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2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 6.8

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA is comfortable and quiet, though it doesn't reach the same level of luxury as its kin. Highlights include a pleasant front seat and a sizable trunk. On the downside, the infotainment system is no great shakes and the back seat is tiny.

  • Meticulous types will be able to find some bits on the CLA that wouldn't cut it on the C-Class. But most everything you touch – from steering wheel to stalks, switches, the COMAND controller and the seats – feels like a Mercedes." -- Edmunds
  • The CLA doesn't share quite the same quality of materials as its larger siblings. The lower half of the dashboard, for example, has a hard plastic trim that doesn't do justice to the marque. But there's still a luxurious feel overall, particularly in light of the appealing base price." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • We mentioned the tight rear seat, but considering the youthful demographic suggested by the CLA's styling, we're guessing it's not much of a concern. Instead, concentrate on the front, and you'll be impressed by the overall quality of materials and assembly. Granted, there are a handful of plastic pieces that feel out of place, at least until you remember the price tag." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Seating

The CLA has five seats, but only small travelers will be comfortable riding in the cramped back seat. The front seats, though not as swanky as those in some Mercedes, offer a modest amount of space and cushioning. Synthetic leather and 14-way power-adjustable front seats are standard, and optional upgrades include leather upholstery and heated front seats. For child safety seats, the CLA has two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors.

  • Front-seat access is a non-issue with wide door openings and a reasonably high seat. Rear-seat access is hugely problematic. Because of the sloping roof, there just isn't enough head clearance." -- Edmunds
  • "The front seats offer good comfort with slightly-too-firm padding, and the smallness of the interior makes itself known with a center console that crowds your legs a bit. Still, the chunky steering wheel and 8-inch infotainment display won us over." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The CLA's cabin is narrow, with a prominent center console that limits knee space. Headroom is tight with the optional panoramic moonroof, which sacrifices 1.2 inches of front headroom; taller shoppers need not apply. The front seats have long adjustment range, at least, but it's moot if you have adults in back. With a low seating position and modest legroom at best, the backseat will have them begging you to move forward." -- Cars.com (2017)

Interior Features

Though a few reviewers approve of the CLA's infotainment system, most say it's too complicated. Basic maneuvers, such as pairing your phone, can be frustrating. Plan to spend extra time getting comfortable with this system, though after a short adjustment period, you may find it to your liking.

The base infotainment system comes with an 8-inch display, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. Dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, push-button start, a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, active brake assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers are also standard. Interior upgrades include navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satellite radio, a proximity key, a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

See 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA specs »

  • "The CLA's interior is deceptively simple and remarkably easy to use, with a large infotainment screen, clear gauges and an easy knob- and button-based climate control. The gear-selector stalk is love-it-or-hate-it." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "An 8-inch multimedia screen is standard for 2017 … with a center-console knob to control the action. Some editors dislike Mercedes' menu structure, called Comand, but I find the three-tiered layout intuitive. The controller doubles as a tuning knob and a separate volume knob sits prominently among the center controls. Best of all, the CLA250 still has plenty of physical buttons, including stereo presets. Amid many automakers' flight to capacitive touch-sensitive controls, or even just a lot fewer physical buttons, Mercedes remains a holdout. Stay the course, Stuttgart." -- Cars.com (2017)
  • "One option we might skip is Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system. Operated via a console-mounted dial, COMAND's interface is cumbersome and sometimes downright difficult to use. For example, we were only able to pair our smartphone with the system after several aggravating minutes and multiple failed attempts." -- Left Lane News (2016)

Cargo

The CLA comes with a 13.1-cubic-foot trunk and standard split-folding rear seats. This trunk offers an above-average amount of space for a sedan along with a wide opening for extra convenience. A hands-free trunk lid is optional.

  • "Smart interior packaging allows for more storage options than in some rival sedans. The trunk is well-shaped with a large opening and benefits from standard split-folding rear seats to fit larger objects." -- Edmunds
  • "For a compact car, though, the CLA packs a useful trunk: 13.1 cu ft., more than enough space for two sets of golf clubs. The rear seats also split and fold." -- Autotrader (2018)

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