No Rear Center Armrest - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: No Rear Center Armrest

January 29, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

You do not buy the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA for its back seat. The legroom is acceptable, but the sloped roofline will leave you slouching. Frankly, that's OK. For many, including myself, a back seat is an occasional-use feature. The fact that it exists, and that its rear doors gain access to it, are sufficient. If you need more, buy something with headroom and the blockier styling that goes with it.

Having said that, the CLA has no rear center armrest. It's a common feature, and headroom or no, it's a puzzling omission. My cramped and/or short rear passengers should at least be afforded the dignity of a well-rested elbow.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor


  • giller giller Posts:

    This is for US models only. My Canadian CLA has both a rear center armrest and folding side mirrors. Not sure the decision by MB on that one.....aside from the fact it's also 4k more up North (don't try and justify that with exchange rates either ;)

  • se_riously se_riously Posts:

    It's called cost cutting. Notice that there isn't a height adjustable rear headrest either.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    My butt hurts just looking at those exposed LATCH anchors. That has the be the cheapest looking, carelessly designed LATCH setup I have ever seen. That wouldn't be acceptable in a Mitsubishi Mirage. And out of curiosity I just checked the Mirage and its LATCH anchors are marginally better concealed.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @stovt001, I would imagine you don't even notice them. If they really were that bad I can't imagine that both Audi and BMW would also use the exact same design in their entry-level offerings.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    My 2011 GTI has those LATCH anchors also, and you don't even notice them, because that part of the seatback is recessed. They are super-easy to use, they look very well-finished and much better than the hole-cut-with-a-steak-knife ones that the LT Subaru Impreza, for example, came with. However, my GTI DOES have adjustable-height rear headrests and it does have a center armrest that has cupholders in it, and it also has a large pass-through to the cargo area.

  • giller giller Posts:

    Your comment on the GTI is an interesting one. I love that car. I had a 2010, then moved to a 2012 Volvo S60, now a CLA. In many ways the CLA feels like a GTI in a suit.......and that's a very good thing in my opinion.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    If the rear seat will be used infrequently that seems like even more reason for headrest that slide down. These headrests seem to do a real number on rearward visibility for passengers that won't usually be there.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I stand corrected, I forgot about the Impreza's LATCH cutouts. Those indeed are the worst ever implementation. I appreciate how easy the system here is to use, and having a child in a rear-facing car seat right now I'm qualified to make that observation, but it just doesn't look that good to my eye. Function too far over form here, in my opinion.

  • I think you guys need to go a bit more into detail about the really cramped backseat. I test drove this car, really enjoyed it from the driver's seat...and then I sat in the back. I'm only 5'10.5" tall, and 5 minutes in the back gave my neck a kink trying to figure out how to slouch properly to keep my head from mashing against the roof.

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