2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 first drive: Moving on up

The top half of the engine uses piezo fuel injectors that spray directly into the cylinder. These injectors operate faster than standard units and allow for more precise injection timing. Four valves per cylinder have variable timing all around and variable lift on the intake side. All this adds up to a 13-hp bump in peak output, now 221 at 5,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm — yet that power is produced more efficiently than before. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains as the only gearbox, but it was also redesigned with new gear ratios and final drive. CLA-Class fuel economy hasn’t been announced, but we estimate it will, ultimately, be close to the current model: 24 city, 37 highway, 29 combined for the 250 and 24 city, 32 highway, 27 combined for the all-wheel-drive 4Matic.Mercedes made bigger changes to affect the ride and handling characteristics of the car. Track width increases by 2.2 inches at the rear axle and 2.5 inches in front and gives the CLA a much wider, more stable stance. That works with a fatter rear antiroll bar, among other changes, to increase the feeling of agility. If you tick the options box for adaptive dampers and select the sport drive mode, the CLA firms up considerably.