Mercedes-Benz CLA review - does the sporty saloon's drive match its looks? - Mercedes-Benz CLA performance and 0-60 time

Mercedes-Benz refreshes its compact saloon and estate - but can it compete with the class best?

Evo rating
Price
from £25,395
  • Looks, AMG performance, cool interior
  • Fussy automatic, cramped interior, not that memorable to drive

For bombastic performance you’ll have to choose the CLA AMG 45 with its 4.2-second 0-62mph time and electronically limited 155mph top speed.

Among the non-AMG models (and by that we mean the proper Affalterbach-built flagship as opposed to the AMG Line models that are included here), the CLA 250 4Matic is the quickest, using its 215bhp and 258lb ft of torque to good effect through the 4Matic system to reach 62mph in 6.4 seconds.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The next quickest is the CLA 220d, with manages the 0-62mph sprint in as little as 7.7 seconds, while the CLA 180 takes 8.7 seconds and the CLA 200d in 9.5 seconds - depending on whether it’s auto or manual.

Top speeds follow the same hierarchy, the CLA 250 able to manage 155mph, the CLA 220d 144mph, CLA 200d 134mph and the CLA 180 trailing at 130mph (reaching 62mph in nine seconds flat, in manual form). All respectable enough numbers and the diesel is not as tardy as those sprint times would have you believe.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s sizeable, if short-lived, mid-range punch from the diesels, both the 200 and 220 CDI needing a peculiar driving style to achieve the best from them. They’re pretty rough too, Merc’s small diesel engines not offering the sort of smooth refinement that even some mainstream makers now deliver from their turbodiesels.

That makes the petrol engines more attractive; the CLA 180 might be the lightest on output at 120bhp, but it’s smooth right up to the top of its rev range - where it delivers its best. The CLA 250 4Matic will sell in single numbers in the UK, but it’s arguably the sweetest of them all; being responsive, powerful and rich in torque it’s a junior AMG in the making. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/bmw/2-series-coupe/202900/new-bmw-2-series-coupe-spied-ahead-of-reveal
BMW 2 Series coupe

New rear-wheel drive BMW 2-series coupe spied – the M2’s not dead yet

BMW’s 2-series Coupe is coming back, with right-wheel drive.
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/roma
Ferrari

Ferrari Roma 2020 review – a new take on the Italian GT

Direct, engaging handling and superb ride quality, plus strong performance: the sharp-suited Roma nails its GT brief
5 Aug 2020