MercedesBenz CLAClass luxury for the rest of us | HamptonRoads…

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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class: luxury for the of us

The Virginian-Pilot

October 25, 2013

if Gucci, Prada or Louis suddenly and unexpectedly produced its own knockoffs, ones that for more than 50 percent than the majority of their

Well, if you’re an automaker, Mercedes-Benz, then the product be called the 2014 CLA-Class, an model and market for the brand in the States.

Stylistically, this car is modeled on the “four-door coupe” pioneered by the larger Mercedes-Benz With its rounded greenhouse and shoulders, the CLA looks like the CLS if it had been left in the dryer too But the CLA’s look is a little a bit more aggressive and every bit the turner.


But the CLA starts at just an astonishing $42,200 less the CLS. In fact, it’s the expensive Mercedes-Benz you can buy for 2014; even $5,900 cheaper the C-Class sedan. And when equipped, the new CLA should average $35,000, about the same as a Honda Accord and less a fully loaded Ford

By offering filet mignon at prices, Mercedes-Benz is taking a big with its image. Unlike in other countries, in the United Mercedes-Benz is viewed as a luxury car rather than a maker of for commoners.

So, just what do you get in modest Mercedes?

Well, for you get a car that uses a front-wheel platform a first for the brand in market adapted from the A-Class, a small hatchback Mercedes-Benz sells in Europe and

The CLA comes in two flavors: the mild CLA 250 and the CLA 45 AMG. Both cars use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The base CLA 250 is rated at 208 horsepower and can 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. By contrast, the CLA 45 AMG is rated at an 355 horsepower quite a lot considering the size and reaches 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

drive will be offered on the CLA 250 in the it’s standard on the CLA 45 AMG.

the CLA’s stunning styling and price, you’re probably it to be fun to drive. In reality, it’s a bag.

It’s not that the car nimble in fact, it’s athletic, with nicely steering despite the lack of feel. Overall handling is and the CLA remains flat in corners. for the $2,200 Sport Package, includes 18-inch AMG five-spoke sport suspension and larger doesn’t seem to significantly this vehicle’s character, includes a noticeable amount of noise and a ride than can be at times, thanks to a very suspension.

Acceleration is more adequate in the CLA 250 despite the car’s lag. As you’d expect, the CLA 45 extra power makes it more fun to drive, and although capable, it’s still not the driver’s car you’d expect.

But on the whole, this car is very a welter-weight Mercedes-Benz. If you’re from a car that’s a bit more this will not bother But if you’re expecting a car with sports sedan character, not all there.

And then there’s the system, added in the name of efficiency. When the car comes to a the engine shuts off to conserve Once you lift your off the brake, the car restarts. But, similar systems from German manufacturers, it does so an invasive shudder. Thankfully, annoyance can be turned off at a touch of a

The cabin is sporty and modern and premium in appearance. The interior’s cleverly hides its modest at least when compared to a Mercedes-Benz cabin. Leather is as is aluminum trim. The faux pleather if you will is fairly Any part of the cabin that body touches is nicely

At these prices, it’s surprise that the small one expects in a premium car are optional. So be your CLA has the $2,300 Premium which adds a Harman/Kardon system, iPod/MP3 interface, satellite radio, dual climate control, heated but not front seats, garage opener, compass and auto mirrors.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The CLA’s center is crowned by a screen that a tablet. Some thought it like an afterthought, but its location is free of glare. And once accustomed to the software, Mercedes-Benz’s system is fairly easy to

As for passenger accommodations, the front is roomy, while the rear is for adults. Here’s where has extracted its price. The stylishly roof diminishes head Even if you manage to get in without your noggin, you’ll leg room is in short supply as And the front one-piece seat are annoying since the headrests are not

And if you wear size 12s, as I do, find that the CLA’s is cramped, with the brake and accelerator placed very to each other.

At least the is huge.

Such quibbles are to be from a car that’s considered by to be a coupe, despite having doors. After all, extract a pound of flesh in for their good looks. In regard, the CLA is no different. It’s a take on the traditional Mercedes But its sportiness comes from its not from its performance, unless you opt for the CLA 45 And it lacks the lush ambience in pricier products that the three-pointed star.

But to drivers who never experienced a Mercedes-Benz, the CLA-Class allows entry what once was an exclusive with startling good and an equally attractive sticker

Make no mistake, with the Mercedes-Benz has a hit on its hands.

But once the wears off, you have to if this reasonably priced car eventually dilute the marque’s image. When the servants the same brand of car as the lord and of the manor, it’s hard to market yourself as a luxury

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter

Wheelbase 106.3 inches

182.3 inches

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

interesting

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