Find a car review

Make
Model

Mercedes-Benz CLA review - does the sporty saloon's drive match its looks? - Mercedes-Benz CLA MPG and running costs

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

The petrol cars might be more appealing to drive, but the diesels make a lot more sense if you’re driven by budget. The CLA 200d in standard manual guise emits 109g/km, that dropping to 105g/km if you option the automatic transmission.  There’s no penalty for the additional performance for the CLA 220d either, its 106g/km putting it in the same tax band as its less powerful relation.

All the diesels dodge road tax too - for the first year at least. Official combined economy figures for those autos are 70.6mpg and the manual CLA 200d returns 67.3mpg. The CLA 220d manages 68.9mpg in two-wheel drive form (it's auto-only) but choosing 4Matic hammers the economy, pushing it to 58.9mpg, with CO2 output rising to 123g/km, some four tax bands above the same engine with front-wheel drive.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The petrol versions cannot compete with the diesels on pure economy grounds. The cleanest CLA 180 manages 124g/km and 53.3mpg when optioned with the automatic transmission, or 128g/km and 51.4mpg in manual specification. The CLA 250 4Matic returns 42.2mpg on the combined cycle, with emissions ranging from 152- to 158g/km depending on alloy wheel size - the change from 18-to 19-inch alloys adding to your tax liability.

It's probably worth noting that diesels may well become significantly more expensive to run in future as governments clamp down on the pollution they produce - and some plan to ban diesel vehicles entirely in cities. Worth remembering if you're living somewhere like London. Likewise, recent VED changes mean that while some first-year rates are still low for low-CO2 cars, the annual rate is £140 for most conventional cars - or £450 a year if your car has a list price of more than £40,000. Currently, the surcharge will only affect AMG models.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Residual values should be strong so leasing rates are low, while there's fixed-price servicing via a monthly payment. Mercedes-Benz’s determination to gain sales in the smaller car sector means it’s offering extremely attractive financing and ownership deals, too, making the CLA relatively inexpensive to buy and own, despite its relatively high pricing.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/review/201600/milltek-volkswagen-up-gti-review-tuner-takes-supermini-to-145bhp
Review

Miltek Volkswagen Up GTI review

VW’s Up GTI is already a favourite of ours. Can Milltek’s upgrades improve it further?
16 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019