Luxury cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA says so long to entry level with $3,000-plus price hike

It's going to cost quite a bit more to put a CLA in your driveway, but the A-Class makes up for it somewhat.

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA

Not so entry-level anymore.

Mercedes-Benz

When the Mercedes-Benz CLA first arrived in the US, it marked a big shift for the German luxury brand. The C-Class was no longer the gateway model and the CLA was priced aggressively to start just around $30,000. That figure is long gone, friends.

For 2020, Mercedes-Benz said in a Thursday release that the CLA will cost $37,645 after a $995 destination charge. For starters, that's almost $7,000 more than what the first CLA cost originally. Secondly, that's a pretty hefty price bump over the 2019 model. Buyers will fork over $3,550 more for the new model. Add all-wheel drive and buyers will flirt with $40,000 for a base model at $39,645.

To be fair, the CLA does differentiate itself from the brand's new entry-level model, the A-Class. For starters, the CLA comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine that musters 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, the A-Class's 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes just 188 hp and 221 pound-feet of torque. The CLA is also larger than before and boasts that swankier coupe-like look that's all the rage these days.

Standard equipment for all CLA models includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a matching 7-inch touchscreen for infotainment purposes. The brand's latest infotainment system, MBUX, is also on board with its "Hey Mercedes" command ready to answer your questions and assist. Additional driver assistance packages and premium goodies will increase the CLA's price well past $40,000 before other fees and taxes.

Is all of it too pedestrian, perhaps? There will also be Mercedes-AMG models to heat things up. The CLA35 and CLA45 models will boast 302 hp and nearly 400 hp, respectively.  Prices aren't available for the sportier of CLAs, but expect healthy premiums over the standard car. Buyers will find the regular CLA arriving at dealers this fall.

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