What should I be paying?
CLAs are only coming to Britain in AMG Line trim, because that’s the one people buy. They all get the big, fancy infotainment system, LED headlights, tinted glass, climate control, heated seats, smartphone integration (that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) with wireless charging and keyless go, among other things.
For £1,495 AMG Line Premium upgrades the driver’s 7in screen to a 10.25in one to match the main display, and adds augmented reality sat nav that projects directions onto a live feed of the road from a camera behind the rear-view mirror. Said camera also doubles as a dash-cam. You also get ambient lighting, a better stereo and keyless unlock. For another £1,495 you can have top trim AMG Line Premium Plus, with a panoramic sunroof, fancy multi-beam LED lights and memory seats.
Prices start at £30,550 for the CLA 180. The equivalent A-Class - the A180 AMG Line with the auto ‘box - is £27k. Take into account the fact the A-Class hatch doesn’t come with as much standard kit, and the difference between the two isn’t that much. Surely only a few quid per month.
At the other end of the scale, the priciest CLA - the 220 4Matic (though less powerful, AWD means its more expensive than the 250) - is £37,455.
The CLA 180 and 200 will cost you £170/year to tax thanks to CO2 emissions of 123 & 124g/km. 2.0-litre cars emit 139g/km (149 for the all-wheel drive 220), upping your liability to a still not unreasonable £210/year. Until the diesels arrive, the most economical CLAs are the 180 and 200, which both manage 47.9mpg. Not bad, but not great either.