The second-gen Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a big improvement over its predecessor.

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The CLA250 features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine is rated for 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and can be had with front-wheel drive as standard or 4Matic all-wheel drive as an option.

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The second-gen CLA250 has a much wider track than last year's model, by 2.5 inches in front and 2.2 inches in the back, contributing to more planted handling through bends.

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As before, the CLA-Class has what Mercedes calls a "four-door coupe" design, with a plunging roofline and frameless windows.

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The body lines are a fair bit simpler than before, with gentle curves rather than aggressive creases, and nice proportions for a car based on a front-wheel-drive chassis. Compared to last year's model, the CLA250 grows by 1.9 inches in length and 2.0 inches in width.

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Inside, you get a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment system as standard, with twin 10.25-inch displays available as an option. Either option has a touchscreen with the new MBUX infotainment system that we quite like in other cars.

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Rear legroom is just fine but my head touches the headliner if I sit up straight -- that's the downside of that sloping roofline. And although the trunk opening is 3.9 inches wider than before, its capacity is down by 0.4 cubic feet in European measurements. (A US-specific cargo capacity figure isn't yet available.)

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Standard interior equipment includes push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cruise control. Heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, 64-color ambient lighting, a head-up display and a Burmester sound system are among the options list.

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Pricing for the 2020 Mercedes CLA250 has yet to be set, but it should slip somewhere in between the $33,495 A220 and the $42,395 C300.

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