2014MercedesBenzCLAClass Review By David Thomas

3 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Special Series

Expert Reviews

By David

Style over substance. usually a negative connotation, but for latest foray into luxury, it might be a saving

The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a car inside and out that will turn heads and open

It packs decent performance, good gas mileage and even astonishing rear legroom. it has flaws that can’t be such as a rough ride and that escalate the price

I tested both the front-wheel-drive and the significantly more powerful CLA45 AMG over hundreds of on rural roads, highways and streets around our nation’s

The CLA250 competes with a of premium cars like Regal and Acura’s ILX as well as smallest engine 3 Series, the You can compare all four here. The AMG is wedged between less mainstream models and more high-performance variants from and BMW.

Exterior Styling


into a Mercedes-Benz dealership and be hard-pressed to tell the entry-level from its more staid brethren. Place the CLA in the same and there’s no doubt it is an entirely vehicle.

But look at the numbers and the which many will is the smallest sedan, actually to the C-Class across the board. The CLA is 1.5 longer than a C-Class yet the snub-nosed front, raked pillars and bulbous rear it look smaller.

It also sexier. It’s lower to the than the C-Class, and the slivers Mercedes calls windows accentuate the coupelike design. certainly don’t help visibility. See the two models compared .

How It Drives

The concept of a front-wheel-drive likely riles purists, but testing the CLA over hundreds of I don’t think buyers in segment will mind the All-wheel drive is optional on the and will be available early year; the front-drive model is on now. The CLA45 AMG comes in all-wheel drive and will be on later this year.

Powering the 250 is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter producing 208 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of teamed with a seven-speed automatic transmission. These are numbers that not only the C250’s power but also with remarkable EPA estimates of 26 mpg 38 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. Over a leg of 126 miles at significant speeds but few stops and two adults onboard, the trip computer showed mpg with an average speed of 42

The CLA250 base model is 164 lighter than a C-Class; it nimbler, even when hard through twisty where the front-wheel drive is least impressive.

Hammer the down on the CLA250 from a and there is significant tire from the front wheels, but in typical acceleration, the CLA250 confidently both from 30 mph for highway passing, from 60

Where the CLA-Class stands out is in steering. Even the CLA250 precise response and a steering that isn’t heavy. isn’t much assist from the electric power either, allowing for a natural

The CLA45 AMG sports the most four-cylinder engine on the market. it is an impressive performance machine in ways, it sits in an unsure for enthusiast shoppers. It’s a above most amped-up sedans on the market like the S4, but it’s unclear whether it hold off the next M3 or M4 from The price will still be for the CLA45 AMG, though.

355 hp and 332 pounds-feet of torque coming a seriously steroidal version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the CLA250, the CLA45 AMG hustles a stop, and any other speed, but it isn’t as exhilarating as I expected those numbers. A variety of settings impact throttle and when in Sport mode the timing is altered to deliver a burp through the exhaust shifting hard.

It’s a bizarre sound in ways, but I found it pretty Otherwise, the exhaust sound is a bit and always present even in mode, though you don’t the burping when shifting. numbers haven’t been yet, but over a 75-mile leg of testing, the trip computer 25 mpg.

Like the 250, the AMG’s steering is a standout. with all-wheel drive, is the blend of handling precision and anyone would appreciate. It corners and gives an extreme of confidence when accelerating out of

Braking is also impressive in cars. The AMG slows more with its larger rotors, but the 250 impressed. It saved me from a brand-new car when a large decided to change lanes signaling in tight traffic.

But will have to decide if the plusses outweigh the pretty minus: The CLA with a wheelbase 2.4 shorter than the C-Class has a harsh ride in base and AMG The AMG’s ride is extremely with jolts coming sharply over every imperfection. It’s so severe it reminded me of more aggressive like Audi’s RS5 coupe. The AMG replaces the standard suspension gas-filled struts and front and stabilizer bars.

The CLA250 me from driving enjoyment frequently but with regularity a moderate to extreme road came under wheel. of the roads I traveled were maintained, but those that more akin to my home of Chicago revealed unacceptable comfort.

No matter the vehicle and and tire combination I tested, noise was also extremely Any surface that wasn’t blacktop made its presence

And then there’s the visibility. I tested any four-door vehicle such limited sightlines. The back window is slim, all side windows are similarly the side mirrors are relatively and the rear pillars are rather The only car I’ve tested in the past with such visibility that wasn’t a is the Chevrolet Camaro, and that’s a sports car.

This means drivers to be much more aware changing lanes cars can up on you easily with such blind spots on either and especially when backing out of a spot.

Interior

A $30,000 interior quality and materials are to be scrutinized to an extreme degree. To credit, shoppers in this range likely aren’t much more. The wide of textured black faux across the dash and doors soft to the touch and had a sheen resembled the real thing obviously being a synthetic The two dozen or so vehicles on hand all equipped with black tan, gray and dark are also available. Even if you opt for seats, the dash material the same but adds some for design flair.

To offset cost savings, Mercedes did an job with the air vents. Yes, air Five metallic-ringed circular break up the dash. Styled the vents in the company’s halo SLS AMG they’re the stars of the interior. work quite well a quick flip of the interior to adjust air output, and they swivel in all directions.

Attractive if impossible to read analog bracket a much more digital display that the driver trip data and information, though to avoid speed limits, I set it to display the digitally. I really couldn’t how fast I was going by looking at the option, especially with the sun harsh shadows.

While the looks good for the money, the sure didn’t feel to my driving partner or me over our drive. After about 30 in the seat, my back was aching. My complained about his lower lack of appreciation for the seat firmness.

Even on the second day of driving, I often get acclimated to a car’s the CLA’s still were too for me.

All CLA seats have fixed restraints, which is unusual days but look good and impact comfort with the of adjustability. More shoppers likely have issues the seats’ side bolstering. on the CLA250, the bolsters encroached on my and thighs. I’d say I’m in these dimensions; people who themselves slim or petite likely have no issues them. The AMG has optional Recaro-brand with even more bolstering.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Special Series

The most shocking development is the rear seats. by looking at the raking roofline you the backseat to be completely unusable, but you duck your head to get in you need to warn rear before they try to enter the has enough legroom that I was with the front seat for my 5-foot-10-inch frame. I also had of legroom in the front passenger in this setup. Your are raised a bit to rest against the wall versus the floor, so it has the of being in a recliner despite the of a footrest.

Headroom in back is a bit With the optional moonroof, my was touching the roof. In a model the moonroof, the CLA gains 1.4 inches of In this car my hair wasn’t the ceiling, but I doubt 6-footers be as lucky.

Ergonomics Electronics

The is being heavily advertised its $29,900 starting price a $925 destination charge and that there is a good of standard equipment including a display screen, Bluetooth, driver and front passenger and imitation-leather upholstery.

However, unlikely most shoppers go for the stripped-down model with feeble technology options.

A Premium Package is needed to add an interface, upgraded Harman stereo, satellite radio and climate control. However, the modestly equipped CLA250 on also added the $2,370 Package, which includes a larger 7-inch display navigation and a six-CD changer. means the sub-$30,000 car I was testing actually cost $34,595 out the

The larger navigation screen floats out from the dash like an aftermarket kit, but the result is much more The resolution is quite good, maps as impressive as any on the market. our test, each route was into the computer with which was convenient. After an detour, the computer quickly me back to my hotel.

Voice also worked well no need to wait for a prompt or to give the next command. It dial numbers and switch between phone and map interfaces ease. Unfortunately, we didn’t a compatible device to test out the integration, as the connector is still set for iPods; an adapter for the connector be needed. The USB port charged my 5 but did not play music. Bluetooth streaming worked well. Two could be paired at once so one could be used for phone, one for and it was easy to switch back and between them.

The Harman system had decent sound but very little low range for sound on rock ‘n’ and RB tracks where you’d more bass in the mix.

Storage

The CLA’s trunk is a 13.1 cubic feet, a large, wide under-floor area. The C-Class is rated at cubic feet and the BMW 320i at cubic feet, but in real-world use I think the CLA is superior to either Luggage and golf clubs be easily accommodated, but there a lot of height to the trunk so bulkier will be an issue, and the standard rear seats likely help there.

Safety

A new model, the CLA-Class been crash-tested as of publication.

The CLA with a standard suite of including knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. A Driver Assistance Package lane departure warning as as lane keeping and collision systems. The collision prevention was equipped on a few of the models I tested and into use once as intended. and red lights illuminate along a warning chime to alert to an impending collision. It can apply 100 braking force to avoid a but I didn’t notice braking my own in my testing.

Value in Its Class

you shake it, no buyer is actually to find a sub-$30,000 CLA. predicts most CLA250s be sold at roughly the $35,000 like the least expensive I tested. A similarly equipped BMW comes to $37,120, so the CLA still more for less, as they and has more power and better economy than that basic of 3 Series.

The front-wheel-drive will likely be irrelevant to a of shoppers, considering how striking car is. The style, price and performance the CLA a winner on paper; it’s the comfort sacrifices found on the you need to check off before any paperwork.

The much more CLA45 AMG, starting at including destination, is harder to but when compared against cars with their top like Cadillac’s ATS it becomes intriguing.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Special Series

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