2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. Its Competition

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The CLA-Class is the smallest Mercedes on sale today, but it’s hardly alone in the class.

Both BMW and Audi offer similarly sized competitors, with different takes.

The Audi A3 may be the most direct competitor, with four doors and a turbocharged inline-4, although a convertible and hatchback are also offered by Audi.

BMW’s 2-Series is a two-door competitor, although we’re partial to their powertrains—particularly the 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the 230.

Buick’s Verano won’t see next year, and the Lexus CT is certainly due for an update too.

The Acura ILX doesn’t offer much of a sporty option there—it’s too logical.

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
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2018 Acura ILX2018 Acura ILX
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2018 Audi S32018 Audi A3
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2018 BMW 2-Series2018 BMW 2-Series
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2016 Buick Verano Turbo2017 Buick Verano
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2017 Lexus CT 200h2017 Lexus CT
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Quick Specs
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a gorgeous shape in an impressive package. Equally impressive? Its ability to get expensive, even despite being the most affordable sedan in Mercedes' stable.
The 2018 Acura ILX is an acceptable entry-level luxury car, but a loaded-up mainstream model like the Honda Civic delivers more features and refinements for less money.
The 2018 Audi S3 is a blast to drive, but it suffers from a tiny rear seat and the Volkswagen Golf R offers the same performance with more room for less.
The 2018 BMW 2-Series is a competent coupe with plenty of power—even in base trim.
The 2017 Buick Verano delivers quiet and comfort but the most appealing engine, the 2.0-liter turbo, doesn't return for the final run. Buyers should look for deals on this lame-duck car.
The unexpectedly sporty character of the 2017 Lexus CT 200h may attract new buyers in the growing segment of luxury compacts, meaning its high fuel economy isn't its only allure.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Gas/4-cylGas/Electric I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompact CarsSubcompact CarsSubcompact CarsCompactCompact Cars
Style Name     
CLA 250 CoupeSedan2.0 TFSI Premium FWD230i Coupe4-Door Sedan w/1SVCT 200h F Sport FWD
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Auto-Shift Manual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/Manual ShiftCVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2018 Acura ILX2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2018 Audi A32018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2018 BMW 2-Series2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2017 Buick Verano2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class vs. 2017 Lexus CT