2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test


2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Fuel Economy Update for November

December 05, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

It's way too early to draw any conclusions just yet. Our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 has just barely passed the 750-mile mark on the way to being broken in.

That said, we're driving our CLA gently in these introductory miles. I would have expected its MPG to be reasonable, at least. But so far this car's impressive-on-paper EPA ratings seem like wishful thinking in the extreme.

The CLA250 is powered by a 2-liter turbo engine. It feeds its power through a seven-speed automated-manual transmission. A stop-start system kills the engine at traffic signals and the like to reduce idle fuel consumption. This trifecta of the latest efficiency trends results in an official EPA rating of 30 mpg Combined (26 mpg City/38 mpg Highway).

That's great, but our average (so far) is just 23.3 mpg. I was the one driving the most recent tank and managed just 26.9 mpg, barely eclipsing the city rating despite a mix that was about equal parts city and freeway driving. What's more, I left the start-stop system on to do its thing and I was fairly conservative with the throttle when under way.

I'm not impressed, even with the break-in and the newness and all. But the real story will begin to emerge in the next month or two.

Let's hope my simmering theory about the new crop of small-displacement "Eco-turbos," the one that suspects they're prone to missing their EPA ratings by a much greater percentage in the real world than the larger non-turbo engines they're meant to replace, is proven wrong.

Worst Fill: 19.6 mpg
Best Fill: 26.9 mpg
Lifetime Average: 23.3 mpg
EPA Combined Rating: 30 mpg (26 City/38 Highway)
Best Range: 218 miles
Current Odometer: 762 miles

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 762 miles

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