Small Luxury Alternatives - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Small Luxury Alternatives

December 18, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

I have a senior friend who currently drives a Nissan Murano. When she took her Murano is for repairs recently, she received a Volkswagen Jetta as a loaner. She loved how much easier it was for her to drive and park.

She asked me to help her find a car that would be similar in size to the Jetta but more luxurious.

My first thought was the Mercedes CLA250. But I also came up with the Buick Verano, and since she is used to an SUV, a BMW X1. The Mercedes and BMW would probably cost her in the mid-30s, while the Verano would be in the mid-20s.

Can you think of any other cars I should recommend to her?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 1,129 miles


  • Of course I'm going to suggest the TSX, even though it's been around for a while and is overdue for a redesign. That 6-speed still sells itself to the five percent of people that know what their left foot is truly meant to be used for.

  • thatkid thatkid Posts:

    A VW CC! I had '09 Jetta Wolfsburg with the TSI and it was an amazing little pocket rocket. I traded it in for a '13 CC and love it! It is by far one of the most beautiful cars on the road and the size is so much more practical than the CLA.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Does she want a badge, or just more quality? I'd recommend the Golf for a small car that has a lot of inherent goodness about it. If she really doesn't need that much space the 1 series also hits a sweet spot.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    Why not the C-Class? It is actually a bit smaller than the CLA and, in my opinion, a far superior car. Furthermore, because it is in the last year of its product cycle you can just walk into a dealership and get about 16% off MSRP, thus making it comparably priced to the CLA.

  • diondi diondi Posts:

    Buick Encore? It's a nimble city car that's quite luxurious for what it is.

  • oxmead oxmead Posts:

    I had a '12 Impreza sport limited , but wanted something more comfortable. I looked at nearly everything up to low 30's including all your suggestions. Ended up getting a '14 Legacy limited. Excellent ride, comfortable, quiet, decent on fuel, large tank for great range, and awd! Good time to get one because the '15 model will move upmarket.

  • carfreak13 carfreak13 Posts:

    acura ILX audi a3 (when it goes on sale) bmw 320i

  • stiney stiney Posts:

    I also say TSX. She's used to Japanese reliability, so I would steer her clear of the problem-prone Germans.

  • csubowtie csubowtie Posts:

    Isn't the Audi A4 quite literally a more luxurious Jetta?

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    the hyundai Tuscan with all the bells and whistles is VERY luxurious! if she doesent mind giving up the VQ power for a frugal 4 cylinder i would tell her to get one of those! the sportage is a similer car (like i have to tell you that) but offers the 2.0T engine but i have never sat in one of them to give an luxury thumbs up. then there is allways the Ford escape titanium with the 2.0t. the bmw x1 is not a bad choice but it gets pricy quick and i dunno what the overall budget would be? money no object i love the x1. isin't it weird that buick and mercedes are in the same conversation?

  • bobinsepa bobinsepa Posts:

    How about a TSX Sport Wagon? It is pretty luxurious and has the utility of an SUV. And if I remember correctly, you would have bought the Edmund's Long Termer if it weren't a loaner.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    I would say she is done with any kind of SUV--and ready for a car again. Why hasn't anyone mentioned the Cadillac ATS? It seems like an ideal replacement, price and size-wise. Donna, how do you feel about the long-termer you have? Could you recommend it to her?

  • roadie73 roadie73 Posts:

    Buick Regal

  • Acura ILX and the upcoming Audi A3

  • coolb944 coolb944 Posts:

    A few come to mind. The Audi A3, Buick Encore, Acura ILX, Lexus CT200h, and Cadillac ATS 2.5. If she doesn't mind two doors, the BMW 128i.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411