2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA ranks near the bottom of the luxury small car class. The CLA has snappy engine performance and a good reliability rating, but its tight rear seats and firm ride hold it back in this competitive segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Punchy turbocharged engines
  • Good fuel economy
  • Athletic handling

 

  • Cramped back seat
  • Firm ride

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 6.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Overview

Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Mercedes CLA is a decent option if you’re shopping for a used luxury small car. The CLA is fun to drive, thanks to its sharp handling and punchy four-cylinder turbocharged engine. It has a handsome interior with lots of standard features. The CLA also rates well for reliability. That said, this Mercedes has a cramped back seat and a rather jittery ride. If either of these are deal breakers, consider alternatives like the 2015 Audi A4 or 2015 Lexus IS.

Compare the CLA, A4, and IS »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 13 Mercedes CLA reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA?

You can expect to pay between $19,000 and $28,900 for a used 2015 CLA. These figures are based on listings for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA on our site. The average price is $23,400. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Cost to Own?

The CLA’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $28,700, or $5,740 per year. That’s about average for a luxury small car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New CLA?

Pricing for the 2019 CLA starts at around $33,000 but can exceed $53,000 in the AMG trim. There are few differences between the 2019 CLA and the older models in this generation. You can save a lot of money with a used CLA, and you can still find features and performance that are comparable to that of a new model.

Read about the new CLA »

You won’t be able to find many new luxury small cars for about the same price as a used 2015 CLA, but there are several nonluxury new small cars that compare well to it from both a features and price perspective. Upscale and fun-to-drive options include the 2019 Mazda3 and 2019 Volkswagen Golf, which start at $21,000 and $21,845, respectively. The 2019 Honda Civic is another fine pick, and it has a lower starting price of $19,450.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the CLA Is Best?

Production of the CLA began with the 2014 model. The sedan received only minor updates over the years. You can save money by shopping for an older model while finding similar features and performance. There is one exception though. You’ll need to stick with a 2017-and-newer CLA if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 CLA »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA?

The 2015 CLA has a good reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about CLA reliability »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Recalls

As of this writing, there are three recalls for the 2015 CLA. Mercedes-Benz is recalling certain models due to issues with the air bags, starter motor wiring, and camshafts. Make sure these recalls are addressed by a Mercedes dealer before buying a used CLA.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz CLA safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz CLA Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 CLA is available in two trim levels: CLA 250 and CLA 45 AMG. The entry-level CLA 250 should meet the needs of most shoppers, with its long features list and powerful turbocharged engine.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 comes standard with a 208-horsepower engine, an automatic transmission, a 7-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, forward collision warning with brake assist, a drowsiness monitor, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The CLA 45 AMG adds a 355-horsepower engine, a stiffer sport-tuned suspension, and larger wheels. Available features for both models include a navigation system, a rearview camera, a CD player, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a Premium package (heated front seats, satellite radio, and a Harman Kardon stereo), and a suite of active safety features.

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz CLA Warranty

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Based on our analysis, Mercedes' CPO program is more robust than what you'll get from Acura and BMW, but it's not as comprehensive as the CPO benefits offered by Lexus and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

Read about the Mercedes certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the CLA?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

All models come with a driver drowsiness monitor and forward collision warning with brake assist. Available safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist.

See CLA safety scores »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA or 2015 BMW 3 Series?

The 2015 BMW 3 Series is a better car than the CLA. The BMW is very athletic and fun to drive, yet around town, it offers a smoother ride than the CLA. The 3 Series also boasts richer cabin materials, a wider array of body styles (sedan, hatchback, and wagon), and better fuel economy with its available turbodiesel engine (up to 31/43 mpg city/highway). We suggest you skip the CLA and opt for the 3 Series instead.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA or 2015 Acura ILX?

The 2015 Acura ILX is a pleasant car to drive, and in terms of ride quality and back-seat space, it’s a better sedan for everyday commuting than the CLA. That being said, the ILX isn’t particularly luxurious. Its convenience features, cabin styling, and engine performance all fall short of the CLA's. Unlike the Mercedes, the Acura is not available with active safety features, such as blind spot monitoring or forward collision warning.

Compare the CLA, 3 Series, and ILX »

2015 CLA Performance

How Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Drive?

The CLA has two engine options: a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the CLA 250 and a 355-horsepower version of the same engine in the CLA 45 AMG. A seven-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; 4Matic all-wheel drive is available.

This base engine feels energetic, and it quickly zips the CLA 250 up to speed. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes about seven seconds, which is cut to a sizzling 4.5 seconds with the racy CLA 45 AMG model. Out on the road, the CLA’s dual-clutch transmission serves up quick gear changes, and it enables the Mercedes to swiftly pass other cars on the highway. The transmission isn’t as refined in slower traffic, though, as it’s occasionally clunky and hesitant to shift.

The CLA has stable handling, and it grips the pavement around tight turns. The steering is responsive as well, and the brakes slow the car nicely. The CLA’s ride quality is firm, though, and it can be uncomfortable over rough pavement. This is especially true of models equipped with the sport suspension, which is optional on the CLA 250 and standard on the CLA 45 AMG.

Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Get Good Gas Mileage?

The CLA gets great fuel economy. The CLA 250 can achieve 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (24/32 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive). The CLA 45 AMG returns a decent 23/30 mpg.

Read more about CLA performance »

2015 CLA Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 CLA Seat?

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is a four-door sedan with five seats. The front seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, and they provide adequate head- and legroom for taller drivers and passengers. However, the rear seats are very cramped and are best saved for kids and smaller adults. There isn’t much legroom back there, and the CLA’s coupelike roofline limits headroom. MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery is standard; leather seats and heated front seats are available.

The CLA’s elegant interior mimics the look of  pricier Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The dashboard has sleek contours and a display screen that looks as if it’s floating in midair. On the other hand, the cabin has a lot of hard plastics, making it feel cheap for a Mercedes.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA?

The CLA has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable because some of the anchors are difficult to maneuver around.

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Features

Standard features include a 7-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Available features include a CD player, satellite radio, and an 8-inch screen with navigation. This infotainment system has crisp graphics, but its many options and menus can make it confusing to operate. To control the system, you can use both the console-mounted control knob as well as buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel.

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA specs »

Read more about CLA interior »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz CLA Cargo Space

At 13.1 cubic feet, the CLA's trunk space is about average for a small luxury car. The rear seats can fold in a 60/40-split to accommodate larger items.

2015 CLA Length and Weight

The CLA is 15.4 feet long, and depending on the configuration, it weighs between 3,262 and 3,494 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Built?

Mercedes built the 2015 CLA in Hungary.

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