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In-depth reviews

Mercedes CLA - MPG, running costs & CO2

Petrol and diesel engines provide impressive fuel economy, and the hybrid version promises plenty of electric range

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The Mercedes CLA is available with a range of petrol engines, one plug-in hybrid and one diesel engine, all borrowed from the Mercedes A-Class hatchback. While not quite class-leading, less powerful engines should prove cheap to run, with the CLA's most economy-focused driving mode and standard automatic gearboxes squeezing the most out of the fuel in the tank.

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The CLA also has the lowest aerodynamic drag of any small saloon, helping it cut through the air and save fuel, especially on the motorway.

Mercedes CLA MPG & CO2

CLA 180 and 200 models are fitted with the same downsized 1.3-litre petrol turbo engine, albeit with different power outputs. The big news for the 2023 facelift is the arrival of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that recovers energy as you slow down, then uses it to give the car an electric shove as it accelerates. Both can return up to 54.3mpg with the most economical trim and alloy wheel combination. CO2 emissions of as little as 137g/km put them both in an appealing Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band for company-car drivers.

Even more enticing to company-car drivers, however, is the CLA 250 e plug-in hybrid. It’s rather more expensive than a CLA 180 or 200 in an equivalent spec, but business users will appreciate its low 8% annual BiK rate. We can see the appeal of the PHEV to private buyers too; its 51-mile electric range is very impressive, and it means that several days of commuting could be completed without using a drop of fuel.

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Higher-mileage motorway drivers will likely be best served by the CLA 220 d diesel. While this model is more powerful and expensive than its petrol equivalents, it still will return up to 64.2mpg and emits just 132g/km of CO2.

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The two AMG versions are purely focused on performance so, as you might expect, fuel economy takes a back seat. You can expect 34.9mpg and 184g/km of CO2 for the 302bhp CLA 35 and 31.7mpg and 202g/km of CO2 and for the full-fat performance CLA 45 S.

Every Mercedes CLA costs the standard rate per year in road tax, except the hybrid, which is slightly discounted, but spending more than £40,000 (which is certainly possible if you splash out on options) incurs an extra tariff in the first five renewal years, increasing the bill to over £500.

Insurance groups

Insurance groups for the CLA range from group 27 for the CLA 180 to 34 for the CLA 220 d. The high-performance AMG CLA 35 occupies 42-43, while the CLA 45 S sits in 45. Insurance may be surprisingly expensive for the plug-in hybrid, because it sits in groups 38-39.

Warranty

Mercedes models come with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, with three years of roadside assistance for added peace of mind. This matches the cover from BMW, while Audi limits mileage to 60,000. Hyundai throws in an extra two years of cover.

Servicing

If you are looking to spread the cost of routine maintenance, Mercedes offers 'ServiceCare', with regular monthly payments that cover servicing for the first few years.

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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