2020 Mercedes CLA vs. 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes CLA have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The CLA’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Giulia doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The CLA’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Giulia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CLA offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Giulia only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the CLA and the Giulia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The CLA’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Giulia’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CLA’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CLA’s reliability 17 points higher than the Giulia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes CLA is faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia:

CLA

Giulia

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

5.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

On the EPA test cycle the CLA gets better fuel mileage than the Giulia:

MPG

CLA

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

Giulia

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes CLA higher (5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo Giulia (3). This means the CLA produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Giulia every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The CLA offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Giulia doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The CLA stops much shorter than the Giulia:

CLA

Giulia

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The CLA’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Giulia’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Giulia.

Suspension and Handling

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The CLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Giulia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLA is 2.2 inches wider in the front than on the Giulia.

For better maneuverability, the CLA’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Giulia’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Giulia, the CLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The CLA offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Giulia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the CLA the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Giulia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the CLA is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Giulia’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the CLA keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Giulia doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The CLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Giulia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

The Mercedes CLA outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by 42% during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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