Decoding the Rearview Camera - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Decoding the Rearview Camera

March 31, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

These are the distance lines on the rearview camera display in our long-term 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Initially, I had no idea what they meant. White lines, red dots, yellow hash marks and full width yellow lines create an image that looks more like a football field than a parking grid. But once I decided to stop being lazy and read the manual, they became pretty helpful.

The white guideline shows the CLA250's width, including the rearview mirrors. The yellow hash marks or "lane markings" as Mercedes calls them, show you where the tires are headed. As you turn the steering wheel, the red dots along the white lines curve (along with the yellow lane markings) to represent the direction of the car, while the white guidelines themselves stay put to represent the footprint of the car.

The red horizontal guideline at the bottom of the photo isn't an end zone. Rather, it measures 10 inches from the CLA's rear bumper to help you maintain a safe zone between your entry-level Benz and the vehicle behind it. The two yellow horizontal lines are also included to help you judge distance. One is 3 feet from the rear bumper; the other is 13 feet away.

Once I'd armed myself with this knowledge, it proved pretty useful the next time I parallel-parked the CLA250. The yellow lane markings kept me from curbing the wheels, the red line kept me from tapping the car behind me and the yellow lines gave me a good perspective on how much distance I was giving the car behind me, making sure they had enough space to pull out.

The rearview camera is part of the Multimedia package which costs $2,370 and also includes a bigger central display, the COMAND electronics interface, navigation and a six-disc CD/DVD changer. Since there is such limited rearward visibility in the CLA250, the camera feels necessary. Luckily, it's included in a package that seems like a good value, too.

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 4,417 miles

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