2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA vs A-Class sedan: Differences compared

With the latest generation MFA architecture, Mercedes-Benz offers two compact sedans with FWD/AWD, and we put the A-Class and CLA side by side to see how they differ.

With the previous generation, if you wanted an A-Class-style car with a trunk/boot, you had to get the CLA “four-door coupe”. This time around, you have a choice.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
While the differences between the CLS and E-Class are very obvious because the former is trying to be a sports car, the other has softer, more elegant styling. The differentiation between the CLA and A-Class isn't quite as clear because the A-Class is already trying to be sporty, especially in hatchback guise.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Both cars have a similar grille design. The A-Class has simple wedge-shaped headlights, while the CLA's are a little more complex. To our eyes, the A-Class' units actually look more sporty.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
The bumpers are different, but the biggest change is the addition of two power humps on the CLA's bonnet.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Under the hood, though, both cars share drivetrain options, although in some markets the CLA will miss out on the more economical/cheaper variants. All engines (both petrol and diesel) are turbocharged four-cylinder units.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Both the CLA and A-Class ride on the same 2,729mm (107.4-in) wheelbase. The CLA is a little wider (by 34mm or 1.3-in) for a broader, more muscular stance.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
As before the CLA has frameless door windows, while the A-Class has more conventional fully framed units.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Rear seat headroom should be a little better in the A-Class due its less aggressive roof arc.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
The CLA has a slightly longer overhang, and less stubby boot, making it a whole 139mm / 5.5-in longer.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Thin CLA's tail-lights are meant to link the car to the larger CLS.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
Trim and detailing may be a little different, but the two cars share the same dashboard layout, and include the new MBUX infotainment system.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan (V177)A-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Orange Art EditionCLA
While this CLA has sportier bucket seats, these can also be had in the A-Class sedan if you order the right trim line or model.

Dimensions: A-Class vs CLA (Metric)

Length: 4,549mm vs 4,688mm
Width: 1,796mm vs 1,830mm
Height: 1,454mm vs 1,439mm
Wheelbase: 2,729mm vs 2,729mm

Dimensions: A-Class vs CLA (Imperial)

Length: 179.1″ vs 184.6″
Width: 70.7″ vs 72″
Height: 57.2″ vs 56.7″
Wheelbase: 107.4″ vs 107.4″


2020 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan



202 Mercedes-Benz CLA




TAGS:
a-classc118clamercedes-benzv177
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Comparison
Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]


2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA vs A-Class sedan: Differences compared