Is It a Good Value? - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Is It a Good Value?

March 7, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Janis Joplin sang, "Oh lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?" Well, if Janis were alive today she might not even need the good lord's help. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 starts at $30,825 (with destination). And our car, with its well-chosen extras, still checked in at a seemingly quite reasonable $35,495. That's not much scratch for a luxury-branded car these days.

But I was curious to learn more on whether this represented a solid value for an entry-level luxury sedan or if you're paying a price premium to get that three-pointed star in the grille. Here are my thoughts.

For the 2014 model year, I compared our CLA250 to the Acura ILX and Buick Verano. It's not possible to get an exact match in terms of features, but you can get both the ILX and Verano fully loaded for less than the Mercedes. A top-level 2014 ILX with the Technology package is $32,495 (with destination). A Verano with the top-level Premium package (includes the 260-hp turbocharged engine) and the navigation system is $30,785.

So, yes, you're paying thousands more for the Mercedes in comparison to these two cars. But I do think you're getting your money's worth here. The CLA250 is quicker and sportier than the ILX by a significant margin, and is a more polished car overall than the Buick. Equally important, there's a chance with the ILX and Verano that you'll never shake the feeling that all you bought was a fancy version of a Civic or Cruze. The CLA? Yep, still a Mercedes.

Another comparison can be had with the upcoming 2015 Audi A3. Here, the pricing gets a lot closer, and equipping an A3 with features similar to our CLA250 does get you right in the $35,000 range. Unfortunately, I've yet to drive the new A3, but going from some early reports from my coworkers who have driven it, the two cars are pretty evenly matched.

Of course, "value" is always dependent on your viewpoint and what you're looking for in a car. But for me, the Mercedes CLA250 is priced competitively. Go ahead and get that Benz, Janis.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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