2018) Review

Mercedes-Benz CLA (2013 – 2018) At A Glance


+Small and stylish saloon based on the A-Class. Better quality ride. Decent sized boot given its size. Well finished interior. Better looking estate version from 2015.

-Not particularly engaging or rewarding to drive. Rear seats are only really any good for occasional use.

Insurance Groups are between 20–46
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

In creating the the CLA, Mercedes-Benz has essentially given the A-Class a CLS-style makeover and in an instant small saloons have just got sexy. Without a saloon option for the latest generations of Focus and Astra, buyers looking for a small car with a boot haven't had much choice and the Volkswagen Jetta has pretty much had the market to itself.

But the Jetta, for all its qualities, doesn't have the cachet of a Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW. And this is why the CLA is particularly noteworthy. It's the starting gun for small saloons from all three of the premium German manufacturers.

The CLA itself is pitched as a having the look of the larger CLS, but without the price tag. There is certainly a resemblance there, with a distinctive, rakish rear that blurs the line between saloon and coupe. As it stands, there's nothing like it on the market, so Mercedes-Benz is pretty confident that it will fly out of showrooms – even priced at £24,355 for the Sport and £26,555 for the AMG Sport. That's a couple of grand less than a C-Class, but still a hefty premium over an A-Class hatchback.

Being based on the A-Class means front-wheel drive and four-cylinder engines. It's a limited line up from launch, with just the CLA 180 petrol and CLA 220 CDI diesel on offer. Later in 2013 came the CLA 200 CDI and CLA 250, as well as the headline-grabbing CLA 45 AMG with 355PS.

Up front, it's very similar to the A-Class with very upmarket-looking controls that have a top quality feel to them. It also has an iPad-esque tablet mounted to the dash. It's standard and is how many of the car's functions, including the stereo and sat nav, are accessed. Right now it looks smart and is an innovation, but with the current pace of technological advances, you can't help but wonder whether it will start to look rather dated in a few years' time.

Overall the CLA offers a new spin for buyers whose default choice may previously have been an Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series. The looks won't be to everyone's taste, but those who like the coupe-like look or have previously fancied a CLS, but haven't had the cash, will not just like it, but will love it.

Road Test Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI Shooting Brake

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz CLA (2013 – 2018)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

22–62 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a car with a shooting brake bodystyle?
"I want to buy a car with a bodystyle that consists of a two-door coupe at the front and estate at the back. It must have four seats and preferably four-wheel drive. Can you recommend anything? All I can find is the Ferrari GTC4Lussom which is over £200k!"
Shooting Brakes aren't necessarily four-wheel drives with two doors, Mercedes-Benz makes shooting brake versions of the CLS and CLA, Porsche calls the Panamera Gran Turismo a shooting brake. Want something cheaper? There's always the Reliant Scimitar.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Where can I find a garage to change my transmission fluid?
" Where can I find a garage in the Reading area to change the transmission fluid in my 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI?"
Thank you for your message. These are the best-rated garages in the Reading area: Any quality garage will be able to carry out a transmission fluid change.
Answered by David Ross
Buying a Mercedes-Benz CLA - 220d or 200d?
"I am considering buying a Mercedes-Benz CLA, is the 220d worth the extra over the 200d. I do circa 20,000 miles per year and the base spec seems enough for my needs, but do you recommend any extras?"
200, 220 and 250CDI are all the same engine with the wick progressively turned up. The 200 is the most reliable. Satnav will be useful.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz CLA (2013 – 2018) cost?