2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Rough Rider
November 18, 2014
I imagine this is the view that Mercedes marketers want many of its new customers to see: a downtown cityscape from behind the wheel of a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250.
Young urban dwellers are a target audience for the new Baby Benz and with its tight city-size length (182 inches) and badge cachet, the CLA is a good fit for driving to every new restaurant and speakeasy on the young urbanite's calendar.
Problem is the CLA just rides too rough to back up the badge. On a recent trip into downtown Los Angeles, I was surprised just how poorly this small sedan mitigates this city's neglect of infrastructure. It's constant bump, shake and jostle, something you might expect in a 10-year-old Tacoma but not something wearing the Star. Even my passenger eventually asked, "Is this really a Mercedes?"
Are run-flats the problem? At least one commenter here says changing out the run-flats made a significant difference on his car. Our guys believe it may go deeper than that, to the root of flawed suspension design or tuning. I missed my chance to visit Oktoberfest this year and possibly pour some truth serum into Mercedes planners. I'm curious to learn why the CLA left the factory this way.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor