2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Introduction

The stylish Mercedes-Benz CLA is the brand’s smallest sedan, capable of seating two comfortably. The CLA250 achieves good fuel economy while the CLA45AMG delivers very quick acceleration performance. All-wheel drive is available.

Introduced as a 2014 model, the 2016 CLA250 is largely unchanged, apart from a few feature, trim, and option revisions. A new Night Package option is available, and a Dynamic Select drive mode has been added for 2016. Just 750 examples of an Orange special-edition will be offered nationwide.

With its low nose and rear end, the CLA is a brash entry into the premium small-sedan category. Overall shape is similar to the larger CLS, which Mercedes-Benz dubs a four-door coupe rather than a sedan. Inside, too, the CLA resembles a scaled-down copy of a large Mercedes-Benz model.

The CLA250 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, developing 208 horsepower and 254 foot-pounds of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends that power to the front wheels. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel paddles engage the manual-shifting provision. Acceleration to 60 mph takes just 6.7 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz, a quick performance.

The CLA250 offers a choice of 4MATIC all-wheel drive or standard all-wheel drive.

Also available is the expensive, low-volume CLA45 AMG, with a similar 2.0-liter powertrain that’s been strengthened and uprated in every way to generates 350 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. That’s slightly more power than what the 2015 model offered, helped by higher turbo boost, yielding 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds, which is very quick. All-wheel drive is standard on the CLA45 AMG, and its reprogrammed transmission responds far quicker, downshifting less often than previously.

Every CLA250 has a couple of safety features that aren’t typical in mainstream compact models. Collision Prevention Assist warns of obstacles ahead. Attention Assist monitors possible driver fatigue. Options include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, parking sensors, and parking assist. Crash-testing has not yet taken place.

Mercedes-Benz wisely decided touchscreens are too distracting, so there’s no touch interface. Smartphones may be connected via a 5.8-inch screen and Mercedes-Benz mBrace2. Three navigation systems are available. One of them includes voice commands, real-time traffic data, and a rearview camera.

Base MSRP excludes transportation and handling charges, destination charges, taxes, title, registration, preparation and documentary fees, tags, labor and installation charges, insurance, and optional equipment, products, packages and accessories. Options, model availability and actual dealer price may vary. See dealer for details, costs and terms.

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