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

Given the choice between the Mercedes CLA250 and BMW's 320i, which would you choose?

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  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    There wouldn't even be a moment of hesitation or thought: BMW 320i. The 3er is a proper RWD sport sedan with fantastic chassis tuning. The CLA is an economy car dressed up to be a luxury car. It may look the part, but at the end of the day you pay for a fraction of a Mercedes and get a fraction of a Mercedes. With the 320i you are getting a real BMW. It certainly has flaws, but they aren't deal breakers like the CLA's.
  • mrrytemrryte Member Posts: 28
    ^^^ My sentiments exactly.
    The only major differences between the 320i and 328i is a detuned/less powerful version of the same exact engine and and non-powered front seats. All the 3-series essentials are still there. The CLA250 is decent on its own, but value-wise the 320i is far better on every aspect. Edmunds long-term review of the CLA250 is only a confirmation of this.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    I'm not sure I like the detuned engine of the 320. If trying to stay underneath a price target I'd see if I could go lightly on the options with a 328. The 28's turbo 4 cylinder provides enough oats for all but the most aggressive moments of driving. Then, too, there's the 2 series. If you don't need the back seat most of the time it's a great little car. Don't think of it as an "entry luxury" car or "cheapest BMW" so much as a proper sport-luxury compact.
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    you can't get a 320i with a LSD so i would rather an AWD CLA. i'm never buying a RWD car again if it's just going to be a one wheel peel.
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    second thought the 320 is available with x drive i guess i would have to take the 320x drive then? honestly i dont think i could pay that much money for such underpowered vehicles if it was my money.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I didn't realize these cars were competitors. Doesn't the C Class compete with the 3 Series. I'd take the BMW every time over the CLA. But I'd also take a C Class over the CLA so I don't know what we've learned here.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    Meh to both. They are for people who want badge over substance.

    Power wise you'll be left in the dust by the family 4 door with the V6. Handling wise few ever drive their cars to the limits anyhow while Focus ST, Speed3, Fiesta ST will all beat them and be faster in a drag top boot.

    And for pure luxury, again really? In what way? If you are only able to get the base model without any of the features are you really in a luxury car? Or just in a luxury badge?
  • markinnaples_markinnaples_ Member Posts: 251
    I guess it depends on what you're looking for. If you want a true rwd sporty car, the BMW of course. If you want a smaller, more economical car, live in an area with bad weather at times and you need a vehicle with fwd that is well made and has some style, the CLA. Where I live, 3's are like belly buttons, especially at the local high schools. At least you don't see that many CLAs yet, although I have a feeling in a few years, you will.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Given those two options, the BMW, RWD over FWD.

    But really I would probably go with the Audi A3 over either of them.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    "...live in an area with bad weather at times and you need a vehicle with fwd..." Sorry that is marketing hype. RWD works just fine in snow, even heavy snow. I drove my '72 MGB, which in addition to being RWD has zero electronic crutches, er aids, through this year's Winter, one of the worst in Chicago history. I only got stuck once, and that was due to low ground clearance and stupidity on my part, not any failing of the car.
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    im still concerned how many people jump on the rwd hype train when it is burdened with an open diff? and doesent it concern anyone that a RWD with a base price of 32k has an open diff? even the 37k 328i has an open diff with no LSD as an option. the 335i does not come standard with one it is a 500 or 1000 dollar option. considering how cheap LSD diffs are (like 300 bucks for the part) why don't customers feel like they are being jipped and auto journalist shame the crap out of these "premium" brands?
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    @bankerdanny I have lost count of the number of RWD cars stuck on up inclines in the winter. Maybe Chicago has less snow then we see in Toronto but RWD not working well in the snow is basic fact around here. And when I say I have seen many I mean cars wit
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    @bassrockerx, You are making a mountain out of molehill. We are talking about modestly powered, modestly priced entry-lux sedans that weigh more than 1.5 tons. A true mechanical LSD would add unnecessary complexity with little impact on performance. The a
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    @mercedesfan this is a luxury vehicle it is not a question about what is needed the whole point of the vehicle is excess and splurging. if a $22,000 mustang comes standard with a limited slip differential then why can't a $34,000 bmw? i know these 'entry
  • vvkvvk Member Posts: 196
    320i for me. No third pedal, no sale.
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