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Mercedes will still sell CLA-Class alongside new A-Class sedan

In fact, a new CLA is expected to arrive next year.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan
The Mercedes-Benz A220 arrives in the US early 2019.

The subcompact Mercedes-Benz A-Class will go on sale in the US early next year. And while it's easy to assume that this new model will serve as the replacement for the CLA, the truth is, these models will coexist in Mercedes showrooms.

During a media event for the A-Class in Seattle this week, a Mercedes-Benz representative told Roadshow the current CLA-Class will be sold until a new one arrives sometime next year. A redesigned GLA-Class crossover will follow.

The A-Class will be sold in front-wheel-drive A220 and all-wheel-drive A220 4Matic guises, and will "establish a new gateway for the Mercedes-Benz brand," according to one spokesperson.

As for how the A and CLA will get along side by side, Mercedes reps reference the relationship between the larger E-Class and CLS-Class cars. That is to say, the CLA-Class will be a bit more stylish and a bit more upscale, despite having similar powertrains and amenities.

That also means the CLA will be more expensive, fully eschewing its one-time position as Mercedes' sub-$30,000 entry point. A-Class pricing has yet to be announced, but it's expected to start below $35,000. That means the CLA-Class will likely come in closer to $40,000. And when you add in the options, it'll certainly crest $50,000 which is, well, a lot.

Critically, it's hard to imagine there's enough room in the subcompact premium sedan market to support both A- and CLA-Class models, especially at these higher price points. This specific segment currently only includes the CLA and the Audi A3, and on a broader scale, we've seen automakers shifting away from sedans altogether. That said, the new A-Class is a very good little car -- read our first drive story for the full shakedown -- so a second take on a compelling formula isn't necessarily a bad move.