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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

Mercedes-Benz's high-end reputation was built on pricey cars like the commanding S-Class sedan and the iconic SL roadster, but the German manufacturer is hoping its all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan can draw more buyers from the growing entry luxury segment, attracting a younger generation of brand loyalists with an attractive starting MSRP of $29,900. Borrowing styling cues from the bigger and more upmarket CLS, which launched the so-called 4-door coupe trend, the all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class wraps a more aggressive version of those looks into a smaller, tighter package that aims to steal car shoppers away from compact to mid-size sedans like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Cadillac ATS. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Mercedes-Benz CLA boasts two primary selling points: premium looks and a surprisingly accessible price of entry. Sure, it's not an elegant, proportional masterpiece like its upmarket sibling the CLS, but this chip off the block is still arguably sexier than virtually all of its competitors.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're serious about using the rear seats, you might want to skip the CLA. While there's enough headroom for most folks under 6-feet tall, getting in and out of the rear quarters – not to mention maneuvering a car seat back there – poses a serious challenge.

What's New for 2014

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is all-new for 2014. Though it slots below the C-Class in the manufacturer's lineup (and undercuts the C250 by about $5,000), the CLA is slightly longer. However, when the redesigned C-Class debuts later this year, it will trump the CLA in size.

Driving the CLA-Class
Driving Impressions

If you were to slip behind the wheel of a standard Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and hit the road, you'd be hard pressed to tell it was a front-wheel-drive car. The car...

... launches smartly off the line, and only under the most extreme dynamics does it reveal the "plowing" – aka, understeering tendency front drive cars are known for. Nonetheless, more dedicated drivers might want to opt for the 4Matic all-wheel-drive version, which better responds to aggressive steering and throttle input at the limit. The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine produces a mild 208 horsepower, but that's enough grunt to help the CLA feel peppy under most circumstances, thanks in part to the well-chosen ratios of its crisp shifting 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Hardcore enthusiasts should find their bliss in the CLA45 AMG, which packs a serious wallop with its 360-horsepower engine, stiffer suspension and standard all-wheel drive.

PANORAMA ROOF
Especially since the CLA cabin is somewhat snug, the available panorama roof opens up the space to make it feel spacious and bright using a fixed polycarbonate cover, and a glass panel that slides back.

ELECTROMECHANICAL STEERING
Many electric steering systems feel numb and disconnected, but the CLA's setup manages to infuse plenty of feel at the wheel, making for an entertaining dance partner on winding roads.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Details
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class photo Interior

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class feels intimate on the inside, especially when compared to the C-Class sedan – which actually has a smaller overall footprint but a bigger interior. Credit (or criticize) the CLA's low-slung roofline for the counterintuitive discrepancy. Nonetheless, the CLA's cabin is outfitted with surprisingly decent materials, from the dash and trim components to the standard MB-Tex upholstery, which didn't make us miss real leather hides. Our only gripes came from small plastic bits like the cup holder and the mirror control surrounds. Other than those minor slips, the CLA's interior feels more upmarket than its price point might suggest.

Exterior
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class photo

The CLA takes on an aggressive stance with its arched silhouette and strong character lines, though its relatively narrow width and surprisingly skinny tires betray its otherwise imposing road presence. At least those items help the CLA250 achieve the title of "World's most aerodynamic car," beating hybrids like the Toyota Prius in the wind tunnel with a drag coefficient of only 0.23.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The CLA250 comes equipped with a surprising amount of standard bells and whistles, including rain-sensing windshield wipers, cruise control, and a power driver's seat. Hill-start assist and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters are also part of the $29,900 entry price, as well as safety features like collision prevention assist and attention assist. Bluetooth is also standard on the base model, though you'll have to opt for the Premium Package for an iPod/MP3 interface.

Optional Equipment

Spring for the Premium Package ($2,300), and you'll get a harman/kardon Logic7 Surround Sound system with SiriusXM satellite radio, heated seats (which are also available a la carte), and a few other goodies. A Multimedia Package ($2,370) offers a bigger 7-inch screen with navigation and SiriusXM traffic & weather, as well as a 10-gig music hard drive and a rearview camera. Standalone options include 4Matic all-wheel drive, blind-spot assist, and the "self-parking" Parktronic feature.

Under the Hood

Mercedes-Benz's entry-level sedan is available with two powertrain configurations: a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 producing 208 horsepower on the CLA250, and the tire-slaying CLA45 AMG version of that engine churning 355 horsepower. The pumped-up AMG iteration earns the distinction of being the first 4-cylinder engine from Mercedes-Benz's in-house tuning branch. Both mills are mated to 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The standard configuration is front-drive, with 4Matic all-wheel drive available on the CLA250 and standard on the CLA45 AMG.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250/CLA250 4Matic
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/38 mpg

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG 4Matic
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
355 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 24 Ratings for the 2014 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Most fun I've ever had driving

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "everything about it"

Cons: "consumer reports reviews"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this car. Had my 2015 for just over 1 year now and couldn't be happier. Super looks, great handling, and excellent gas mileage. I'm 66 years old."

Don't buy any Mercedes ....worst resale value!!!!

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,619

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "NONE!!"

Cons: "Buy something else!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Bought into the hype by Mercedes and the dealer "It's a Edition 1, only 250 are built w/the Special options, they hold their value because they're "RARE" they only build them in the "Launch" year." Tried to trade my 2014 "RARE Edition 1" in on another brand, I was offered $25,000 for my 2 year old car with 2,619 miles on it, that cost me $45,000 when I bought it! The dealer I was trying to buy from called 2 Mercedes dealers and they told him "nobody wants those cars"."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

What a Great Car

By on Sunday, January 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had many cars through the years and so far this is the best. Car is fun to drive and mileage is great. the back seat is not as tight and critics would have you believe. had 3 seating in back with no complaints. I compared to the competition and best lease for the money. Ordered the car in Brown which you don't see much of. Great color. my biggest complaint if not knowing you had to order multi media package to get Bluetooth to function without using phone! this is bad! One assumes when you see Bluetooth in standard features phone would work by pushing a button on steering wheel."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great car, this is my 3rd Mercedes Benz and so far so good. Driver and front passenger seats very comfortable, back seats not as comfortable but not too bad. Few issues, Engine light on, took it to the dealer , they took care of it, it was a sensor."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I'd buy another one tomorrow

By on Sunday, October 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fantastic car, great driving dynamics, looks good."

Cons: "None, really."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Entry level Benz with same luxury features as many of its C and GLK class siblings. The DCT enhances the performance of the 2.0T engine. As all MB products can accelerate quickly once it gets going. Driving dynamics are stellar. Interior is quality and presents well with high-grade finishes and top stitching on the seats. Very comfortable for driver and passengers alike, although entry to back seat is difficult due to coupe design. fold-down seats add to utility of an already spacious trunk. I bought one of the early models so not having a lot of choice I had to settle for a car with fewer options than I wanted. No problems and no regrets yet. And for the first time ever, I can say: I'd buy another one tomorrow if I had to."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Love my baby!

By on Saturday, September 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love the look of the car and have no issues with the drive. Love love love the panorama sun roof. I was able to get what I wanted and I love the color and interior design. I have driven the car for one business trip and loved how well the car handled and the gas mileage. My only beefs are that there is no foot rest on the driver side for my left foot and I wish there was a slit in the arm rest for the USB cord so my cord is not mashed when the rest is closed. Overall I couldn't be happier with the car."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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