What makes this generation of the Mercedes-Benz CLA more appealing is the fact that you can’t buy the current-generation CLA via official channels, the ‘regular’ non-AMG CLA at least. This makes the first-generation CLA a little more special.
Let us walk you through what you need to know before buying one.
How many variants are there?
The C117 Mercedes-Benz CLA was launched in Malaysia back in 2014 (a year after the W176 A-Class) with only one variant (CLA 45 AMG aside) – CLA 200. Like the A-Class, the CLA 200 gets a 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 156 PS/250 Nm, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that powers the front wheels.
The CLA 250 came about in early-2016. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 211 PS/350 Nm that is mated to a 7-speed DCT, but unlike the A250 or CLA 200, the CLA 250 gets 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
In terms of exterior, the CLA 200 wears the Urban Line package while the CLA 250 gets the usual more aggressive-looking AMG Line outfit with lowered AMG sports suspension.
In less than a year after the introduction of the CLA 250, the CLA facelift arrived, this time with both the CLA 200 and CLA 250 present.
Changes in the facelift exercise are subtle and like the A-Class facelift, both the CLA 200 and CLA 250 are donned with the AMG Line package. It has redesigned bumpers, LED headlamps and taillamps, new steering wheel design, and updated infotainment system.
Which variant to pick?
Again, like the A-Class, the CLA isn’t the most comfortable cruiser. The pre-facelift CLA 200 and the CLA 250’s sports suspension serves to exacerbate the situation.
However, the CLA 200 facelift’s comfort suspension is a little plusher, and if you’d like a more pliant ride, then the CLA 200 facelift would be the one to aim for.
An official unit of the CLA 250 is considerably more difficult to come by as it was only introduced later in its life cycle. It is actually the sweet spot in the range as it offers the punch to go with its looks, but patience as well as deeper pockets are required.
2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4MATIC 2.0
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 AMG 2.0
2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4MATIC 2.0
What’s the current market prices?
As of writing, early units of the CLA 200 are hovering in the RM 120k to RM 130k region, though a handful of units can be found listen below RM 120k. The facelifted CLA 200 is averaging RM 150k. On Carsome, there is a facelifted CLA 200 listed for RM 144k.
2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA200 AMG Line 1.6
2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA200 1.6
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA200 AMG Line 1.6
For the CLA 250, our search returned with mostly used recon units, which means you’d be at least the third owner. Prices average around RM 150k for a pre-facelift model. If you’re keen on an official unit and happen to come across one for sale, it’s likely to be your only choice.
Common problems to look out for?
Speaking to Mr Nizam from Merz Auto Garage in Taman Melawati, we were told once again that like the W176 A-Class, the oxygen sensor (O2 Sensor) in the CLA is a common issue. A check engine light will likely appear. Replacing the O2 Sensor will cost around RM 650.
Another common issue is the wheel speed sensor. A faulty sensor will affect the car's ABS and stability control system. A replacement will set you back around RM 300 per wheel.
The auxiliary battery may be drained, thus affecting the automatic start/stop system. There are two batteries, the main starter battery in the engine bay and the auxiliary battery, located where the spare wheel is. A replacement for the auxiliary battery would cost around RM 300.
There were also instances of overheating reported by owners, usually caused by a leak in the water pump on the cooling system. Replacing the water pump will set you back at least RM 1,600.
How much to maintain?
A regular service (engine oil and oil filter change) will set you back around RM 500 while a major service (with spark plugs, various filters, etc.) can cost north of RM 1,000. Genuine replacement parts for the front and rear brake pads can be found for around RM 350.
The DCT in the A-Class is said to be a relatively trouble-free unit as there aren’t many complaints of failures. But when the time comes to replace the clutch pack it will cost around RM 4,000. A fluid change costs around RM 900.
Anything else to know?
Being an older car, expect wear and tear items to be due for replacement; parts like suspension bushings, mountings, etc., could be worn out or even the air-conditioning system may require attention.
Do inspect the unit thoroughly and if possible, bring it to a qualified technician to have it checked.
2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 (CBU) 1.6
2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 (CBU) 1.6
2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 AMG 1.6
For those who want a sleeker version of the W176 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the C117 Mercedes-Benz CLA fills that niche. It’s rarer and there is a price premium to pay, but that’s how exclusivity works and you’d get to roll in style.
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.