Now that the A-class sedan has come to the U.S., the CLA-class no longer holds the entry-level position in the Mercedes lineup. And that means it no longer gets an entry-level price tag. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 will start at $37,645 when it goes on sale late this year. That’s a whopping $3,550 hike from last year’s CLA.
Fortunately, the price increase comes with abundant updates. The CLA benefits from the MBUX user interface, which ironically debuted on the lesser A-class. Aided by artificial intelligence, this system gets next-generation voice-control technology and software that can learn. Also, it finally receives the attractive wide touchscreen you see on other new Mercedes models. The CLA gains a panorama roof, LED headlamps and taillamps, and 18-inch wheels as standard, while a head-up display is available.
On top of the new technology, the CLA also drives better, as we learned in our First Drive. Handling has improved, and the car gets a more potent 2.0-liter turbo-four with 221 horsepower. The CLA grows in size compared to its predecessor, too. It shares its platforms, suspensions, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and interior bits with the A-class—but it has more power. When paired with 4Matic all-wheel drive, the CLA250 starts at $39,645. Expect the 302-hp Mercedes-AMG CLA35 to arrive later this year with plenty of power and go-fast goodies to justify its higher price, while the CLA45 AMG is on the docket, too, packing either 382 or a mighty 416 horsepower depending on the trim.
This story originally appeared on MotorTrend.