By: Gov Auctions | 23 June 2014

New Car Review 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

For 2014, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out an all-new entry-level luxury sedan. If you are familiar with the Mercedes-Benz line-up, the CLA-Class sits just below the C-Class. There a lot of different theories as to why Mercedes opted to add the CLA-Class to their line-up, but the underlying reason are fairly straightforward. A lot of consumers want to experience the prestige associated with owning a Mercedes but simply cannot afford it. In the United States, the C-Class has traditionally been the entry-level model but today the cars in this class easily exceed $45,000 when fully equipped. The new CLA-Class carries a dealer invoice of just under $29,000 and an MSRP of just less than $31,000.

Can the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Really Offer Luxury?

The first question everyone was asking when the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class was released was whether or not it could sustain the level of luxuriousness Mercedes is known for while still slashing the price. In terms of the exterior design, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is actually a little longer and wider than the current C-Class sedan which means a more spacious interior. Additionally, it boasts a very aerodynamic shape which provides fuel consumption benefits. Unfortunately, the design does make the backseat less than comfortable for a lot of people, especially if you are more than 6 feet tall.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class really shines in the cockpit area. It still offers the premium materials and multimedia features of the more expensive Mercedes cars. The engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder with excellent handling so the driving experience is similar to other Mercedes-Benz vehicles. If you want a 4 door vehicle, then the 355-horsepower CLA45 is ideal. Most of its competition features only 2 doors.

Overall, the interior feels like a traditional Mercedes-Benz with only a few exceptions. For example, the optional navigation display screen is perched on the dash rather than built into the console. Additionally, the backseat luxurious is a little lacking compared to the traditional Mercedes-Benz.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Body Styles and Packages

Currently there are two trim levels for the CLA-Class. They are the CLA250 and CLA45 AMG. Later in 2014 an all-wheel drive CLA250 will be released as well.

The CLA250 includes 17 inch alloy wheels, eight-way power front seats, driver memory settings, and leatherette vinyl upholstery. There are a number of electronics are standard as well. They include a 5.8 inch central display, smartphone integration, COMAND interface, Bluetooth, and a CD player. The CLA45 features similar equipment although it also includes the 4Matic all-wheel drive, 18 inch wheels, and enhanced suspension.

The Premium 1 package can be added to both models. This package includes auto-dimming mirrors, heated seated, Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, and iPod interface. There is also a Multimedia Package which adds a 7 inch central infotainment screen, rear-view camera, six disc CD changer, navigation system, and 10 gig music server. There are additional safety features included in this package as well. They are adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.

As with all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, there is an option Sport package as well. The CLA250 Sport package includes 18-inch wheels, more aggressive grille, and better brakes. Performance tires, rear spoiler, wood interior trim, parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, and bi-xenon headlamps can be added as well. The CLA45 features several exclusive features in the CLA-Class. They include 19 inch wheels, sport seats, and AMG steering wheel.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Performance

The CLA250 boasts a turbocharged 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder engine which can generate up to 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is controlled by a seven speed automated manual transmission. It takes 6.7 seconds to go from 0 to 60mph. The CLA45 AMG has an upgraded version of the engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and fortified internal components. As a result, it offers 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It also has a quicker-shifting transmission. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Overall, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is an excellent option especially considering it is a four door car rather than the traditional 2 door alternatives it is competing against. While it is a front-wheel drive vehicle, few people will be able to tell a difference from the traditional elite rear-wheel drive Mercedes models. If performance is particularly important, the CLA45 AMG is the better choice, especially if you add the Sport package.