2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA adds mild-hybrid and AMG 45 S models


The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is being treated to a mid-life refresh, and while most of the changes are light touch, they’re going to add up to producing a more enticing small sedan.

Exterior changes are subtle, but Mercedes adds a new three-pointed-star-studded front grille along with a revised front bumper. The headlights are now Mercedes’ “LED High Performance” lights with a new design. Additionally, the rear is treated to standard LED taillights and a new rear diffuser design. Three new wheel designs and a pair of blues — Hyper Blue and Starling Blue — join the options list for 2024, as well.

The big change under the hood is the addition of a new 48-volt belt-driven onboard starter generator that turns the CLA 250 into a mild-hybrid. It supplies a 13-horsepower boost at start-up and allows for coasting with the engine off. Output figures are carryover from the 2023 CLA. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to the same 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. You’ll be able to choose between front-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive, both of which offer a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds for the CLA 250 model.

On the inside of the CLA, Mercedes says it’s updated its display screens with the latest MBUX software and added Dolby Atmos support to its optional Burmester sound system. More features are added throughout, such as wireless Apple CarPlay/wireless Android Auto, faster USB charging with an added port and more standard equipment. For example, the 2024 model will come with previously optional extras like the Parking Package (360-degree camera and automatic parking) and Mirror Package (auto-dimming mirrors).

If more speed is desired, AMG models are continuing and improving for 2024. The big news is the upgrade from the CLA 45 to the CLA 45 S. The regular CLA 45 is being dropped, and Mercedes is giving us the more potent S version as the replacement. That means the hand-built 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood is now good for 416 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, increases of 34 and 15 respectively. That makes the CLA 45 S good for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph (electronically limited). 

The CLA 35 is continuing, and it’s getting a slight upgrade in the form of the belt-driven starter-generator. This provides the same 13-horsepower boost as it does in the CLA 250 and turns this AMG into a mild-hybrid. Power output is the same as before at 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which Mercedes says is good for a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Design changes for the AMG models are present, but not huge. Both models get distinctive AMG radiator grilles with vertical slats, redesigned front bumpers and a round AMG badge up front. The same headlight/taillight upgrade from the CLA 250 applies here, and the interior/tech upgrades apply, too. New interior upholstery options will be available, and notably, the AMG models offer AMG’s Performance steering wheel with the customizable steering wheel drive mode buttons.

Pricing isn’t out yet, but Mercedes says the upgraded 2024 CLA models will begin hitting dealerships “later in 2023.”

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