Review: 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

The CLA comes with a great list of standard features, refreshed styling cues, more engine power, and the same attainable luxury it's always had.

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA was introduced in its second generation in 2020 and receives several updates for 2024. As an affordable, small four-door luxury sedan, the CLA combines a sleek fastback roofline with sporty design. The CLA comes with a great list of standard features, refreshed styling cues, more engine power, and the same attainable luxury it’s always had.

Previously, long lines and a fat marque were the Mercedes CLA grille. This has been replaced with a mesh grille for a more sophisticated appearance. A new rear diffuser changes up the rear fascia and a few other design tweaks update the look of the new CLA nicely.

The 2024 CLA is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive is the default, but 4Matic (all-wheel drive) is available on all three trim models for the new CLA.

The 2.0L engine for the CLA 250 now outputs 221 horsepower to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This base model comes with LED headlamps, 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone climate, customizable ambient interior lighting, and a host of advanced safety systems. To include semi-automated parking and safe exist assist.

The AMG CLA 35, which is what we drove, upgrades the engine output to 302 horsepower and a performance-tuned eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. AMG-specific wheels, a sport exhaust system, sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, and a Burmester surround-sound audio system are also added.

For those wanting maximum output, the AMG CLA 45 S upgrades the 2.0L to an astonishing 416 horsepower, 19-inch wheels, and a sport-tuned AWD system.

As noted, most of the upgrades for the three time levels of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA focus on the powertrain and chassis. The rest of the luxurious details come in option packages. These package add a variety of things like adaptive cruise control (which somehow isn’t included by default), lane change assistance, adaptive LED headlamps, a head-up display, navigation, a unique diamond-pattern grille, Nappa leather, and a lot more. These options drive the price upwards quickly, though. So pick and choose carefully.

Whatever packages are chosen, though, the 2024 CLA feels like a Mercedes. Despite its relatively bargain price of about $45,000 to start, the CLA includes all of the cushiness and driver-centric German design Mercedes fans have learned to expect. Even the base level model’s included technology is top shelf stuff. Even if some expected standards aren’t there.

Above all, though, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is a joy to drive. It’s agile, quick to respond, and dynamic in appeal. This is one of the best MBs one can get for pure fun without taking out a second mortgage to get it.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at