Say what you will about the Mercedes-Benz CLA, the compact “four-door coupe” has been a roaring success, with more than 750,000 sold worldwide since its introduction in 2013. Nearly 150,000 were sold in the United States alone, with sales surely helped by the CLA’s low price: it was originally advertised starting under $30,000. It was never as stylish as it set out to be, though, and instead of being a Mercedes that happened to be cheap, it was more like a cheap car that happened to have a Mercedes badge. Now, with the new A-class sedan taking the lowest rung on the Benz totem pole, the brand is repositioning the CLA to be a sportier, more stylish, and more upscale compact offering—what it should have been from the beginning.
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