Mercedes-Benz’s small, sporty 2022 CLA-class sedan wears a striking fastback roofline and enough upscale detailing to earn its place among the more expensive cars in the luxury automaker’s lineup. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard and makes 221 hp in the CLA250, which is more than enough for most drivers; buy the AMG-tuned CLA35 or CLA45 (reviewed separately) if you need more gusto. Inside, the CLA-class features much of the same look and feel of a more expensive Benz, including the company’s MBUX infotainment system. If the coupe-like styling just isn’t your thing, you can instead opt for the mechanically similar A-class instead or go with one of the CLA250’s more traditionally-styled rivals, such as the Audi A3, the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe, or the Cadillac CT4.
What’s New for 2022?
The CLA-class sedan carries over to the 2022 model year with just one change: SiriusXM satellite radio is now included with the optional Premium package.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The CLA250 comes with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is standard on the CLA250 4Matic. The latter trim is a great choice for those who travel on wet, slippery roads, but we think everyone else will be happy with the CLA250. That car rides on 18-inch wheels and comes with exterior features such as automatic LED headlights, rear fog lamps, a sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and heated power-adjustable sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals. The list of standard amenities within the cabin includes 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a manually adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a folding rear bench seat with a 60/40 split, keyless entry and push-button ignition, and navigation. When it comes to driver-assistance features, automated emergency braking is standard.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
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.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With front-wheel drive, the 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, Comfort, and Cargo
Though it’s one of the least expensive models in the automaker’s range, the 2022 CLA-class boasts a cabin that looks like it belongs in a Mercedes-Benz. The center stack is clean and modern, embellished with a trio of circular air vents. 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 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 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.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 CLA-class is available with driver-assistance features that can help keep you out of harm’s way during your travels. For more information about the CLA250’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
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance