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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited September 2014 in Mercedes-Benz

image2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

Our long-term Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is the least expensive Merc you can buy, but it still looks good and reminds me quite a bit of the CLS-Class.

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  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    I'm not a fan of the gargantuan front overhang, but I agree the rest of the design is quite nice. Unlike so many I actually like the "droopy" rear because it doesn't look like every other car. However, I think the styling is one of the few things the CLA gets right. They need to ratchet refinement levels way up before it is more than just a pretty face to me.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    This is the kind of car people buy for the name. A Mercedes for people on a Honda budget. You would be better off buying a Honda Accord Touring for the same money as this Mercedes and you would get twice as much for your money. The Accord's 3.5 V6 alone would make it a better buy and you would get similar gas mileage. Add in forward collision warning, lane departure warning, LED headlights, and adaptive cruise control, etc...why buy this other than for the 3 pointed star.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    @allthingshonda, That argument can me made for any luxury car at any price. Of course it would be a better value to buy a family sedan rather than ANY luxury car, but buying a luxury car is not about value. It is about getting something "special&quot
  • subytrojan_2subytrojan_2 Member Posts: 79
    I think the CLA is hideous. It looks like a baby whale. The CLS looks great.
  • csubowtiecsubowtie Member Posts: 143
    I like the front end, but everything from the A-pillar back is awfull. I do not like the look on the CLS either, and my mind boggles as to why it gets the kudos it does. Both of these cars look like an upside down cereal bowl. That roofline, and the long sloping rear window, along with that character line on the back of the car just look like a drooping depends with too much to carry.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    @mercedesfan, I don't think the CLA is a good representation of the Mercedes brand. A real Mercedes is extremely well built and engineered car with no compromises. The CLA is none of that. Cost cutting to get the entry price below $30,000 is everywhere.
  • gillergiller Member Posts: 9
    I have never come across a more polarizing car in my life that evokes stronger opinions than the CLA. I don't get it. What is everyone so upset about? The fact that MB recognizes an aging customer base and the need to deliver a product that appeals to the next crop? They did it. They're selling an incredible amount of them, and it's a smart business move. Cars are emotional buys for many........you're all evidence of that.
    Full disclosure - I own a CLA. Is it flawed? Absolutely. Do I love it? Absolutely
  • linard76_linard76_ Member Posts: 8
    I agree, I wonder what the polarization is about.

    Allthingshonda, full disclosure, I've owned and loved an Integra and Prelude before owning Mercedes. While I really like the current Accord and think it represents a more focused Honda; I respect the engineering that went into the Benz. The sweet spot of the Accord range seems to be the Sport with the V6 probably a bit more than the chassis can handle (check out MotorTrend's latest update on their V6 manual coupe). Potential reliability aside, the A, CLA and GLA cars in the bonkers AMG 45 guises are the sweet spots in the range. They have been quite well reviewed and have obviously been engineered to handle that level of power and handling. I really like the new Accord's interior but actually find the CLA's basic materials better, the door panel gaps notwithstanding. There are more soft touch materials all around especially the lower door panels, all the pillars covers are fabric covered and the plastics are more dense. Finally, I do get a sense that the basic structures are stronger. No one really performs as well as Mercedes when it comes to IIHS intrusion measures for the frontal and side impact tests. The C class did poorly in the small offset because the older design of the structure doesn't deflect the car, causing the car to absorb the full force but if you look up the other intrusion measures, it's a rolling vault.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    I'm not bashing Mercedes. Mercedes created and still owns the luxury car segment, and they deserve. A well kept 25 year old S-Class still exudes power, style, luxury and money. But the CLA is just not Mercedesish. The AMG versions perform better but they should since the price nearly doubles. AMG upgrades the suspension and chassis and puts in a monster engine to completely transform the car to a performance model and pushes it away from the regular versions and closer to it's bigger and more expensive siblings. And if you've been in a new Accord you would know that the pillars are also covered in fabric and have been since the 2003 MY. There are also more soft touch materials and improved switched gear. Also, linard76, to say that the basic structure is stronger because of IIHS test crash results you couldn't be further from the truth. The 2014 Accord, Civic and Odyssey are all top safety pick + rated by the IIHS. So is the Acura TL, RLX and MDX. This is IIHS's highest possible rating. Only the Mercedes M Class earns this rating. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/TSP-List Give credit where it's due, Honda's ACE body structure engineering is not marketing hype it's real and it works. Don't say Mercedes' body structure is stronger just because it's a Mercedes.

    The 3 pointed star on the grill doesn't make it a better car, it only makes it a Mercedes. They're selling tons of these cars because lots of people want to say they drive a Mercedes. IMO Audi is the best luxury car maker from Germany now but still nothing says I made it like a Mercedes. I will be the first to admit that the 3 pointed star on the grill is worth way more than Honda's H ever will.
  • ps2014ps2014 Member Posts: 1
    I looked into the Mercedes CLA and the Volkswagen CC and ended up with the CC. There were three things that took the CLA off my list, the interior felt small, the interior design was too youthful Mercedes, then on the exterior I just couldn't get past that grille.
  • linard76_linard76_ Member Posts: 8
    Allthingshonda, just healthy banter and discourse :)

    Unless my memory is failing me, only the A pillars are fabric covered. The B and C pillars are textured plastic. In the CLA, the fabric also has a soft backing as well.

    When I was referring to the IIHS intrusion measures I meant pure strength.

    For example, intrusion measurements for the 2014 Accord moderate overlap:
    Footwell intrusion
    Footrest (cm) 7
    Left (cm) 12
    Center (cm) 9
    Right (cm) 8
    Brake pedal (cm) 9
    Instrument panel rearward movement
    Left (cm) 0
    Right (cm) 0
    Steering column movement
    Upward (cm) 1
    Rearward (cm) 6
    A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 0

    2010 C Class moderate
    Footwell intrusion
    Footrest (cm) 1
    Left (cm) 1
    Center (cm) 2
    Right (cm) 1
    Brake pedal (cm) 3
    Instrument panel rearward movement
    Left (cm) 1
    Right (cm) 3
    Steering column movement
    Upward (cm) -4
    Rearward (cm) 6
    A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 1

    In the side impact for both, the Mercedes had over 5cm less deformation. In the roof crush test, the C Class' roof was able to handle almost 3000 pounds more pressure.

    Interesting viewing, look at the area behind the sliding door on the small offset test with the 2014 Odyssey. No doubt it's safe but the structure doesn't look rock solid.
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