2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review | Edmunds.com
 

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

 
 
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What Others are Paying: CLA250 4dr Car with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market Value®


  • $28,732*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $30,825
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Seattle, WA (based on actual sales data from your region).

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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 208 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/38 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

  • The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class distills the posh trappings of a proper Benz into a competitive entry-level luxury sedan.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Luxury-car quality and status for a relatively low price; commendable power and handling; premium interior materials; fiery performance from AMG model.

  • Cons

    Cramped rear seat; overly firm ride quality; dash-top navigation display looks down-market.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is an all-new entry-level luxury sedan. It slots in below the C-Class in the Mercedes lineup.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

Mercedes-benz hits a home run

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

I got my CLA250 about 1.5 month ago and after driving it for about 1500 miles I absolutely love the car. The sticker price was $40,025 ($38,700 negotiated) with Premium/Multimedia/Sports packages, Bi-Xenon head lights with LED tail lights, and Panorama roof. I love the driving dynamics of the car and the fuel economy is amazing. Being able to choose between Econ, Sport, and Manual mode is a plus. The Stop/Go feature took a little getting use to but now it doesn't bother me. You can always turn that feature off if you want. I get a lot of looks and double takes when I'm driving around and people have even asked me about it. I got a set of winter tires/wheels so I can drive it all year round.



11 of 38 people found this review helpful

Excellent car, exceeds my expectations!

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Vehicle: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

I bought this car last week with about a 46k sticker price, fully loaded. I absolutely love the car. Great ride, handling, and overall a solid car. This car has exceeded my expectations. Interior quality is above par, the lighting both inside and outside is sophisticated. Very quick for a 4 cyl. The only thing I am getting used to is the ECO start stop feature, and the fact that I seem to be getting about 22mpg city right now, but have been told it just needs to break in first. Anybody who seems to review this car in a negative way is just holding standards too high. I mean, the car does start at 30k, so what do you expect....its clearly not an 85k car. But I couldn't be happier.



55 of 148 people found this review helpful

Great buy-looks, and it's a

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Vehicle: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

Just picked up a CLA-250. Only $33,500 including freight. Great performance, a comfortable ride, and unbelievable mpg. I'm getting 35 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg around town. Driving on the interstate, people just stare at the car. Imagine heated seats, auto air, auto wipers, a deluxe sound system, seats that look/feel like leather without the extra cost. There is no high engine sound at 75 mph as some expert reviews claim. Who could believe a car that looks/feels like $50,000 to $60,000 for only $33,500. I love my Benz.



   
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 38
  • highway
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Full 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is an all-new entry-level luxury sedan. It slots in below the C-Class in the Mercedes lineup.

Introduction

The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class exists for one simple reason: A great many consumers desire the elegance and prestige associated with the Mercedes brand, but simply can't afford the high price of admission. The C-Class sedan has long been the company's entry-level model in the United States, but these days, a nicely equipped one runs well past $40,000. The 2014 CLA-Class marks a departure for the German automaker: It's a front-wheel-drive sedan infused with the premium furnishings of a traditional Mercedes-Benz, but priced far lower than the rear-drive C-Class.

The CLA is actually longer and wider than the current C-Class sedan (which is due for a redesign). Its sleek, aerodynamic shape brings to mind the larger CLS four-door "coupe" and Mercedes says that the CLA is more aerodynamic than a Toyota Prius, which should benefit fuel economy. The CLA-Class sedan's curvy roof line does impede on passenger space, however. Anyone over 6 feet tall shouldn't bother trying to get comfortable in the backseat.

Of course, the big question surrounding the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan is whether you'll see it as a genuine Mercedes-Benz or a half-hearted budget alternative. The CLA certainly feels like the real thing from the cockpit, as premium materials and a suite of safety and multimedia features check all the boxes for Benzness. With a strong turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a quick-shifting transmission and sure-footed handling, the CLA drives like a proper Mercedes, too. Meanwhile, the rip-snorting CLA45 AMG should right most of the base CLA250's wrongs with its incredibly swift straight-line performance.

With the launch of the 2014 CLA-Class, Mercedes brings an early offense to a budding class of compact luxury sedans. The 2015 Audi A3 is its closest rival in terms of price and design. The A3 offers more rear seat space and a more polished and comfortable ride quality. We ranked it ahead of the CLA in a comparison test, but you'll definitely want to cross-shop these two.

The CLA is also an interesting alternative to a wide range of competitors. The 2014 Acura ILX and 2014 Buick Verano cost considerably less, but unless it's equipped with a manual gearbox, the Acura can't keep up with the CLA250 in any contest of speed, while the Buick lacks the Benz's overall interior refinement. The 355-horsepower CLA45, on the other hand, has few peers. The new two-door BMW M235i comes close, but if you want something with four doors, you'll have to look at disparate models like the Chrysler 300C SRT8 or Subaru WRX STI.

Given the selection in this price range, you're wise to do some research before making a decision, but there's no doubt the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a compelling choice for a compact entry-level luxury sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is available in CLA250, CLA250 4Matic and CLA45 AMG trim levels.

The CLA250 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, cruise control, eight-way power front seats, driver memory settings, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. Electronics features include a 5.8-inch central display, the COMAND interface, mbrace2 telematics/smartphone integration, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a sound system with a CD player.

The CLA250 4Matic is the same but has all-wheel drive. The CLA45 AMG is also equipped similarly. It has all-wheel drive as standard along with 18-inch wheels, a more powerful engine, larger brakes and firmer suspension tuning.

All CLAs are eligible for the optional Premium 1 package, which provides auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats and a Harman Kardon audio system with satellite radio and an iPod interface. The Multimedia package adds a larger 7-inch central infotainment screen with Mercedes' COMAND interface, a rearview camera, a 10-gigabyte music server, a six-disc CD changer and a navigation system with voice commands. Additional safety aids including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, and blind spot warning are available via the Driver Assistance package.

The Sport package for the CLA250 adds 18-inch wheels, a more aggressive-looking front fascia and grille, and upgraded brakes. Stand-alone options for both models include summer performance tires, bi-xenon headlamps, a rear spoiler, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated seats, wood interior trim, a lower-cost navigation system for cars with the standard 5.8-inch display, and parking sensors combined with an automated parking system. Exclusive options for the CLA45 include 19-inch wheels, interior and exterior carbon fiber trim, sport seats, an AMG steering wheel and red-painted brake calipers.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 208 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automated manual transmission (with shift paddles) routes power to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is available on the CLA250 4Matic. In Edmunds testing, a CLA250 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 6.4 seconds.

The CLA45 AMG has an upgraded version of this 2.0-liter engine that features a twin-scroll turbocharger and fortified internal components. The result is an amazing 355 hp and 332 lb-ft. A quicker-shifting version of the seven-speed transmission drives all four wheels. Launch control is also included. At the Edmunds test track, the CLA45 AMG accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds, making it one of the quickest compact sedans available.

Both the CLA250 and CLA45 AMG feature an automatic stop-start function that, if engaged, turns off the engine when the car stops to save fuel.

Safety

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, front seat side thorax airbags, front seat side pelvic airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The CLA45 AMG has a three-mode stability control system that allows drivers to tailor the level of intervention.

In Edmunds.com's simulated panic stop from 60 mph, the CLA250 required 121 feet, while the CLA45 needed just 111 feet, both about average for their respective segments.

Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 emergency telematics is standard, as are Collision Prevention Assist, which uses radar to identify potential collision situations and intervenes with braking as necessary, and Attention Assist, which monitors the driver for signs of drowsiness and inattention. Rear seat side airbags are optional. Other safety-oriented options include a rearview camera, parking sensors bundled with an automated parking system and the Lane Tracking package, which adds a blind-spot warning system and a lane-departure warning system.

Interior Design and Special Features

Even though this is the bargain Benz, the CLA-Class sedan's interior largely escapes the cost-cutting knife. Quite simply, the cabin looks and feels like a traditional Mercedes. Big analog gauges, a clean center stack design, and tight fit and finish impart the same classic, premium feel shared across the Mercedes lineup.

One of the few exceptions is the optional navigation system's display, which looks like an aftermarket addition as it's perched high on the dash. On the upside, the screen is easy to read. It also takes some time to get used to selecting gears with a column-mounted stalk rather than a traditional console shifter. Various trim options, including walnut, ash, aluminum and carbon fiber (CLA45 only) allow you to create a cabin aesthetic that's either cool and modern, or classic and refined.

Unfortunately, the CLA's rear quarters aren't nearly as luxurious. Although the rear seats are well-shaped and supportive, the sloping roof line that gives the CLA its distinctive character also translates to tight headroom for 6-footers, and the knee room situation isn't much better. The CLA is also ill-equipped for small children; the rear seat's non-removable headrests can make safety seat fitment tricky, and those small rear doors make it tough to get little ones in and out, too.

You might assume the CLA sedan also has a small trunk, but in reality it offers a respectable 13.1 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

Driving Impressions

Most consumers will find the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 quite agreeable to drive on their daily commutes. Even if you've owned rear-wheel-drive Mercedes sedans in the past, you'll be hard-pressed to tell that the CLA250 is front-wheel drive, as it accelerates and steers with the precision of more elite Benz models. Part of the CLA's athletic character comes from the quick-shifting automated manual transmission, which offers driver-adjustable shift patterns and a manual shift mode via its steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

There are other aspects to the CLA, however, that serve as unfortunate reminders that you're driving an entry-level Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes has effectively equipped its U.S.-sold cars with a standard sport-tuned suspension, and while that choice does contribute to the car's sporty handling, it also results in a rather firm ride quality. We suspect drivers expecting typical levels of luxury comfort when driving over broken pavement will be dismayed by the harsh and occasionally noisy impacts transmitted into the cabin. Other drivers might be put off by the workaday sounds of the base CLA's four-cylinder engine and the slow responses of the transmission when shifting in and out of Drive and Reverse.

Meanwhile, the 355-hp CLA45 AMG is far from a base Benz. In addition to its sizzling acceleration, the CLA45 has plenty of personality. Select Sport mode and you'll hear crackles and pops from the exhaust during both up- and downshifts. Around turns, the CLA45 offers tenacious grip and guided-missile determination. But the cost of this handling prowess is an even firmer ride quality that might be too much for even dedicated drivers. Also, its performance-oriented brakes are very sensitive and grab with the slightest touch of the pedal, and the transmission's shift quality can be overly aggressive for daily driving.

Talk About The 2014 CLA-Class

   

† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.