Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan

More about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
More About This Model

Cars that are designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency rarely end up looking like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250. That's because wind tunnels typically produce fragile-looking, teardrop-shaped things with three wheels. Or worse yet, they make everything look like a Prius.

It's surprising, then, that the engineers behind the CLA250 told us that class-leading aerodynamics was one of their top priorities during the car's development. The goal not only led to the CLA's unique styling, it also resulted in a final drag coefficient of 0.23, which in English means that the CLA slices through the wind more easily than the Prius (0.25 Cd).

That alone is not enough to allow the CLA250 to get better mileage than Toyota's superstar hybrid, but it does help the new Mercedes sedan make the most out of its standard four-cylinder engine. Figure around 30 miles per gallon on the highway and a 0-60-mph time of 6.7 seconds. So the CLA250 is not only efficient, it's still reasonably quick, too.

The New Face of Mercedes
Apart from its impressive aerodynamic efficiency, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is also notable for what it isn't, namely rear-wheel drive. Yes, unlike virtually every other Mercedes-Benz that came to the United States before it, the CLA puts power down through the front wheels.

It's a setup that has been used for Mercedes' smaller A- and B-Class cars in Europe, but the CLA is considerably bigger than those cars. In fact, the CLA is actually longer and wider than the current C-Class sedan. The size overlap is an odd circumstance that will be resolved when a new, slightly larger C-Class arrives in 2014.

Until then, the CLA will be differentiated by its styling, its four-cylinder-only power plant and a base price that starts just under $30K. That's roughly $5 grand less than the base C-Class sedan. An all-wheel-drive version of the CLA250 will be added early next year.

Will Anybody Notice the Difference?
The biggest hurdle facing the CLA is whether it feels like a Mercedes-Benz, or at least what Americans think a Mercedes-Benz should feel like anyway. After driving a CLA250 on a combination of tight back roads, crowded city streets and fast highways, we doubt many people will notice that the front wheels are doing all the work.

Much of the credit goes to the fact that there's very little tugging at the steering wheel during acceleration. So-called torque steer is typically a dead giveaway that a car is having trouble steering and propelling itself with the same wheels. We tried to get the CLA to squirm with big doses of throttle, but the steering wheel barely quivered, even when pulling away from a stop.

Mercedes says this is a result of its Direct Steer system, which is the company's name for its latest electric power steering setup. It not only helps to control torque steer, it makes the CLA more efficient by not drawing power when it's driving in a straight line. More importantly, the engineers were able to tune the feel of the CLA's steering to the point where it provides solid road feel and precise control without the artificial lightness that often comes with electric assistance.

All U.S.-bound CLA250s will have a standard sport suspension that yields a lower ride height and firmer ride quality than the "luxury" model that will be standard in Europe. The ride quality isn't overly stiff and tire noise isn't bad, especially considering how little wind noise there is because of the sleek body.

What You Will Notice About the CLA250
Keeping the price down on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA means there's no six-cylinder engine option as with the C-Class sedan. The only power plant available is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. Sounds meager, but with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, it's hardly a meek little fuel sipper.

It gets considerable help from the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and its three driver-adjustable shift programs. With all those gears, and the ability to swap between them quickly using paddle shifters, the CLA's engine stays squarely in the meat of its power band. It has a firm push from a stop and spins smoothly to its redline, too. Catch it between gears and it'll suddenly feel weak, but it doesn't happen often.

If there's any disappointment from under the hood, it's the engine's sound. There are times when the direct-injection fuel system clatters like a diesel and others when the exhaust is just plain wheezy, mostly at high rpm. Neither of the sounds is particularly refined, and both are occasional reminders that you're behind the wheel of the base-model Benz.

No Cost Cutting in the Cabin
If the noises from under the hood don't bother you, then the cabin isn't likely to either. Nothing about the design or materials inside the CLA looks the least bit cheap. From the big analog gauges to the clean center stack design, it all looks tidy, well built and about what you would expect in a Mercedes.

At first glance the navigation system looks a bit like an aftermarket unit the way it's perched high on the dash, but it blends in after awhile and the positioning makes it easy to read. It takes some time to get used to shifting with the small stalk on the steering wheel column, too, but the space that's opened up in the center console makes the CLA that much more livable.

Livable isn't the best word to describe the backseat, though, as the sloping roof line that makes the CLA so distinctive-looking on the outside makes the rear seats claustrophobic on the inside. Head- and knee room are both tight for anyone over 6 feet, although toe room is plentiful and the seats themselves have a nice shape to them. Add in the small rear doors and the CLA won't make a very good baby hauler.

Who Is the Mercedes CLA for, Then?
Mercedes thinks the $30K barrier is where the luxury line can be drawn. Below that and you're competing with too many mainstream models. At $35K, the C-Class is a bit out of reach for anyone who isn't willing to consider at least $40K for the options they want.

With the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250, $32K will get you a nicely equipped sedan with a couple options. There are some packages, of course, along with a nice list of stand-alone features like a panorama sunroof, blind spot assist and 18-inch wheels. And most importantly, at least to some, the Mercedes name.

Brand recognition aside, the CLA is a uniquely styled sedan that attracts attention even before people know what it is. Not many of the competitors in this price range can do the same. Add in the sharp interior and solid performance and the CLA is an interesting option at its price point. About the only thing missing is a real backseat, something the young people Mercedes is hoping to attract might want to think twice about.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Overview

The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan is offered in the following styles: CLA250 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), CLA250 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and CLA45 AMG 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 355 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan CLA250 is priced between $16,500 and$27,590 with odometer readings between 24519 and113544 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan CLA250 4MATIC is priced between $17,995 and$25,998 with odometer readings between 55091 and101083 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan CLA45 AMG is priced between $26,999 and$32,990 with odometer readings between 42787 and84596 miles.

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Which used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedans are available in my area?

Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan Listings and Inventory

There are currently 39 used and CPO 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,500 and mileage as low as 24519 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Sedan for sale near you.

Can't find a used 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class CLA-Class Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $8,162.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $16,004.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,563.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $7,810.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class lease specials