It’s been a few years since Mercedes-Benz introduced the current-generation CLA, which means it’s time for a refresh. Although without sitting the new car next to the old one, you may not notice the styling updates to the 2024 CLA. Exterior changes are minimal, although they do make the car more attractive. Both the front and rear ends have been tweaked, but the CLA’s already a good-looking sedan, so we’re not exactly upset Mercedes didn’t do more.
What’s most interesting is the engine in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S. Somehow, engineers were able to squeeze out even more power than before, bringing the new total up to 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque — from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. That’s an increase of 34 hp, and enough to launch the all-wheel-drive CLA 45 S to 60 mph in four seconds flat. That’s also more power than the E39 M5 made with twice the cylinders. (The previous-generation AMG CLA 45 S once held the record for most powerful production four-cylinder engine, but was recently toppled by the 469-hp engine in the new hybrid C63.)
Beneath the CLA 45 S in the lineup is the CLA 35, which “only” makes 302 hp and needs 4.8 seconds to hit 60 mph. Those figures aren’t nearly as impressive as its big brother’s, but let’s not pretend that a sub-five-second zero-to-60 mph time isn’t quick. The CLA 35 also benefits from a mild-hybrid system that promises “almost imperceptible” engine start-stop technology and can add an extra 13 hp when needed.
Drop down to the base CLA 250, which unlike the others is front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional), and you only get 221 hp. But it does get the same mild-hybrid setup as the CLA 35, which helps the base version hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds.
Inside, the most noticeable change is between the seats. With an upgraded infotainment system, the old trackpad controller is no longer needed and has been removed. The parking package and mirror package are also now standard, as is support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get a number of trim and upholstery color choices, and there are a few more options such as a heated steering wheel and an upgraded Burmester sound system.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but Mercedes says the updated CLA will hit dealerships later this year.