The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class wraps a 221-hp turbo-4 in sleek 4-door coupe style and standard 18-inch wheels. More impressive than how it looks is how it listens, with the advanced MBUX voice assistant and digital cockpit. The CLA sedan dresses up the Mercedes-Benz lineup’s small car family with dramatic styling and at least a hint of luxury. It’s worth shopping against the BMW 2-Series, Audi A3, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION

All 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedans are motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Gears are shifted by a seven-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. At our test track, and all-wheel drive CLA250 4Matic model sprinted to 60 mph in a sprightly 5.6 seconds. The CLA-class offers handling that’s polished, with nicely calibrated steering, minimum body roll when cornering, and a pleasantly firm brake pedal. Still, downshifts from the gearbox are occasionally clunky. Different drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual) give you the ability to tailor the car’s performance to suit your preferences.

ENERGY AND REAL WORLD-MPG

With front-wheel drive, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class achieves EPA-rated fuel economy of 25/36 mpg city/highway. Fuel economy for models with all-wheel drive comes in at 24/33 mpg. Those figures are competitive for the segment, but you’ll get better fuel economy with the Audi A3 (up to 29/38 mpg). In our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, the all-wheel drive CLA250 managed to exactly meet its EPA estimate of 33 mpg. For more information about the CLA-class’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH

The sloping roof that gives the CLA-Class its “coupe” moniker results in limited head room, especially for rear-seat passengers. Even trunk space is a shrimpy 11.6 cubic feet, putting it on par with many two-door coupes.

Swanky design aside, the CLA-Class rates just 5 out of 10 for its comfort and quality.

Front-seat passengers will find plenty of adjustment but not a lot of space, and the bolsters fitted to AMG versions make for a tight squeeze.

IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s new infotainment system, and it features a touchpad-equipped steering wheel and console-mounted control pad. Overall, the setup is easy to use and configure. A 7.0-inch display is standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The options list includes an upgraded Burmester audio system and SiriusXM satellite radio.

PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS

We’re not quite sure yet, but expectations are high. We’ll update this review if the IIHS or the NHTSA crashes this little Benz.

Standard crash-avoidance tech is what we consider bare minimum at this point: automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and LED headlights. You’ll pay extra for adaptive cruise control and automatic lane-change, both of which require buying additional items first.

PHOTOS2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED
$53,190 (base price: $39,645)

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement
122 in3, 1991 cm3
Power
221 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque
258 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

TRANSMISSION
7-speed dual-clutch automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented, cross-drilled disc/12.6-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4 ZP, 225/45R-18 91H M+S MOE

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 107.4 in
Length: 184.6 in
Width: 72.0 in
Height: 56.7 in
Passenger volume: 89 ft3
Trunk volume: 12 ft3
Curb weight: 3535 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 5.6 sec
100 mph: 15.0 sec
130 mph: 30.3 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.3 sec
¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 97 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 166 ft

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 21 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 33 mpg
Highway range: 430 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 27/23/33 mpg

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