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2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

$32,700 — $34,700 MSRP
Sedan
5 Seats
28-30 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Automatic emergency braking standard
  • Straightforward center controls
  • Relative affordability
  • Decent list of standard features

The Bad

  • Poor visibility
  • Turbulent ride
  • Accelerator, transmission lag
  • Cramped cabin
  • Hit-and-miss cabin quality
  • Gets expensive with options
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250
  • Ice Edition available
  • Entry-luxury sedan with coupelike design
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Turbo four-cylinder standard
  • High-performance AMG CLA45 available
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto available

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

by Kelsey Mays -

Mercedes-Benz's latest effort at entry-luxury sedans comes with the A-Class, a global nameplate that makes its U.S. debut starting in early 2019. Wait, what? Yes: Amid consumer preference for SUVs, luxury brands are still investing in small sedans — or, at least, Mercedes is. The A-Class heralds an overhauled small-car platform that will soon underpin redesigns of the swoopy CLA-Class sedan and GLA-Class SUV. It's easily an all-around better choice than the current CLA, which will remain in our market, though a few annoyances stop the A-Class short of a clean "A" grade.

Related: Here's Our Full Preview of the All-New 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Offered outside the U.S. for three prior generations as only a hatchback, the A-Class now adds a sedan, which is the only body style we'll get when it hits dealerships in early 2019. It comes initially as the A220, available with front- or all-wheel drive (4Matic). I drove both drivelines at a press preview in Seattle (per Cars.com's ethics policy, we pay for our lodging and airfare to such automaker-sponsored events).

How It Drives

The A220 carries a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 188 horsepower and 221 pounds-feet of torque. It works through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the combination makes for punchier acceleration than the modest output specs suggest. The automatic transmission delays occasionally on multigear downshifts, but most of the time ... Read More

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
28 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(3.0)

Eh. It?s getting old, and it?s too expensive.

by DavePgh from Pittsburgh, PA on October 18, 2018

Have a loaner car this week and it?s a huge step down from the GLC in terms of quality. The interior fittings include a lot of scratchy plastic, the headroom is nonexistent, with a few options on, ... Read full review

(5.0)

Fun and reliable

by Kristen from Michigan on September 30, 2018

Such comfort and fun to drive! The whole family loves it! I feel safe and proud to own it. Get one while you can! I want my husband to get one now! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
good

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Headlights

Overall Rating
poor

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
acceptable
Structure and Safety Cage
good
poor
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Latest 2018 CLA 250 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The CLA 250 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker