2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test


2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Coupe Styling Makes for Limited Rearward Visibility

February 26, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Do you see that? That's the rearward view from the driver's seat of the Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Credit the lack of scenery to the sloping roofline and gargantuan C-pillars. It's the price you pay for the CLA's exterior style.

I can see why some would complain, but it's not an issue for me. For one, I use my mirrors. A properly adjusted passenger-side mirror eliminates any blind spots and liberal use of the rear-view mirror keeps anyone from sneaking up on me.

Does that mean I never look over my shoulder? No, but I certainly don't rely on it. And if I'm in doubt I don't make the move. Problem solved.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Comments

  • giller giller Posts:

    Not to mention the optional backup camera which is awesome in this car, as it retracts into the trunk when not in use. This means it's perfectly clean and clear each time you need it, especially helpful on our salt and slush covered Canadian roads.

  • "And if I'm in doubt I don't make the move. Problem solved. " --- However for me a sporty car where I have to pass up opportunities to make quick movements due to poor visibility isn't that "sporty". -- I alternate between 2 cars on my commute. One is old and has amazing visibility, the other is new and has probably worse visibility than your picture. In the old car I can dance through the lanes when I want/need. In the newer car I spend a lot more time stuck in the lane I'm in thinking it would have been nice if I could have taken advantage of that opening that just passed by in the other lane. Even with the passenger side mirror adjusted way out it still has a blind spot. And the old car doesn't even have a passenger side mirror.

  • diigii diigii Posts:

    For sure, most owners will never even look over their shoulder now because they will rely on the blind spot warning light on the side mirrors. Resulting in more dumb and dumber drivers.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    Forget the c-pillars, I agree that proper side-view mirror adjustment can alleviate that. What about the enormous fixed rear headrests that block a substantial portion of the rear view even when you don't have rear seat passengers? Many Mercedes have folding headrests, some powered. I find these bad enough in a 4-door, but they're really stupid in the C-class coupe, which rear seat I would expect to be used even less often, yet the rear view is obstructed all the time.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Those fixed headrests alone would be enough to not buy this car. The headrests immediately come out of my cars and go into the storeroom. Being able to see better out the rear window 100% of the time is more important to me than headrests for passengers that will occupy those seats at most 2% of the time.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Thank you for being the first writer I've seen to admit that properly adjusted mirrors eliminate blind spots.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    @bankerdanny: Plus those headrests prevent good child seat fitment as we saw in a recent post. We had the remove the rear headrest to make the child seat fit in our Ford C-Max and that was one of the most child seat-friendly cars outside of a minivan I've

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    I would just like to point out that the CLA's rear seats with fixed head restraints are nearly identical to those on two other "4-door-coupes": the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide. One must remember that the very definition of a 4-door-coupe demands that form trump function.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    From the sculpturing they are clearly a style element, and I agree that some degree of form over function is to be expected in a luxury car, especially since virtually everything that used to be unique to such cars is now available on subcompacts if you're willing to pay for it. But then, style fads also trickle down to mundane cars a few years on--whether this explains why new Toyota Corollas also have fixed rear headrests (not all, but I haven't yet figured out which trim choices you have to make to get adjustable ones) I don't know.

  • dch1114 dch1114 Posts:

    I don't know how many of the commenters have actual bought this car but I have and it's the biggest car mistake I've ever made. I find this 7 speed transmission to be so wonky. when in either the economy or sport mode. When driving only 56-59 kph it is already in 6th gear and revs at 1100, so low that you hear and feel it. Then when you want to slightly accelerate ( not kicking it down) often it revs up to 6000 and holds there for what seems to be a long time. This has happened a few times. Maybe it needs a software patch, I have an appointment with MB tomorrow. As for comments about the drivers side mirror, there is definitely a blind spot, so much so that in seat certain positions (like the ones I choose) this can be a hazzard. All in all This is the only car I don't enjoy driving and that compares to my 4 BWM 5 series, one BMW 3 and my Lexus 300. If this transmission problem isn't fixable with a software patch, I'm prepare to dump this fast at a loss and more on. Oh, almost forgot for us Canadians, we have a bit of snow. The drivers side wipers are calibrated so there is about a 2 1/2 inch buildup of snow on the extreme right hand side of the windshield. Totally unnecessary and very poor detail.

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