2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA-Class Review, Pricing, and Specs
Mercedes’s AMG tuning arm has long been known for its bonkers-powerful sports sedans, and while the 2024 CLA-class is one of the smallest, it’s no less worthy of its place in the lineup. Starting with the Benz-branded CLA-class, the Mercedes-AMG transformation starts with an engine transplant, with CLA35 models getting a turbocharged four-cylinder with 302 ponies on tap. The more expensive CLA45 S model brings even more heat, packing a version of the same boosted engine that’s been dialed-up to 416 horsepower. Styling elements are everywhere to remind you that you paid more for the AMG, and the CLA’s coupe-like roofline lends itself well to the car’s sporting mission. The cabin isn’t as roomy as competitors’ such as the Audi S3 or the Cadillac CT4-V, but this isn’t a car intended to be practical. This is a small luxury car with big attitude—and that disposition is something it inherits from the more expensive AMG models.
What’s New for 2024?
Like its standard Benz brother, the AMG CLA-class receives a styling refresh for 2024 that includes a revised grille, updated headlamps, restyled taillamps, and new wheel designs. The CLA35 gains a 48-volt electrical system that’s found in other Mercedes models such as the C-class sedan, and it swaps its seven-speed automatic for an eight-speed. At the top of the lineup, the CLA45 model gains the S moniker and sees its horsepower rise to 416 ponies. The cabin has been similarly refreshed with new upholstery choices, a new steering-wheel design, and updated software for the dual-screen infotainment system, which can now support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The CLA45 S is the most intense member of the CLA family, but its high base price pushes it into competition with larger, more refined sports sedans, so we’d stick with the CLA35 and try to have a light hand with the options.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
While both models boast the company’s latest turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the CLA35 makes 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque while the CLA45 S develops a rousing 416 ponies and 369 pound-feet. Both come with an eight-speed automatic and are equipped with 4Matic+ all-wheel drive standard, which can send all of the power to the rear wheels. The CLA45 S can even be equipped with a tail-sliding Drift drive mode. A set of optional adaptive dampers provide adjustable ride quality. At our test track, the 302-hp CLA35 managed a quick 4.4-second zero-to-60-mph time, and the CLA45—back when it made only 382 horsepower—blasted to 60 in just 3.7 seconds. Now that the CLA45 S makes 34 horsepower more, it should be slightly quicker. When we get a chance to test it, we’ll update this story with details.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
While the EPA has yet to weigh in on the 2024 CLA35 and CLA45 S’s fuel economy figures, we aren’t expecting much change from the 2023 models. The 2023 CLA35 was rated at 23 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. That represents a 4 mpg penalty on the highway compared to the much-less-powerful Mercedes-Benz CLA250 with all-wheel drive. The CLA35’s fuel economy, however, is similar to those of competitors such as the Audi S3 and BMW M235i Gran Coupe. The more powerful CLA45 was rated for 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. For more information about the CLA-class’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The CLA45 S stands out on the street from the CLA35 with a flashier grille, wider front fenders, extra aerodynamic bits, and more. However, the two have similar aesthetics on the inside. Both can be outfitted with black faux-suede accents as well as red seatbelts and contrast stitching. They also have customizable ambient interior lighting that includes illuminated circular air vents in the instrument panel. The front seats are pleasantly spacious, but there’s limited headroom in the second row due to the car’s sloping roofline. This sedan provides 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s less than in the outgoing model, but it’s still enough to house a couple of overnight bags or an average grocery haul.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CLA35 and CLA45 S are equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX infotainment system, which features tiny, finicky touchpads on the steering wheel and a console-mounted control pad. The digital instrument-cluster screen and the standard 10.3-inch infotainment display live under one large horizontal piece of glass that stretches across much of the dashboard. Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system are standard, and all models come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The options list includes an upgraded Burmester audio system and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2024 CLA-class cars are available with driver-assistance features that can help keep you out of harm’s way during your travels. For more information about the CLA-class’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes’s warranty coverage doesn’t include complimentary maintenance, which puts it behind some of its luxury competitors. Otherwise, Mercedes’s warranty coverage is largely in line with the coverage offered by comparable brands.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs