Read Caroline’s Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e review for everything you need to know about buying the new CLA hybrid in Ireland.

Mercedes-Benz has been adding new hybrids to the brand’s range of hatchbacks, saloons and SUVs in recent years. The shift offers buyers even more options when it comes to Mercedes most popular models like the A-Class, GLA, C-Class, GLC, E-Class and GLE, among others.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLA launched in Ireland in 2019. It was another step forward for the elegant four door, coupé-like saloon.

Now it’s the return of the CLA to Changing Lanes, this time as a hybrid.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA Hybrid on review for Changing Lanes
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Hybrid on review for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Mercedes-Benz CLA Hybrid?

Mercedes-Benz is completing the range of EQ Power models in the brand’s compact-car family with the CLA hybrid, which uses the brand’s third-generation hybrid system. Badged CLA 250e, this stylish Mercedes hybrid uses a familiar 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine, battery and electric motor.

The power output is 218 hp making it one of the most powerful versions of the CLA in the entire range. Yet there’s also the ability to plug the CLA in and drive it electric for a range of up to 70 km.

The CLA range starts from €45,370 in Ireland for a CLA 180 with a 1.3-litre petrol engine (136 hp). The diesel range starts from €46,935 for a CLA 180d. And now the CLA 250e plug-in hybrid starts from €48,785 in ‘Progressive Premium’ trim. While in ‘AMG Line Premium’, it starts from €51,355.

So Mercedes is ‘gearing up’ the hybrid CLA to make it a compelling prospect in the range.

This is a very handsome car. The CLA carries more prestige in the Mercedes-Benz range than the A-Class for example on which it is based. Described as compact, the presence of the car is much bigger than that when you meet it in the metal for the first time. Frameless windows and that long, elongated coupé look add prestige to this car. The hybrid gets a subtle EQ Power badge and an extra flap for the charging ports. 18″ alloys come as standard.

The CLA is available as a hybrid for the very first time
The CLA is available as a hybrid for the very first time

Inside the CLA

Inside, the CLA still blows the competition away with an elegant and exclusive look. The seats are sporty and cosseting. Leather comes as standard. The cabin comes alive at night with cool ambient lighting. The design is just slick and premium.

The hybrid gets the full digital experience – a 10.25″ media display and 10.25″ digital instrument display as standard, as well as an advanced sound system with ten speakers. The digital screens for the driver and infotainment are effortlessly cool for the compact class. The MBUX infotainment system responds to commands of Hey Mercedes.

The car is roomy up front, but some practicality is sacrificed for style and that sloping roof. Rear legroom is okay for the compact class. There has been a small impact on boot space in the hybrid but there remains a flat floor. There’s 390 litres, but the saloon style opening does limit practicality somewhat. There’s also a CLA Shooting Brake available, which offers more estate-style load-lugging abilities! It’s also available as a hybrid.

The interior of the Mercedes CLA Hybrid
The interior of the Mercedes CLA Hybrid

Driving the CLA Hybrid

On the road, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e performs very well, with high levels of refinement from the four cylinder engine combined with the power and responsiveness aided by the electric motor.

The 8 speed automatic works very well here. The CLA hybrid loses none of the elegance of the CLA in other petrol variants like the CLA 180 we tested in 2019. In fact with start up and take off on electric, this hybrid is even more serene and refined from behind the wheel. It’s a real viable option now in the CLA range.

It’s efficient too with my average fuel consumption over one week averaging at 6 litres per 100 km. But there is the option to run the CLA 250e more efficiently by charging the 15.6 kWh battery and driving electric for a limited range of up to 70 km. It can be charged at home for example using a 7.4 kW wallbox in 1 h 45 min from 10-100 percent.

Did you like it?

The CLA is a stunning and very desirable car among the Mercedes-Benz range of compact cars. Though as we’ve clarified, the CLA has a the presence of a larger car.

Inside it’s one of the best among rivals with a latest generation Mercedes interior dripping with cool digital technology and connectivity.

Behind the wheel, the Mercedes-Benz CLA offers a comfortable and refined driving experience. There’s plenty of power here and the car handles the road well.

The new CLA Hybrid gives buyers more options, offering more power and equipment. With regular charging, this car can be ran like an electric vehicle for a limited range. Ideal for short commutes or urban motorists.

The CLA is still lovely after all these years. Even now with a plug!

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e is on sale in Ireland now
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e is on sale in Ireland now

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e Progressive
Engine: 1.3-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid
218 hp
Torque: 450 Nm
0-100km/h:  6.8 seconds
Top speed: 240 km/h
CO2 emissions: 
23 g/km
Motor tax: 
€140 per year