2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Transmission Error

December 19, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

I might be in the minority here, but I am not a fan of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in our 2014 Mercedes CLA250.

Most of my regular driving involves stop-and-go traffic. It's L.A., after all. That means there's a lot of creeping forward a few car lengths at a time. Our CLA250 is uncharacteristically lurchy under these conditions.

There's a sizable delay between the moment I ease into the throttle and when the car finally starts moving. In that time, I can feel the clutch engage and try to release smoothly. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it feels like a driver is learning to drive stick for the first time. On top of that, it's hard to predict which reaction I'll get.

Then there are three-point turns. I had to come about in the middle of a block and the road had a pretty noticeable crown in the middle. As I shifted from drive to reverse, the car began to roll towards the curb until I gave it more gas. And I had to give it much more pedal pressure than I'm accustomed to. The clutch finally engaged and I lurched backwards. Sigh.

I've been told to use sport mode, as this alleviates some of these problems, but the car defaults to ECO mode on startup. Plus, I'd be sacrificing some fuel economy in the long run. Color me unimpressed.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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