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).
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|2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA ClassBrowse Used Listings||2016 Acura ILXBrowse Used Listings||2016 Audi A3Browse Used Listings||2016 BMW 2-SeriesBrowse Used Listings||2016 Buick VeranoBrowse Used Listings|
|23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Premium Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4||Gas/4-cyl|
|Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Subcompact Cars||Subcompact Cars||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan CLA 250 FWD||4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan FWD 1.8T Premium Plus||2-Door Coupe 228i RWD||4-Door Sedan w/1SV|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Auto-Shift Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Automatic w/Manual Shift|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Acura ILX||2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Audi A3||2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 BMW 2-Series||2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2016 Buick Verano|