2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. Its Competition

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA appears to be succeeding in its mission of attracting new and younger buyers to the quintessential German luxury brand.

But it's facing new and tough competitors, including the Audi A3 that was recently retooled into the dominant sedan format (the A3 Sportback is only offered as a plug-in hybrid).

The BMW 2-Series is a coupe only, though a handsome one with the on-road characteristics you'd expect from its rear-wheel-drive underpinnings.

Earlier arrivals all have a few flaws: The Acura ILX has already been updated to give it more of a performance image, but its awkward styling remains.

The Lexus CT 200h is a hatchback only, and it's a hybrid, though we found a surprisingly enjoyable one to drive—and it's aging now.

Finally, the Buick Verano now has a turbo version to go with its traditionally relaxed ride and handling (though we question how much cross-shopping there is between Mercedes and Buick).

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
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2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus2016 Acura ILX
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2016 Audi A32016 Audi A3
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2016 BMW 2-Series2016 BMW 2-Series
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2016 Buick Verano Turbo2016 Buick Verano
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Quick Specs
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA is tight on rear-seat space, and on value—but long on style and in AMG trim, explosive performance.
The 2016 Acura ILX has a sportier focus than other entry-luxury sedans, without sacrificing comfort and refinement.
The 2016 Audi A3 models offer a variety of body styles, powertrains, and options to battle whatever the small luxury segment has to offer.
The 2016 2-Series may be an entry-level model in BMW's lineup, but it builds on a rich lineage, as a well-rounded luxury sports coupe with all the looks, handling and features that you might expect.
The 2016 Buick Verano delivers heavily on comfort and quiet, even if it's not much of a sport sedan.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Gas/4-cyl
EPA Class    
Compact CarsCompact CarsSubcompact CarsSubcompact CarsCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan CLA 250 FWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan FWD 1.8T Premium Plus2-Door Coupe 228i RWD4-Door Sedan w/1SV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
Auto-Shift Manual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODManual w/ODAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Acura ILX2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Audi A32016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 BMW 2-Series2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Buick Verano